THIS is a real gem of a walk and perfect for anyone fascinated about the geology of the area, writes Lesley Tate. It takes you through some really interesting valleys and close to all sorts of rock formations and drumlin hills. Indeed, on further investigation, I found the area included on the website GeoLancashire - the home of the Lancashire Group of the Geologists Association.

The walk is also very straightforward, almost all of it is along wall lined tracks, with very little crossing fields where you might encounter some curious cattle. There is also the lovely Scaleber foss, which is definitely worth a small detour. What I found fascinating, close to the end, was to be high above the River Ribble and to see it laid out down below making curious shapes - including an oxbow lake, which took me straight back to geography lessons.

Step by step:

1 With the Maypole Inn on your left, head up the road, bearing right at the fork and passing Long Preston Primary School on your right. Ignore the first track on the left and take the second one, marked to New House Lane. Continue along wall lined track until you reach metalled road, and turn left. Continue along narrow road, passing Fern Hill Farm and continue until you come up to three gates, take the one on the left, and continue along path. The lane ends at Little Newton Farm, just past the farm, go though a gate - not the first small gate that goes into the field, but the next one, with footpath sign on it. Ahead you will see a small concrete bridge across a beck, cross it and join well trodden footpath to left, which follows to the right of the beck. Stick the right of the beck all the way until the path climbs steeply uphill to a gate in the wall. Over stile and continue along the path as it sticks to the right of the beck. You can turn right after the stile and follow another path which winds its way through the newly planted saplings. Staying close to the beck, the path will after a while end at a footbridge. Over the bridge, stick close to the wall and over stile. Bear right to stile over fence and over field to ladder stile. Left onto Langber Lane.

2 Continue along wall lined track, passing Bookilber Farm on left, carry on along track, with its wonderful far-reaching views. You will stay on track for about two miles and will eventually meet a road.

3 Turn left, and cross over Scaleber Bridge. Just over bridge to left, and over a stile, is Scaleber Foss - well worth a very brief diversion. Rejoin the road and then turn left, continue for a while until the Pennine Bridleway crosses over road - go left here along Pennine Bridleway marked Lambert Lane. Continue along Lambert Lane until you come out onto a metalled road (Mitchell Lane).

4 Go sharp left here, and join track. At point where it splits, stay on the left track. Stay on the main track, which after some way turns into a metalled road and will take you all the way back to Long Preston.


Location: Long Preston

Distance: About nine miles, 23, 000 steps, allow four hours.

Difficulty leve: Easy

Livestock: Cattle and sheep, keep dogs under close control, and do clean up after them.

Parking: On road at Long Preston, A65.

Refreshments: Maypole Inn, Long Preston

OS Map: OL2 Yorkshire Dales, Southern and Western.