LANGHO station is not only a gateway to the Ribble Valley, it is the gateway to a fabulous broad wooded ridge that runs from the edge of Blackburn to the steep-sided Whalley Nab.

This ridge is actually the south-west continuation of the Pendle Hill massif, cut by the gorge of the River Calder.

The old footpath climbing up the hill through Mytton Fold golf course is still intriguingly marked on the O.S. map as Doctor’s Rake.

This is thought to take its name from Dr Chew, the proprietor of the 18th Century Lunatic Asylum that existed on the site of the present hotel and golf club. Doctor’s Rake was then a thoroughfare leading to the institution.

The walk follows the rake and skirts the upper valley of Dean Clough, transformed by a 19th reservoir, and there are great views of the contrasting Calder and Ribble valleys. A perfect walk for a frosty winter’s day.

1. From the station walk back to the main A666 Whalley Road through the village.

Walk over the zebra crossing close to the Indian restaurant car park and turn left following the pavement of the main road under the railway bridge.

After the bridge keep going straight ahead along the residential street as the main road veers left.

Continue straight ahead along the pavement beyond the houses until you reach a gate and footpath signpost on the right almost opposite the Petre Arms on the left hand side of the road.

2. Turn right through the gate and follow the waymarked footpath past Mytton Fold Hotel on the right.

After passing the hotel the path turns left then right to cross a bridge over the railway. Then turn right following the waymarked path which soon turns sharp left up a hedged track between the golf course fairways.

The path now climbs fairly steeply uphill and is known as Doctor’s Rake.

Beyond the hedges continue straight ahead uphill across the golf course and a waymarker post indicates the path turning right uphill to eventually reach a kissing gate.

There are fine views from here back down the hill looking north across the Ribble Valley.

3. Pass through the gate and join Whalley Old Road. Take care as there can be fast traffic on this road.

Turn right and then after less than 50 metres cross the road and turn left off the lane following a signed footpath up a steep set of wooden steps through woodland.

At the top of the steps cross a stile and bear right along the field edge to a gate and reach another road, the much quieter Moor Lane. Turn right along this for a short distance, only as far as the signed bridleway leading up a farm access drive.

Turn left up the drive then right following the waymarked bridleway through a farm gate. Turn left following the waymarkers around the back of Whittle Hall and keep a fence line on the left.

This leads to a gate on a track leading down to the dam of Dean Clough Reservoir.

4. Go through the gate and follow the track down towards the dam. Do not walk down as far as the reservoir dam but instead join the first waymarked path on the right which begins at a gate.

This follows a stony and often muddy track running parallel to Dean Clough Reservoir down to the left.

The track heads towards a walled woodland which is passed on the right.

The track climbs gradually beyond the top end of the reservoir and meets a wall on the right at a stile.

Ignore the first stile but continue straight ahead and cross the second stile in the wall on the right to walk directly ahead across a small paddock to reach a stile on the far side.

Be careful as this leads out onto the fast Whalley Old Road at a lane junction.

5. On the far side of the junction join a signed path directly opposite at a stile.

This path leads down a left field edge to meet the access drive to Little Snodworth stables. Turn right along the access drive to meet a lane.

Turn left along the lane and follow it downhill to a crossroads.

Go straight across here and the residential lane leads back to the A666 Whalley Road opposite the access road to the train station by the Indian restaurant car park.

START: Langho railway station, alongside the A666 Whalley Road.

DISTANCE: 4 miles (allow 2 hours)

MAP: OS Explorer 287 West Pennine Moors