MAKE a 30-mile drive down the M6, visit the pretty Lancashire village of Scorton near Garstang and go for a short walk up to Nicky Nook and along the pretty Grize Dale, writes JOHN EDMONDSON. Scorton, which means 'farmstead near a ditch or ravine,' is a popular destination for walkers, cyclists and those who just come to visit The Barn for its café, gift shop and garden centre.

Start from the centre of Scorton village, grid reference SD 502 487, nearest postcode PR3 1AU.


Distance: five miles with 750 feet of ascent

Time: two hours

Terrain: good footpaths and quiet roads

Map: OS Explorer OL41


1 The village of Scorton developed around the cotton mill and railway in the 19th Century. In those days, the station, which used to be on the north west side of the village, enjoyed an uninterrupted view of the picturesque landscape.

Walk up Snowhill Lane, crossing the M6 bridge, passing houses and entering woodland. Continue along the road as it turns right and crosses a narrow bridge. At the junction cross over to join the well surfaced footpath to Nicky Nook Fell. Keep on the footpath up to the 705-feet summit, marked by a trig point bearing the red rose of Lancashire. Looking back, it should be easy to identify Blackpool Tower and Morecambe Bay.

2 Continue walking in the same direction, descending towards a wall. Bear right before the wall and descend a steep stepped path to meet a track at the edge of Grizedale Reservoir. The reservoir was constructed in 1866 to supply water for Blackpool and the Fylde. Turn right (signed Bridlepath Grize Dale valley for Higher Lane) and follow the track past the dam and alongside the attractive Grizedale Brook. An aqueduct carrying water all the way from Thirlmere Reservoir to Manchester passes below the track: its location can be identified by one of its distinctive black metal gates. Continue along the track to cross a stile beside a gate and keep straight on the path signed Bridlepath Higher Lane, still alongside the brook.

3 Turn left onto Higher Lane, past Throstle Ness Farm, cross two road fords with footbridges then turn right onto a track signed Grizedale Nicky Nook (the fingerpost is currently broken). Walk along the grassy track beside Long Crossey Wood towards the M6. Immediately before the motorway bridge turn sharp right to descend towards the brook then sharp left to cross a footbridge close to the motorway. Walk across the field then along the path (the Wyre Way) in Woodacre Great Wood. The path enters a new plantation and continues along the left side of a fence. Cross a stile and continue ahead along the path on the left of the hedge. Turn left on Tithe Barn Lane and follow the road under the M6 flyover. Turn right at the junction by the bowling green and walk along the pavement into Scorton, passing St Peters Church on the right. The church was built in 1879 in memory of Lancashire cotton mill owner, Peter Ormond.

Next week: Oxen Park and Bethacar Moor

NB: restrictions on space mean that this article provides a general summary of the route. It is advisable for anyone who plans to follow the walk to take a copy of the relevant Ordnance Survey map.