I set off early on a cold crisp morning and headed to Longridge Fell. The most southerly ‘named’ fell in Britain. The dogs needed a good run and I needed a day of fresh air with some variety and scenery.
We got it all in spades for sure. Actually, even though it is not a huge fell in the grand scheme of things, you could easily span walks into a whole day around and up it, such is the variety and landscape here.
It was to be a perfect day to head high too. The climb up was clear and blue skied and from the top to bottom a cloud inversion came in as can be seen in my drone pic up top of here.
Firstly I should answer why it is the southern most fell. It is all in etymology and when mountains and hills in the North West were named locally using Old Nordic Language. It doesn’t make it any different in size or scale to the next hill or mountain south. Just local influence way over a thousand years ago. I talk about this in more detail in my post of the difference between hills, mountains and fells etc.
You can also see why the fell is called Longridge. It literally is a summit with a long wide ridge at the top. Walking up from the southern side like I did yo get the forest and more gentle slopes. To the north it is more a sharp and steep downwards. It is a standalone fell much in the same way Pendle Hill is, except covered in green forest.
The Ribble Valley looked amazing from above as we set off. Cool and crisp early sunshine.
Looking the other way, Pendle Hill was towering above the morning mist.
If you want free parking to walk up, I parked on Old Clitheroe Road, there are a few spaces just before the turning right to Hurst Green (if coming from the West). From here, walk back a couple hundred metres and you can’t miss the old forest road, now open footpath on the right.
The track is clear, no mud and the dogs loved it. This is a great fell to get them on as their legs and joints are still growing. The big stuff will come soon enough 🙂
Winding in and out through thick forest added to give such variety you don’t often get on a British Fell. The evergreen colours were magical with the sun trickling through giving wonderful specks of light on the mossy ground.
The beauty of a small, stand alone fell is it is virtually impossible to lose bearing and get lost. Plus the wide track guides you up well. Me though? I wanted to explore. The hill is very widely used for mountain biking so little offshoots and muddy, (can be very muddy) footpaths shot off for getting deeper in the forest before the summit.
Then suddenly, before you know it. The trees suddenly stop and a whole wide view appears in front of you. You are on the summit ridge!
Malc was happy it seems too 🙂
The view from the top is massive and expansive. The hills before you are the fells of the Forest of Bowland. Fair Snape Fell is prominent. look left you easily see Beacon Fell, look right you can see Pen-Y-Ghent and Inglebourough. On a clear day you can see all the way to the Fylde Coast to the east and on really true clear days you may be lucky to see the Lake District tops, the Isle of Man, and even Snowdonia.
I walked along the ridge at the top taking it all in and again decided to follow one of the tracks into the forest to head down with. Back into the trees and moss.
There are many ways to go and other forest tracks to wander along. Make sure you keep a tab on which direction you parked though to avoid a long walk along Old Clitheroe Road at the bottom.
Malc was absolutely loving his first little proper climb. He was checking everything out in sight. And being a border collie he never stops, only to pose of course.
A fun day, fresh air, and legs stretched. Not the biggest climb but it is never about physical height of a summit when it comes to memories, views and great time spent. You can do this in a couple hours or spend time enjoying the whole of it. Enjoy.