Tom being still on holiday this weekend gave me an ‘open date’, so I decided to visit that much neglected district, the Lancashire Fells. I started late, and quickly reached Chorley by the main road. I soon got behind me that ‘moderate’ nine miles to Preston. The Lancaster road was crowded with petrol consumers, and I was glad to leave it at Broughton for the seductive lanes which wonder aimlessly to Inglewhite. At the ‘Green Man’, I had lunch, and the company (seen but not heard) of three French people, two well dressed ladies and a man who wore one of those French caps one sees on the pictures. They gabbled away in their lingo, making actions suit words to such an extent that sometimes I thought they were going to fight! It was very interesting to watch, though I could not understand a word they said. The landlord afterwards told me that one of the ladies owned a large estate near Paris, and was also owner of several farms round Inglewhite, including the ‘Green Man’.
After lunch I made my way by devious winding byways to a track, which led me steeply down through a glorious wood to a river, where there is a very deep water splash, but also a bridge. In this case discretion was the better part of valour, and the bridge bore me across dry. The scenery all the while was magnificent. Climbing out of the steep valley, I soon reached a road of sorts which led me uphill towards Oakenclough. From the summit of the road, an extensive view is to be had of the Fylde, but today a mist spoiled it. On the right runs a road of the same stony calibre, which I sampled. It led me through some private grounds, and by a well-wooded road which ambles up hill and down dale to the foot of Calder Fell. Here is situated a few isolated farmsteads and a church on rising ground, the whole going by the name of Bleasdale. The name itself suggests what it is, bleak and wild. The road now climbed steadily over the hills, keeping close to the foot of the glorious fells, then comes a sudden turn towards Longridge, a grand peep at the beauteous Vale of Chipping from above, and an easy slide down to the simple village.
From here I followed another winding byway for many miles, eventually passing through a gateway, across a stream, and uphill, into the fells again, then down into a perfect miniature of the Trough of Bowland. Climbing steeply out again, I got a wonderful view of the district between Whitewell and the Trough. I dropped down cautiously, having to open many gates, then joined the Trough road, soon reaching Whitewell, which was one mass of motor vehicles. The gradual climb which followed through the rocky gorge, is one of supreme beauty, and demands to be seen. From here, I again struck a series of bewildering lanes, emerging on the Longridge – Whalley road. I endeavoured to get to the summit of Longridge Fell, but instead I explored a disused, sunken lane, which led me for miles, then I had a long run through a river! I reached the main road again, and for some distance had to retrace my steps. As the time was getting on, I hastened to Longridge, then fled downhill to Ribchester and Miss Bolton’s for tea. Now I crossed the river by an ancient bridge, and clambered uphill to the main Whalley – Preston road, which took me to Mellor Brook. Then a well known route by various footpaths to Cherry Tree, uphill for miles to Tockholes, and the wild moorland road to Belmont and Bolton, thus concluding an excellent run in a really fine district. 96 miles