Sawley & the Ribble

  • Classical east Lancs scenery
  • Lovely riverside sections
  • Includes 2 attractive villages

I headed off on this circular walk from Sawley to Gisburn taking in the village of Bolton by Bowland on a warm, sultry day. The walking is easy but the circuit is quite long (10 miles) with no options to shorten it (unless you are prepared to swim the Ribble). However it is full of interest – I particularly enjoyed the section along the Ribble Way to the south of the river as strange encounters with stone circles, something sinister in the woods, over friendly cows and CCTV enlivened an already pleasant route.

The return route is through pleasant farmland takes in one of the tributaries of the Ribble (Skirden Beck) with good view across Pendle Hill. Sawley itself may well dominate memories of the walk, a visit to the remains of the Cistercian Abbey a must, with its spectacular bridge and views. It is typical of the many villages on the Ribble in this attractive part of Lancashire.

Recommend: There is an option from Fooden Hall Farm via Bolton Hall which avoids Bolton by Bowland saving a mile and a half – it is not worth it.

Download GPX file

Sawley & Ribble map

All maps are copyright of Where2Walk © 2020

OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL41 Forest of Bowland & Ribblesdale Buy Map
Start Point: SD 778465. There is plenty of parking on the roadside in Sawley.
Height to Climb: 123ms (403 feet)
Terrain: This is all lowland walking, much on paths across farmland or riverside meaning it can be wet in places. There is only one stretch of road for 1/2 a mile near Gisburn and this is not busy.
Eating & Drinking: The Spread Eagle at Sawley is the obvious place to finish the walk (and start with a cup of tea?) but there is also the Coach & Horses or the Copy Nook Hotel on the Bolton by Bowland diversion.
Similar Walks Nearby: Witches of Pendle…hill
Trough of Bowland
Fells above Slaidburn
Places to Stay:


Spread Eagle, SawleyThe Nook, nr Skipton