Length: 12.5 miles with 2000 feet of climb (3.3%)
Choose a sunny, clear day. Unlike the other walks on this website, this is a hard route, much of it over exposed, rough moorland with no paths. You will need to be properly equipped, and to know how to use a map and compass.
ACCESS LAND & DOGS
The moorland on this walk is Access Land, and usually open to walkers.
Any closures are advertised on local notices and on the Open Access website.
In addition, dogs are not permitted, except for assistance dogs.
Click here and use the postcode LA2 8RD, for more information about access land and restrictions relevant to this walk.
Start grid reference SD 649 640
Park by the roadside near Stairend Bridge, where the Ivah-Botton road crosses the Hindburn river
Start along the road east from Stairend bridge (not to be confused with the nearby bridge over Mill Beck). 50 yards from the bridge, turn left through a gate, and follow the footpath fingerpost up a field to a gate, after which head up the next field aiming just left of a large barn. Go through a gate just to the left of the barn, then follow a track between the houses of Ivah to a surfaced road.
Turn left and then immediately right, along the road signed to Slaidburn; follow this uphill to a T-junction at the top. Turn left here and follow the lane, which eventually descends through a gate to cross Croasdale Beck. Continue up the hill until you have passed Ringstones farm on the left, and the surfaced track to Green Hall on the right. When you reach the end of the Ringstones access drive, turn right by a footpath fingerpost, over a wall stile.
Follow the fence on your right, then make for the farm straight ahead (Lanshaw), diverging from the fence and then coming alongside a wall. Follow the wall for 100 yards to a gate and go through it, then turn left and follow the wall on your left. At the next field corner, ignore the gate on the left and climb the wall-stile ahead, then follow the wall on your left to Lanshaw.
Cross the drive and go to the left-hand corner of the barn conversion, then left through a gate and pass left of the farmhouse to a waymarked gate.Turn right after the gate and follow the wall on your right through two gates to a wooden gate leading out onto moorland. Turn left and follow the wall on your left until it bends left, then diverge from it to a nearby wooden post standing by the Bentham-Slaidburn road.
Go straight across the road, along the track leading to Croasdale Grains. After nearly ½ mile, you will reach a junction. Turn left here, towards a small building (shooting box). After 250 yards (and 150 yards before the shooting box), fork left onto a level grassy vehicle track. Follow this for 150 yards to a shooting butt beside the right-hand side of the track. Immediately after this, turn right up a grassy vehicle track which follows a long line of shooting butts up the hill. When you reach the last butt, you will be 100 yards from a fence to the east. Go over to the fence, then turn right and follow it uphill.
Just before the top of Burn Moor, the fence bends left by a boundary stone known as the Standard of Burn Moor. Keep following the fence after the trig pillar, to a fence junction. Follow the fence which goes straight ahead and then bends right and heads downhill to the shallow saddle between Burn Moor and Lythe Fell.
Soon after this, keep straight ahead at another fence junction. Keep following the fence, mostly gradually uphill, for 1¾ miles, to Raven’s Castle or Crowd Stones, an island, amidst the heathery bog, of dry, grassy land strewn with boulders, from which a length of excellent stone wall has been made. Turn right at the wall, and follow it, then a fence, downhill to Cross of Greet.
Cross the road, and follow the fence on the other side uphill. After ½ mile, you will reach a kissing gate where the fence bends, and just after this, a fence junction with another kissing gate. Note this junction, as you will be returning to it later.
Follow the fence which continues straight ahead and uphill. After nearly a mile, you will reach the summit of White Hill, with its trig pillar, and a tower, from whose top you can see two other towers 600 yards away to the north-west and south-east respectively. The towers mark the course of the pipeline carrying water from Haweswater reservoir in the Lake District to Manchester.
Now retrace your steps by the fence to the fence junction you noted earlier. Turn left here and follow the fence which has the kissing gate in it for 150 yards, to reach a small stream, Middle Gill. Follow the beck downhill for 1½ miles, keeping it on your left, until you reach a gate and kissing gate. Go through, then follow the fence on your left. Ignore a wide gate soon after, and continue with the fence on your left until you reach a gate leading onto a surfaced road.
Turn left along the road and follow it to its end at Botton Head farm. On entering the farmyard, immediately turn right to pass a waymark post and between walls to a gate. Go through and follow the vehicle track across two fields, and at the far corner of the second field, turn left through a gate, and continue down the track to Botton bridge. After crossing, continue up the zig-zag track, then through a gate, to reach a surfaced road on a bend.
Keep ahead along the road for 300 yards, passing through a gate, then turn right down a drive (footpath fingerpost) to Lower Thrushgill. When you reach the houses, turn left through a gate, then pass left of the white house, and through a small gate to a stile leading into a field. Continue in the same direction, over another stile, then over a stile and small footbridge. Now follow the fence on your left to a wall stile. After this, bear slightly left, to pass left of an isolated ash tree, then continue down towards the far-distant bottom corner of the field.
When you get there, pass left of an isolated oak tree, then turn right down a steep grassy bank, pass a river bend and go through a gate next to Stairend bridge.
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!