THE rolling parkland around Read Hall has a good network of paths leading down to the confluence of Sabden Brook and the River Calder. This is delightful walking country and, although the bluebells in the woods are now fading, the hawthorn hedges are in bright white blossom and the heron may be glimpsed in the shallow waters of Sabden Brook.

This walk offer glimpses to the moors and passes by Read Hall, the ancestral seat of the Nowell family. Roger Nowell was the magistrate who infamously sent the Pendle Witches to trial at Lancaster. This walk also passes the site of a hidden Iron Age hill fort at Portfield and crosses Read Old Bridge which was the site of a Civil War skirmish on 1643.

1. Walk up George Lane which climbs past houses for about half a mile passing the spire of the parish church on the right. Turn right at the lane junction following the road to Barrowford. Pass a bench and an old milestone where there is a good view south across the Calder Valley. After passing the milestone you reach a farm with an illustrated sign on the gate on the left.

2. Cross the wall stile at this gate and join the signed footpath which bears left uphill to cross the next field boundary at the top left corner of the field. In the next field walk along the left field boundary dropping down to a wall stile in a boggy field corner.

Continue in the same direction in the next field straight ahead to reach a stile and meet a lane by the corner of woodland.

3. Cross the lane and continue directly opposite down the access lane to Readwood Farm. The lane leads to stables.

Keep right of the buildings continuing along the access track to reach a junction of paths. Ignore the waymarkers pointing left and right but follow the enclosed path straight ahead running between a line of conifers on the left and a fence on the right.

This leads downhill to a woodland. Keep going straight ahead as the path runs down a slope in the woods and enters a plantation of new trees to reach a big footbridge over Sabden Brook.

4. Cross the bridge and turn left following the waymarked path along the right bank of the stream, crossing two stiles.

After crossing the awkward ladder stile in a wall head uphill to the top right corner of a field aiming for farm buildings. Do not enter the farm but turn right across a stile to reach a lane at the next field boundary. Cross the lane and continue directly opposite along a waymarked path.

This climbs uphill towards the houses at Hollins Farm. Keep to the right of the buildings following a waymarked diverted path uphill. The path enters a large pasture. Just go straight ahead aiming for a wall in the distance between fenced young tree plantations. Join another lane.

5. Turn left along this and follow it for about half a mile past the entrance to Whalley Golf Club. At the road junction go straight ahead towards the white houses at Portfield, behind which is the Iron Age hill fort. Join the signed path on the left of the junction opposite the houses which begins at a stile.

A waymarked path now leads straight ahead over a hill with a good view, crossing several fields/stiles to reach a farm access track. Turn left here then right on the adjoining lane to cross Read Old Bridge.

6. Immediately after crossing the bridge go through the metal kissing gate on the right to follow a track. The avenue leads past woodland on the left and eventually meets another avenue running left to right. Turn left uphill along the adjoining track which leads gradually uphill to Read Hall.

Keep to the track that leads to the left of the houses, going through a gap in the garden wall and keeping the houses on the right. The avenue leads straight ahead for about half a mile eventually meeting a lane. Go straight ahead along this then turn right down George Lane to return to Read.

Nick Burton will be leading an eight-mile walk in the Calder Valley on Saturday. Meet 10.15 am Whalley railway station. £5 per adult. More information can be found at