“You deserve a holiday!”  said the email from

I’m being bombarded with adverts from holiday organisations desperate for me to spend money with them and fly off in the middle of this pandemic. I’m not fooled by Boris’s assurances of  “air bridges” to avoid quarantine, where is the medical evidence for that? And what may change whilst you are away? The only good outcome of his policy is that the crowds who inundated our beaches will be jumping on planes to take them to the ‘Costas’. They will find the Spanish police know how to administer crowd control with hefty fines and prison sentences.

Anyhow, would you want to sit on the beach with a mask on and then queue for an hour or so for your Sangria?

Homegrown firms [eg Airbnb Tripadvisor] are also trying to tempt me away in Britain. I know hotels and B&B’s are in a desperate state but can you imagine how the experience of an otherwise pleasant country house hotel would be at present.

At least some of these firms are advising booking with a cancellation option but even that might not be straight forward, read the small print. Here is’s special notice –  For bookings made from 6 April 2020, you should take into account the risk of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and associated government measures. If you don’t book a flexible rate, you may not be entitled to a refund. We advise you to closely follow any travel advice from your local government and health organisations, and we recommend booking a flexible rate with free cancellation, in case your travel plans need to change.

You’ve guessed it I won’t be going anywhere just yet. Probably not this year if the deadly virus is still about. Let’s wait and see, I’ve successfully shielded for nearly 4 months now so I’m sure I can continue. In answer to’s suggestion that “I need a holiday” – no I don’t, I’ve had one for the length of lockdown so far.

Maybe though I need a change of scenery. but they sensibly won’t let me into Scotland or Wales just yet. The next best thing this afternoon as the sun comes out is to drive 5 miles to Chipping, olde worlde and mentioned in the Domesday Book. I have a walking route planned around the quiet country lanes. I park near the Church of St. Bartholomew opposite The Sun Inn. This is where my story starts

Lizzie was a maid living in the Sun, in the year 1835. She met up with a local lad who claimed the deepest love for her and proposed to her, she gladly accepted, However, two days before the wedding, James told Lizzie he had fallen in love with her friend Elsie and called off their wedding day. He now planned to marry Elsie in the church opposite.

On the day of the wedding  Lizzie went up to the pub attic overlooking the churchyard, she wrote a suicide note, placed a rope around her neck, and died. The note in her fist read “I want to be buried at the entrance to the church so my lover and my best friend will always have to walk past my grave every time they go to church.”

Her grave is situated near the old entrance – 

But the story doesn’t end there. For almost 200 years the ghost of Lizzie has haunted the Sun Inn and the churchyard opposite. Just ask anyone in the village. There is an old yew tree near her grave which has one branch supported by an iron tripod.

Sorry, I became rather distracted there.

My walk leaves the village up the lane towards former water mills which helped Chipping thrive in the early industrial years. None is working now, Kirk Mill has been preserved but is looking rather forlorn. Originally a corn mill, then a cotton mill it ended its life as part of the Berry Chair Works. Its large crane was used to unload timber from the lorries. The cottages surrounding it were still used by workers when I moved into the area in the ’70s. It eventually closed its doors in 2010. Above the main building is the large mill lodge famous nowadays for its ducks.

The narrow lane continues steeply up the hillside passing the site of Tweedy’s Mill, a former foundry and previously a cotton mill. Now there is housing and Proctor’s Cheeses. At one time there were half a dozen water mills on this section of Chipping Brook.

Brief glimpses of the fells appear through the trees. Above Wolfen Mill, an old bobbin mill, I take the lane into the fells. I chase butterflies up the hill and buy some free-range eggs at the stall on Saddle Side farm track.

Red Admiral.

Today I’m not going further into the fells so I turn down a newly tarmacked route to Windy Hills Farm where there is a recent barn conversion, presumably they have paid for the road improvement. At the moment it looks out of place up here but it provides a warm bed for the lambs. Onwards on the familiar track to the extensive sheep rearing Laund Farm with views opening up to Waddington Fell, Pendle Hill and Longridge Fell.  Laund was the ancient word for an open space for deer and I now walk down through it, admiring the mature trees and lush greenery, part of the Leagram Estate. A perfect evening.

Back in Chipping, I walk up to the Sun Inn where the story started.





20 thoughts on “CHIPPING HIGH LANES.

  1. DorothyGrey56

    I enjoyed this so much…..seeing old haunts and learning about Chipping’s very early cotton mills. Really interesting, and I find them rather beautiful in a gaunt kind of way. I’m no longer able to walk very far, so I appreciate your excellent photos.
    A small request, please: on one of your future walks in Dutton, would you please photograph the old mills hidden away on Duddell Brook? Sadly, I have never seen them, and didn’t even know they were there, though I lived at the Manor for about 10 years in the ’70s. I have always wondered where the Dutton corn mill was. Do you happen to know?
    How these old mills must have massively impacted such quiet, remote little places like Chipping and Dutton.
    Thank you for sharing the experiences gathered on your walks.

    1. bowlandclimber

      Thanks Dorothy.
      There were so many mills working on all the becks and brooks in the area at one time. I’m always amazed at the variety of goods they produced.
      I did a walk up Duddell Brook a few years ago
      I took a few pictures of the mill site below Dutton Hall which is shown on an old map as a Bone Mill but could have been a Corn Mill previously. Time I had another look.

  2. Eunice

    Great photos, I like the one of the lamb 🙂 An interesting but sad story of Lizzie, however I don’t believe in ghosts. I used to pass through Chipping occasionally while on a day out with my now-ex, went to Chipping Steam Fair a few times but haven’t been that way for nearly ten years.

    1. bowlandclimber

      This year they have missed out on the Steamfair and the local agricultural show.
      The ‘Chipping in bloom’ people have still managed a good display around the village.

      1. Eunice

        I can imagine the village looks quite pretty, I must try to get there soon. We used to park at the village hall and walk down to the café on the corner for coffee and cake, then drive round the country roads, missing Dunsop Bridge and coming out past that tower at the side of the road, down through Lancaster and ending up in Morecambe for a meal in a seafront café. I could get from here to Chipping quite easily but doubt if I can remember the rest of the route!

        1. bowlandclimber

          The corner cafe is very popular with cyclists normally it was a shame to see it closed but hopefully it will rise like Phoenix from the ashes.
          The route you took was probably The Trough Of Bowland, a very scenic road. A grand day out.


    I agree with all you say about the dubious Big C handling. I have not shopped since Lockdown and have only driven to lesser walked areas for my daily walks and I will continue for as long as it takes to avoid retail shops, public transport and any overnight accommodation.

    Your area is full of interesting history and your macro photo is doing well aagainst the odds with your toy camera. I am sure there is plenty more to go at – keep the posts coming.

  4. Michael Graeme

    I’ve often used that cafe when visiting Chipping. I do hope it manages to keep going. Yes, I’m also inundated with stuff from I’m not tempted. Maybe next year. See how it goes. Until then I’m enjoying my back garden and the occasional local jaunt.

  5. ms6282

    Next week was supposed to be my “nip off to Snowdonia for a few days to get away from Wimbledon on the telly” short break. No chance of that this year. ☹️
    No way I’d consider getting in an Aluminium tube stuffed with people where the air is recirculated. But as home has become my workplace It’s hard to relax so I wouldn’t mind a stay in a little cottage somewhere in a quiet location in the Lakes.

    1. bowlandclimber

      Hope you manage a few days away. A selfcatering cottage sounds good and I’m sure the Lakes will be quieter midweek. Are the hotels there open for meals?

          1. ms6282

            Well I was thinking of going to Greece or Barnard Castle. They’re OK to visit – mind you you either have to be related to a clown or be the one pulling his strings.

  6. John Bainbridge

    Grand walk and pictures. Like you we are wary of going anywhere beyond walks we can reach. People are acting as though the whole thing is over. A bit of patience and we might have seen the end of it, but our politicians will do anything for a nice headline.

    1. bowlandclimber

      Yes, I’ve still plenty of walks to investigate within a 10-mile radius of home.
      Just not sure about going away in B&Bs as yet.
      A bit of backpacking sounds good but you have to fall back on public transport and the joys of a homely pub supper are uncertain.
      as you say – be patient.


  8. Pingback: CHIPPING – ROUND THE BLOCK. | bowlandclimber

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