This is one for lovers of Pennine hill country, but in a terrain that’s not nearly as busy with walkers as more familiar routes around Haworth, Hebden Bridge and Holmfirth.
It requires a short journey along the A6068 Keighley-Colne road to just over the Lancashire border, but the fine views are dominated by Yorkshire - the Dales to the north, including Ingleborough and Malham Cove, and the long sweep of the Haworth Moors to the south. Although there is zero footpath maintenance in some places, and the stretches along Kelbrook Moor require detours to avoid boggy areas, it is a satisfying walk, especially the track running through a peaceful valley between Thick Bank and Harden New Hall and the lovely uncultivated hillside below Scald Bank. Look out for common buzzards, common snipe and kestrels.
1. From the Emmott Arms walk in the Keighley direction. Look for a Pendle Way sign on the left leading to a path along the side of High Laith Beck. At Shaw Gate farm walk between buildings, go up some steps to a gate and walk up a long field. Go through a handgate at the top and continue beside a wall to a wall gap leading out onto a road.
2. Turn right and walk with care a short distance, then cross to go up the access road to Jerusalem Farm Riding School. Past the farmhouse go through a gate on the left and follow the track up to Copy House. Turn left to walk past outbuildings to a gate. On the other side go right through a gate and follow a rough (and sometimes boggy) path along the edge of Kelbrook Moor, keeping above small plantations. The path eventually swings down to a pond.
3. Go through a wall gap on the right and follow a path beside a wall to a ladder stile on the left. Cross into the field and find a path to a white gate. On the other side walk ahead over the field to swing left with wheeltreads to a gate in the left-hand corner of the field. Turn right on Cobb Lane and walk to a roadside bench at a junction with a track.
4. Turn right to follow the track to Harden New Hall. Continue past the farmhouse and keep a straight course over fields to join another stretch of the Pendle Way. Follow it round Harden Clough Farm, cross a cobbled drive and go over a footbridge to take the rising path to Scald Bank. Follow the signposts across a boggy field to swing right on a path which emerges at Black Lane Ends pub.
5. Cross the road with care, turn left for a short distance then right into Warley Wise Lane. Further on turn right to follow the Pennine Bridleway. Follow the track right and at a left-hand bend continue ahead on the fenced bridleway. To the right of Knarrs farm pass into a field and turn left to walk down to a gate.
6. Pennine Bridleway continues ahead but we turn right with the Pendle Way along a field edge to cross a farm access road and bear left to a waymark post at a wall corner. Head for two gates in the field corner and cross a gated stile on the left. Follow the path to a stile and continue down the next field to a gate. Cross the main road with care and turn right to return to Laneshaw Bridge.
Difficulty Rating: 3 stars
Time: 3 1/2 hours
Distance: 7 1/2 miles
Maps: OS Explorer Sheet OL21 South Pennines
Parking: Responsible/informal, Laneshaw Bridge.
Public Transport: Laneshaw Bridge is served by the frequent M4 bus service between Keighley and Burnley. Keighley is on bus routes from Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate and Skipton, and served by Airedale line trains. For all times check www.wymetro.com or call 0113 245 7676.
Refreshments: Laneshaw Bridge and Black Lane Ends
Toilets: Laneshaw Bridge