Where is this walk?

Long Preston Deeps

July 29, 2022

Long Preston Deeps is a wetlands project on the River Ribble near Long Preston. The flood plain on the valley floor makes it perfect and the bird life is excellent. The walk continues alongside the River Ribble to Settle. A return via train or over the tops makes for a grand circular.

The Walk

I have created a circular walk to gain the best of Long Preston Deeps. Head off from Long Preston train station (where there is parking) and join the Ribble Way as it makes its way through the Deeps, Rathmell and along the River Ribble to Settle. The return from Settle to Long Preston is over the delightful Old Road with beautiful views over Ribblesdale and beyond to Pendle Hill.

It is a great walk to use the train service between Long Preston and Settle. The train offers the option of a two separate 1 way walks or better still, the full circular.

The Project

The deep Ribble valley that lies between Long Preston and Wigglesworth/Rathmell has long been the subject of some controversy. The floodplain has always been an excellent area for farming and bird life for centuries. However it was in 2004 with the formation of the Long Preston Wet Grassland Project that it became protected and became one of the best wildlife preserves in the Dales. Working with the local farmers and part subsidised through the Rural Development Programme and the EEC various local agencies manage the project, striking a balance between the farmers, conservation and as important, controlled access to those who wish the enjoy this Area of Special Scientific Interest.

It is the birdlife which has been the biggest beneficiary with mating pairs of Lapwing, Curlew, Redshank and Snipe increasing along with the numbers of wintering birds. I am no expert on birds but it is a great area to walk through and look for yourself, apparently roe deer also roam the area but I have not seen them. The Long Preston Deeps walk cuts through the wetlands on the Ribble Way, passing through the grounds of Wigglesworth Hall before returning through the fields at the back of the pretty village of Wigglesworth.

One thing to be aware of. The Deeps may be inaccessible after heavy rains…being a wetland!


Find out more by contacting through the Long Preston Deeps Project.

Navigation Tips in the Long Preston Deeps

On the outbound route and on approach to Rathmell the marked route has been blocked off with barbed wire and you have to make a short adjustment by joining the road for an extra few hundred metres. It is irritating and unnecessary. Please report any such closures to the council as a Right of Way should always be open.

  • Dorothy Atkinson says:

    Are there any organised walks around the deeps I would not like to do it alone !
    I live in Settle but I,ve never been down.

    • Jonathan says:

      Not that I am aware of. However if you simply follow the Right of Way from Cow Bridge to the viewing hut you cannot go wrong and there is plenty of information n the local wildlife in there.

  • R.Fox says:

    The return leg of this walk is extremely badly waymarked in fact it’s only signposted where it leaves a road.

    • Jonathan says:

      I am afraid some routes are. There is no stipulation to waymark any public right of way except where it leaves a road

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