Fine route no longer barred for Clitheroe Ramblers

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CLITHEROE Ramblers’ ascent of Rye Loaf Hill proved to be a splendid walk, full of interest, in contrasting scenery.

Rye Loaf Hill is the most prominent of the many summits on the high plateau rising between Settle and Malham and is an excellent viewpoint. It is, however, rarely visited as there are no public rights of way on it and prior to the access legislation, which came into effect in 2004, the summit could only be reached by means of trespass.

Setting off from Long Preston railway station, Scalehaw Lane (track) and field paths were used to reach Bookilber Barn. Langber Lane was crossed and the route continued its uphill trajectory turning north just before Crake Moor Farm and proceeding to cross the road at Ebor Gate.

A track led up to some unusual derelict iron constructions and pylon on High Greet and a faint path then was followed across marshy ground along the shoulder of Rye Loaf Hill with a sharp climb at the end to reach the large cairn and O/S trig point on the 1,794 ft summit.

Lunch was taken in a sheltered spot and then the long descent began. The wall between Rye Loaf Hill and Kikby Fell was followed to its conjunction with the bridleway from Malham, which was then followed westwards past Stockdale Farm onto Stockdale Lane. Stockdale lies on the Craven Fault and the contrast in terrain is very marked with the limestone scars and caves on the north side and the peat covered gritstone on the south side.

The long descent down Stockdale Lane to Lambert Lane was made and then there was another undulating track south, from which a short detour was made to the summit of Hunter Bark at 1,033ft, for the second O/S trig point of the day and a fine local viewpoint overlooking the Ribble Valley between Settle and Long Preston.

From there it was just a hop, a skip and a jump down Edge Lane to the village of Long Preston. The 12 mile walk was led by Ben Brown.

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