START: Copster Green village, just off the A59 between Osbaldeston and Langho. Some roadside parking near the bottom of Lovely Hall Lane.

DISTANCE: 5 miles (allow 3 hours)

MAP: OS Explorer 287 West Pennine Moors

This walk explores the field paths leading from the wayside village of Copster Green down to the River Ribble near Salesbury Hall. It passes the now converted historic De Tabley Inn and twice crosses the line of the Roman Road from Ribchester to York where it skirts the banks of the river. The meadows leading down and up from the river offer panoramic views of this rural stretch of the Ribble with Longridge Fell and Pendle Hill in view for much of the way.

1. Start at the corner of the village green by the Copster Green sign on the right hand side of Lovely Hall Lane. Walk straight ahead along the bridleway to the left hand side of the green past houses on the left. The track runs downhill passing another green on the right to reach the A59. Use the traffic island to cross the busy A59 road with care. Join the access lane, Park Gate Road that begins to the right of the Chinese restaurant car park.

2. Walk straight ahead down the lane. When it forks keep to the right, passing a row of pretty cottages on the left. The lane becomes a farm track which swings left, crossing a stream and running gradually uphill to the gated farmyard of Park Gate Farm. Go straight ahead through sets of gates keeping the main farm buildings on the right. The track on the far side of the farm leads out to a large open field at a signed path junction.

3. Go straight ahead from here across the large field to a high stile/gate in the fence of a new woodland. Go straight ahead through the woodland to pass through a similar gate/stile in the fence on the opposite side of the plantation. From here it is straight ahead through a large pasture which runs gradually downhill towards a tree hedge at the bottom. There is a footbridge over a stream at the bottom of the hill, not easy to find at first.

4. Cross the footbridge and go straight ahead across the next field to a stile on the opposite side. Simply follow the waymarks/stiles over the next few fields to emerge on the roadside between the road bridge over the Ribble and the old De Tabley Hotel now converted into houses. Do not cross the bridge but turn right along the lane, Ribchester Road, on the near side of it. This is now followed for the next mile past Salesbury Hall and the old Lancashire Show ground. The lane is narrow in places and there is no pavement. After passing the hall on the left the lane starts to climb steeply uphill. About halfway up the hill look out for a stile in the woodland fence on the left hand side of the lane. This is near to where a cottage is reached on the right.

5. Turn left and follow this path through the woods. It crosses a footbridge. Turn left and the River RIbble at Sale Wheel is soon reached. From here retrace your steps but do not go back over the footbridge. Instead follow the main path through the woods which leads up steps to the Marles Wood car park. Go to the entrance to the car park where you can see a signpost and cobbles marking the line of the Roman road.

6. Turn right out of the car park and follow the lane downhill. Just before the cottage on the left join the signed footpath on the left beginning at a stile/gate. This follows the left woodland edge and leads uphill to another stile. It crosses the next field diagonally right to a stile in the top field corner. It continues in the same direction over the next field to reach another stile in the fence on the right. It skirts a pond and follows the left field edge back to the path junction at a field access gate. Turn left here and retrace your steps through Park Gate Farm back to the A59 and Copster Green.