It is hard to imagine that this lovely corner of the county was once the location of the North Lancashire Reformatory School. This type of institution came into being as a result of the publication of “Oliver Twist” by Charles Dickens in 1837.
From the car park turn left onto Delph Lane and walk 600yds; fields to the left – a fringe of woodland to the right.
Just before a slight left-hand bend take a footpath on the right that cuts through the trees to place you on a tarmac road. Turn right.
Continue for 1 mile passing Fell End Farm and Bleasdale Tower to reach a junction by Brooks Barn.
Here turn left and continue to Hazelhurst Farm.
After passing the large complex of Hazelhurst the track swings right and then left to pass through the farm of Holme Head. On the far side of the farm keep on the track now becoming grassier as it turns southwards to cross the open marshy ground.
Ignore a footpath leading off to Higher Fairsnape on the left and keep ahead.
After a wooden gate the track joins a farm lane close to Admarsh Barn Farm on the right. Close by Vicarage farm there is an interesting diversion to be made to Bleasdale Circle. After viewing it return to the farm road turn left and keep ahead to St Eadmer’s Church on the left and Bleasdale Primary school on the right. In St Eadmer’s Church yard look for the headstone of Grant King who was Governor of the North Lancashire Reformatory School for 23 years until his death in 1880.
At the junction turn right. The estate road leads back to Brooks Barn which is reached in just less than a mile.
Look out for the ancient packhorse bridge to the right of the road in half a mile.
At Brooks Barn junction turn left onto a grassy track which after a metal gate crosses a large field with a good view of Bleasdale Tower on your right. On reaching the next field cross it diagonally left to a gate on its far side. Pass through a neck of woodland on a (muddy) track that leads to Broadgate Farm.
Follow the signs to the left through its yard and then turn right.
The footpath crosses to a stile and then continues up a slight rise edging past a farm on the left. Following the hedge on the left will bring you to the farm’s drive.
This leads down to Delph Lane.
Turn right for the car park.