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Ribble Rides - Longridge Fell Loop

October 30, 2020

Ribble Rides-Longridge Fell Loop is the first in our new series of recommended rides. Essentially a loop of Longridge Fell, it's an intermediate route of just over 22 miles with an elevation change of 1180ft. Read on for more details of this ride.

The starting point for the ride is Longridge town centre. From here, head out of town along the B5269 until you arrive at the Corporation Arms. Turn left onto the B6243 and follow the road as it rollercoasters it's way towards Hurst Green.

Image 1. With its classic looks, the Ribble CGR 725 steel gravel bike is not even remotely out of place at the historic Stoneyhurst College.

A bit of literary history

Upon reaching the picturesque hamlet of Hurst Green you will encounter The Shireburn Arms. This is the starting point for the 5.5mile long Tolkien Trail. Why is there a Tolkien Trail in rural Lancashire you I hear you ask? Well, we're glad you asked. The trail takes in the historic grounds of Stonyhurst College and it was here that Tolkien's son taught Classics. It is thought that when the famous author stayed over he gained inspiration for 'middle earth' from the literary classic Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The college was founded by the Shireburn family and a local road in the village is Shire Lane.

Back to the ride and upon exiting Hurst Green, you are greeted by the sight of Pendle Hill rearing up in the distance. Shortly thereafter, you descend to cross the River Hodder. Take some time to appreciate a marvel of engineering to your right as you cross over. The majestic span of Cromwell’s Bridge rears out of the river. The bridge is of course named for Oliver Cromwell. In 1648 he marched his roundheads across this bridge on his way to defeat the Scottish Engager army at the Battle of Preston.

Image 2. A lesser-spotted CGR 725 outside the Shireburn Arms in Hurst Green.

Hurst Green to Cow Ark

Once across the river, the road rises towards Withgill. When you reach the crossroads just after Withgill head straight across until the T-Junction at the end. Turn left (signposted Trough of Bowland) and follow the road as it ascends through Bashall Eaves and Cow Ark. When you reach the signpost for Whitewell, (alongside a bus stop) you will not only have reached the highest point of the ride, but it is also the turn for home.

Cow Ark to Chipping

The rides largely all downhill from this point. Continue on the road you have been riding along as it descends gradually towards Chipping. When you reach the T-Junction turn left which is signposted for chipping. If you're lucky you may see some of the local wildlife for this is Deer country. This road will lead you all the way to Chipping.

Upon entering Chipping Village centre you will pass the Sun Inn to your left and St Bartholomew's Church to your right. Just past the church on your right is the Cobbled Corner Café, a favoured haunt of tired cyclists and walkers alike. Treat yourself to some well-deserved refreshment you deserve it!

The end is nigh!

The last leg of the journey awaits, head back to the Sun Inn and turn right onto Windy Street. Windy St somehow morphs into Longridge Road which is sure sign that you are almost finished.

Image 3. Cromwell's Bridge sits astride the River Hodder between Hurst Green and Withgill.

Follow Longridge Road to its conclusion at a T-Junction where you turn left which is signposted for Longridge. This is Elm Brow which becomes Longridge Road and leads you all the way back to Longridge.

We hope you enjoy Ribble Rides - Longridge Fell Loop.

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