WITH all the heavy rain of late and not wishing to put the dogs in the car, I started this walk from West Marton.

It could, however, just as easily be started from The Cross Keys at East Marton, where there is parking. It follows a permitted path, bridlepaths, quiet roads and tracks. Some of the fields were very muddy, but it was good to walk on surfaced lanes.

It is a good walk for wildlife, buzzards are a common site, and so are hare, if you go out at the right time of the year. If you have dogs, be wary of livestock in fields, both cattle and sheep, and some of the walk passes the Craven Country Ride at Coniston Cold, so watch out for horses, especially during the drier months.

There are also a couple of shoots who use the track between Bank Newton and East Marton, and along Ingthorpe Lane, between East Marton and Ingthorpe Grange, so be wary of guns going off.

In the spring and early summer, Ingthorpe Lane can also be literally alive with pheasants, so dogs must be strictly under control.

Refreshments are available at the Pantry Cafe in West Marton, and at the Cross Keys and Abbots Harbour cafe, both in East Marton.

Step by step

1. With your back towards the village shop in West Marton, go right along Gledstone Road, passing Dairy Meadows on your left. A short way after you leave the village, take the footpath off to the right signed Ingthorpe Grange, three quarters of a mile. Follow lane as it passes houses and stables and into fields towards the imposing listed grange. Look out for buzzards here.

2. Pass behind grange to surfaced lane and go left. (You will return here later). Follow road for about a mile, passing Pearson's Farm Supplies on left and up to join road from Gledstone to Bank Newton. Right here, passing Stainton Hall on right and dairy on left. Just past dairy, take left fork in road and after a short way take bridlepath signed to Coniston Cold. Follow path as it climbs uphill and into fields, but always along well defined tracks. There can be lots of livestock here, so be wary, and there are several gates to negotiate, but as it is a bridlepath, they are all easy. You will come into Craven Country Ride here, so look out for horses.

3. After about two miles you will pass Stainton Cotes, a grand country house on the left. Continue as road goes up and down, crossing cattle grids and eventually coming to Pot Haw Farm on left, start of Craven Country Ride.

4. Just past farm, take signed bridlepath to right, follow the track as it climbs uphill and then downhill, with lovely, far-reaching views into a small woodland copse. Cross over a field, then another to five bar wooden gate. Join tarmac road and follow to Newton Hall, a splendid yellow painted house on right. Cross over road and over bridge directly opposite and follow road as it passes Dodgson's Farm on right. The Leeds and Liverpool Canal is on the left. Continue uphill, cross over the canal bridge, and continue along road, ignoring canalside path off to right.

5. Pass Newton Grange, holiday cottages and wedding venue, and continue along pleasant lane as it winds up and down hill. After about two miles, you will reach Wilkinson's Farm Livery on left, and Abbots Harbour Cafe on right. Keep to track as it becomes a road and goes up hill to Cross Keys Pub East Marton, on left.

6. Just before you reach Cross Keys, take the road to the right in front of terrace of houses and just before it meets the main A59, take the footpath signed off to the right. Footpath passes between fields on right and road on left and will after a short while, drop down to meet Ingthorpe Lane. Stay on Ingthorpe Lane for about two miles, until you reach Ingthorpe Grange and retrace steps back to West Marton.

Fact file:

Area: Craven

Distance: About eight miles (12km)

Time taken: Three to four hours

Level of difficulty: Easy

Terrain: Quiet roads, lanes and fields.

Parking: Free parking in West Marton, opposite Village Institute.

Refreshments: The Pantry Cafe, West Marton; Cross Keys Pub, East Marton; Abbots Harbour Cafe, East Marton.

OS Map: Landranger, Blackburn and Burnley 103.