Length: 4 miles with 500 feet of climb (2.3%)
Start grid reference SD 653 654
Park opposite the gates of the Church of the Good Shepherd.
N.B. the road to the church from the south is unsuitable for motor vehicles
Cross the stone stile just to the right of the church gates. Follow the wall on your left, through two gates, and continue beside the churchyard wall to a small gate and stile next to Tatham Fells Old School – now the village hall. After the stile, keep in the same direction, with a fence on your right, to a footbridge. Keep straight ahead across the next field, diverging slightly from the fence on your right, towards two big trees. Pass between these, then turn half-left and head uphill towards a ruined wall on the skyline. As you approach the wall, bear right and keep the wall on your left to its end (by two big trees) then head for nearby Foss Bank farm, aiming to the left of the nearest of the barns, where you will reach a wooden gate.
Go through the gate, then turn left through another gate. Walk up the drive for 10 yards, then turn right to a nearby stone stile over a wall. After this, go straight ahead to converge with the field boundary on the left and pass under power lines, then follow the wall till you reach a stone stile by a thorn tree. Climb this, then cross the field corner to another stone stile 15 yards away. Cross this, then go slightly right to find a path through the trees. Follow this 30 yards to a stile in a fence.
After this, bear slightly left and head up the field towards the second-from-the-left big tree that you can see on the skyline. As you climb, Ringstones farm will come into view; aim for a wooden gate between the barns and the farmhouse. As you approach the farm, you will find a fence across your way. There should be stile, but if there isn’t, follow the fence downhill to a gate, climb over, and make your way to the wooden gate.
Go through, then pass between the house and barns. Turn right around the end of the house to reach the farm drive, and follow this up to a surfaced lane. Turn left up the lane, and follow it for just over ½ mile to its junction with another road.
Five yards before this junction, turn left along a well-used path which leads through a small valley and then climbs up to join a surfaced road on your right. Follow this for a short way to the left, and when it forks, take the right-hand road. Follow this for ¼ mile, and soon after crossing a cattle grid, you will reach a track on the right leading over a cattle grid (Usherwoods sign). Follow this track till it bends left after 30 yards, then climb a a stone stile in the wall on your right (5 yards left of a narrow gate) into a field.
Diverge slightly from the fence on your right to a gate in the wall ahead. Now follow the waymarks through a long, thin field to its far left corner, where you will reach a stony track. Turn right and follow this over a cattle grid, then downhill for 150 yards to a triangular junction. Fork left here and follow the track round to a cattle grid. But don’t cross it; instead turn right, and follow the wall on your left; the route here is marshy and infested with rushes, but you can find easier going (and in places a faint path) by not following the wall too closely.
At the bottom you will reach a stony track. Turn left along this, and follow it until you reach a cattle grid. Don’t cross it; instead, fork right and follow the wall on your left, with Bents moorland on your right. Keep following the wall for more than ¼ mile, to the second gate (the wall kinks left before the gate).
Go through the gate and between stone walls, then head straight up the field, past a stone pillar, towards Fleet House, which is at the top right-hand corner of the field. Cross a stone stile immediately to the left of the garage, then pass the house on your left and walk along its drive to a road.
Go straight across the road, following a footpath sign over a stone stile in a wall. Take the left-hand path and follow this straight ahead, aiming for a barn roof, and passing several outdoor artworks. When you reach the barn (actually the gallery of Maiden Bridge Arts Centre), go down some stone steps right next to the barn corner, then across the cobbles to a grassy area. Turn left and walk between two walls until you reach a gate on the right. Go through this, then straight ahead to another gate leading out into a field.
Go straight ahead, to follow the direction of a small valley initially, until you have crossed a ruined wall and passed a spring (amongst boulders). Now keep going in this direction, so that you diverge from the valley and climb out of it. As you crest the hill you will see a wall ahead; scan it and you will see a very narrow stone stile (close to a stone pillar in the field). Cross the stile, then walk down the next field, parallel with a fence 50 yards away on your right, to a gate leading onto a road.
Turn left along the road, then after 10 yards, turn right through a wooden gate. Follow the wall and fence on your left to a gate, after which turn half-right to go diagonally across a small field to another gate. Cross the stile just right of the gate, then follow the field boundary on your right until you reach an electricity pole. Bear slightly left to head down to a stone stile in the wall below, then keep ahead, under a big tree, down to a small gate 50 yards away. Go through this and cross a stream to emerge on a road. Turn left and follow the road back to your starting point.
We hope you’ll enjoy walking this route. We’d like to keep these directions accurate and up-to-date, so please let us know if they need correcting, updating or clarifying. Thank you!