Walk Distance: 1.1km
Walk Duration: 30 mins
Ordnance Survey: OS Landranger 103 Blackburn & Burnley; OS Explorer OL41 Forest of Bowland
Suitable for: Little legs, babies in carriers, all the family. Whilst the village streets are suitable for pushchairs, the small kissing gate into the fields makes using a cross-country buggy for the whole route impracticable.
Walk Features: Historical interest, playground, river for paddling & fishing nets, public toilets, refreshments in the village, pub.
‘The Slaidburn Easy Village Walk is a short, simple introduction to this historic settlement in the Forest of Bowland. Slaidburn is tucked away in the middle of the Area of Natural Beauty, surrounded by fells and lapped by the River Hodder. It remains focused on agriculture and much of the village property is owned by the King-Wilkinson family , a feature that no doubt contributes to its unchanging facade.
Slaidburn makes a lovely centre for a day’s exploration or as a base for a longer stay – we stayed in a family room in the YHA.
This walk takes you past the historic sites of Slaidburn. It goes on village roads but these are mainly quiet outside of rush hour. All the same, keep an eye on the kids. A wander across sheep-inhabited fields gives a sense of your surroundings and a chance for the kids to explore the local playground and paddle in the stream. At time of writing children’s fishing nets were available to buy from the village stores where you can find snacks. A cafe & pub in the village provide more substantial refreshment.’
The walk starts from the public car park on Chapel Street.
Leave the car park and turn right onto Chapel Street, walking towards the centre of the village. You will pass attractive old cottages in the traditional grey stone before reaching the Jubilee Fountain on your right where you can fill your bottles from the tap.
The striking war memorial looms up immediately ahead. Its roll of honour makes for sobering thought. What an impact World War I in particular must have had on such a small, tight-knit village community.
Continue on up the hill keeping to the left. This brings you out into the centre of the village. On your left you will find the Slaidburn YHA. This used to be a 17th century inn and is a listed building. It seems appropriate that it is still providing a place for weary travellers and outdoor explorers to rest for the night.
Opposite the YHA is the Village Stores and Post Office. Another traditional building, inside you can find picnic supplies, basic groceries, papers and fishing nets for the kids to take on their paddling adventures in the village stream.
Just behind the Village Stores is an odd looking wooden box on the side of the street. This used to contain a stretcher for assisting anyone who had come to harm whilst walking on the surrounding fells – a testament to the long association of Slaidburn with exploration and work in its natural surroundings.
Just along from here is the Hark to the Bounty Inn, thought to date back as far as the 16th century and even possibly to the 13th century. Upstairs is the old village courtroom – the original Moot Court that was used to deal with local issues and disputes.
The walk continues up Church Street, passing the YHA on your left and the Village Stores on your right.
Continue walking out from the centre of the village. The views of the surrounding countryside begin to appear now.
A little way out of the village you will pass the Brennand Endowed School. Originally an 18th Century grammar school, it still operates as the village primary school today.
Immediately adjacent to the school is 15th Century St. Andrews Church. Inside you can still find box pews – a privilege introduced originally in churches for local nobility and important personages to give their families privacy during worship.
Head through the Churchyard and skirt in front of the church itself, heading for the far left hand corner. Here you will find a kissing gate. Walk through this and into the field beyond.
Follow the fence-line of the garden on your right hand side across the field. When the garden ends, continue walking straight across the field at the same diagonal angle. Upon reaching the opposite hedgeline you will find another wooden kissing gate leading onto the footpath beyond.
Go through the kissing gate and turn left. The footpath now leads you alongside the edge of the River Hodder as it turns back towards Slaidburn village. A short distance on from here you will find a gentle bank down to the river which makes a great spot for paddling with children.
Continue on the path and it will lead you back to Slaidurn village hall where the kids will enjoy exploring the play equipment adjacent to the car park.
Cross the road, taking in the picturesque packhorse bridge down to your right. Slaidburn long stay car park, the end point of this walk, is immediately opposite Chuch Street from Slaidburn village hall. There are public toilets in the car park here and tearooms next-door.
Map of Route:
The Slaidburn Easy Village Walk starts from the Slaidburn long stay car park on Church Street, opposite Slaidburn village hall. At time of writing the maximum fee was £2.10 for up to 8 hours of parking, with the possibility to pay via telephone if you have no change. Street parking in the village is mainly for locals and very limited so it is advised to use the car park when visiting Slaidburn and its surrounding footpaths.
Slaidburn can also be reached by bus from Lancaster and Clitheroe. Please check Traveline or an online journey planner for up-to-date services. Please note, there are more weekend and bank holiday services during the summer holiday months.
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