I was so inspired by my last walk in the Bowland Area that I started looking for more  routes around Dunsop Bridge, I soon had several loops that looked promising. Time to try one I haven’t done for years, I enrol JD for some exercise. Simply this is up the Langden Valley, then Bleadale, over a bit of a hill and down Hareden Valley. It happens to be walk 6 in the upcoming Walking In Lancashire guide by Mark Sutcliffe, although I didn’t know it at the time.

The morning was dull and drizzly but promised to improve as we parked up on the Trough road at noon, not a soul about. A relaxing stroll up the valley  gave me a chance to catch up with JD’s recent exploits in various parts of the country – Lakes, Wales and Malham.

We disturbed a pair of Greylag Geese with their clutch of youngsters. There seemed to be plenty of Pheasants about but not much else.

Spot the chick.

On the map two ‘castles’ are marked; Holdron Castle which turns out to be a rocky outcrop and Langden Castle which is a shooting hut. We made for the latter for a place to sit for a bite to eat. The outer ends of the hut are open but despoiled by sheep and humans, the central room is now locked and shuttered although in the past I have bivied in it when my children were young, I remember getting a roaring fire going in the hearth.

The path continues up by Langden Brook into Fiendsdale and over a boggy col to Bleasdale, but today we turn south to enter Bleadale, confused?  The stream crossings here can be hazardous but to-day with all the dry weather we hopped across with ease.

The path up into Bleadale is squeezed in by the stream with a little scrambling in parts but is better than I remember it.

Again this valley could be followed all the way over Saddle Fell and down into Chipping, but we strike off again to climb Zig Zags in a subsidiary clough leading over Hareden Fell.

Higher a path of sorts is found between the peat hags helped by some marker posts near grouse butts, these fells are shooting territory and the estates have come in for some criticism lately for illegal raptor prosecution. We don’t see any birds of prey all day whereas in the past Peregrines, Merlins and Hen harriers were fairly common. [Later in the day we meet a couple of RSPB wardens on patrol, so there must be nesting raptors about.] This is a remote desolate place, and we are glad of the good visibility.

We meet up with the estate Land Rover track leading down into Hareden. Below us to the right is a very steep-sided valley of Hareden Brook and the lower wooded parts are the home to Ring Ousel, I suspect I spotted a female but couldn’t be sure as it flew swiftly past.

We wander down and enjoy a rest by the river just before it enters water treatment plants. The worker’s cottage and garden is obviously well looked after, all is neat and tidy. The bird boxes in the shelter belt of trees are all marked BASC, ironically The British Association for Shooting and Conservation who are generally more focused on shooting.

We passed the houses at Hareden Farm as I had done a couple of days ago, the dogs were still barking. Just after the farms a concessionary path follows the Langden Brook back upstream avoiding the road giving a fitting end to our day of linking brooks. I’m already planning my next Bowland circuit.



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