Walk: Dunsop Bridge

Dunsop Bridge.
Dunsop Bridge.
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In recent years Lancashire County Council, working in partnership with the Countryside services of its boroughs, the Forest of Bowland, United Utilities, the Forestry Commission and others, has opened up a number of ‘Tramper’ trails over the county.

A tramper is a robust motorised buggy especially designed to travel on off road tracks.

Across the county, but particularly in the Forest of Bowland, there are a number of sites where trampers can be hired (often at a nominal fee) allowing those who use them access to the area’s wonderful (and under-rated) countryside. This week we feature a tramper trail in Dunsop Bridge.

Summary: Tramper Category Easy walking. There is one gate to open so tramper users may find it best to be accompanied.

Directions:

A BT telephone box is opposite the car park. Readers may wish to have their photograph by this special landmark. From there continue on the street towards the eponymous bridge but before you reach it turn right onto a farm road just after Puddleducks Tearoom and Post Office. (You might consider sending a post card from the Centre of Great Britain but alas there are no commemorative stamps!)

The road crosses a large pasture and then after a children’s playground on the right crosses a cattle grid into the next large field. There is a handsome field barn to the left. Keep ahead towards a terrace of cottages. Past these cross a yard to enter woodland at a gate. Now close to the River Dunsop which flows into the Hodder keep ahead to a wooden bridge.

Now comes the moment of decision. After crossing the bridge turn left and a utility road will take you back to Dunsop Bridge. After a slight uphill climb after a farm on the right the road descends to reach the main road opposite the war memorial.

However if time allows turn right at the bridge and venture up the valley to reach in a mile and a half an impressive array of utility buildings there to harness the water. This is a wonderful place to experience taking you close to the heart of Bowland.

The exact centre of Great Britain follows the left valley and given the terrain that expedition should not be undertaken at this time. Retrace the outward route back to the bridge and keep ahead from there.