HIS walk climbs the low round hill on top of which the hamlet of Affetside straggles the straight line of Watling Street, the Roman Road between Manchester and Ribchester.

Affetside has many interesting features — the pretty Millennium Green created by the village primary school (now closed), the wayside market cross, thought to mark the halfway point between London and Edinburgh, and the Pack Horse Inn.

The 15th-century inn takes its name from the ponies who used to transport goods along the road here and behind the bar is the skull of George Whewell, who executed the Earl of Derby after the English Civil War.

Walk to the rear of the car park and go down the steep winding path to the point above Bradshaw Brook, where two paths lead off to the left.

Join the first path on the left, the higher one, which keeps high above the valley and brings you out on an asphalt drive leading down to the fishery.

Turn left along the drive and follow it to the A676 main road. Cross this with care and continue directly opposite up the access track.

You now climb gradually more or less straight ahead for the next 1¼ miles.

The track skirts around the right-hand side of an underground reservoir and continues to climb uphill as a waymarked path passing Cromptons farm on the right.

Cross the stile/gate directly ahead here and continue through fields along a clearly visible path following the line of telegraph poles.

Cross another stile and continue straight ahead to reach the Roman Road at Affetside adjacent to the village green. The medieval cross is over to the left.

Turn right along Watling Street passing the Pack Horse inn on the left. Turn right down the next signed footpath on the right, almost opposite the old school. This starts as a farm track and leads straight ahead. When it bends to the right leave it by crossing the stile straight ahead in a field corner.

A distinct path through fields now winds downhill, keeping to the left of a woodland, and leads to new houses below — this cluster of buildings is marked on the OS map as Top o’th Knotts.

Turn right on the estate road between the houses only for a short distance and leave it on the left along a waymarked path, which leads downhill along a field edge to go through a gate and skirt around the garden of a house on the left marked on the OS map as Lower Knotts.

Go through the gate in front of the house to reach a path junction.

Turn sharp right here, continuing downhill to another house. The path turns left along a narrow walled path leading to another residential lane.

Turn right here and follow the lane (Riding Gate) between the houses only as far as the next footpath sign on the right that points down Riding Gate Mews. The path actually joins the tarmac access track, forking right off the main drive.

Turn right and join this.

The track leads past more houses on the left, crosses a brook and runs more or less straight ahead between houses on the left and fields on the right.

Do not turn off on any of the other paths to the left or right, but simply go straight ahead and the path eventually leads down a driveway back to the A676 opposite Bradshaw Cottage.

Cross the road with care and turn right along the pavement to the fisheries entrance.

Turn left here along the drive then right along the waymarked path that will let you retrace your steps.

The sting in the tail is the steep climb back up to the car park at the end!