This is the original Highwayman Hikes route, the very first one we did for a pub walk back in 2018. It is an easy 5 mile and the lambs have already started to arrive so when you spot them it really starts to feel like Spring! If you have done our Tunstall circular then you will know the beginning and end of this walk well. This route is made up through public footpaths but they are through working farms so please be careful and close the gates after you. Enjoy!
1. Leave The Highwayman pub car park and take a left down the road, past the mileage stone in the ground. There are no footpaths so stay close to the left hand side of the road. Usually it is recommended to walk facing traffic but for this part it is safer to stay on the left.
2. You will quickly see a National Speed limit sign and a gate just before it on the left (For the picture below the gate was open which is quite rare). Go through the gate into the field.
3. Once in the field you are going to bear slightly left and walk straight through the middle of the field. The gate to the next field is approximately 1/3 along the fence line from the road (below) and will become clearer as you get closer. Go through the gate and across the next two fields. When you reach the third field bear left to the top left hand corner and you will find two gates. You want to go through the wooden gate.
4. In the picture below you will see the next gate you have to take, this will lead you to the final field. In the final field you will see a defined path that will lead you to the back of the Church Yard at St Johns.
St John’s the Baptist Church
The Church itself is recorded in the Domesday survey but the oldest structure of the present church dates back to the 13th Century. The church was rebuilt in around 1415 by Sir Thomas Tunstal and alterations in the 16th century.
In the 1820s it was attended by the Bronte sisters during the time they were receiving education at The Clergy Daughters School in nearby Cowan Bridge. The attic room where they had their lunches is being restored.
It is a fascinating Church full of interesting history, when the Church is open it is well worth a look around. There are memorials for The Fenwick family who lived up at Burrow Hall (Did you know The Highwayman was originally called The Fenwick Arms?) . The church also owns a 16th century painting by Francesco Montemezzano. In 2015 the painting was removed to be restored as part of the BBC television series ‘Fake or Fortune’. It is now back in the church for you to see.
5. Follow the path past the church and around to the left. This will take you on to Church Lane
6. Turn left along the lane and, in just under 100 metres (at a point almost opposite the drive leading to Churchfield House) turn right onto a track (just before Cant Beck Cottage).This track leads you to fields and you are once again back on a public bridleway.
7. Go through a metal gate and then bear very slightly left across a large level field to reach a small stone footbridge. You will be able to make out the gate the closer you get
8. When you arrive on the lane, turn left. Follow the lane to a junction before Abbotson Farm. Bear left, pass the farm’s outbuildings and keep ahead on a track going past the buildings, ahead you will see a bridge that crosses into Cowclose Plantation.
9. Keep following the track along, you will pass a couple of metal gates on your left but keep to the track on your right. Keep following this track and you will enter a field, then staying on the track as it bends left to climb a rise. The track will then cross the narrow part of the field to reach two gates. Go through the wooden gate on the right.
10. Through the gate carry on straight and you will reach another gate leading to a barn. Pass to the right of the barn and round to the right hand sign, climb up the field and aim towards the fell and the trees like Liam and Buster in picture two. Pass through the gateway and follow the track that climbs a rise and cross the small stream to reach a second barn, Longriggs Barn. Here you will get a fantastic view of Ingleborough.
11. When you reach the barn do not go through any gates (this is where the main mistake on this walk happens, the first time I ever did this I went through and followed the track and nearly into a field of bulls, I had just moved here and had no idea where I was!) . Instead, staying in the same field, turn left to pass in front. No longer on a track, keep the fence-line to your right as you go over three pastures.
12. After the third wooden gate, join an enclosed track that leads back towards Church Lane in Tunstall. After passing a property on the right, the path crosses a footbridge ( first you will see the water but if you look to the left the bridge is there ) and goes right, following the field edge, to arrive on Church Lane via a metal gate. Turn left and, in a little over 200 metres, turn right onto the drive leading up to Churchfield House.
13. Once past the houses you will see a gate with a footpath arrow. Go through this gate and straight ahead and through the metal gate.
14. Pretty much now you will keep to the path and keep going straight, over the stile, though the grounds of the house which will then lead to the farm track. Stay on the farm track and through the Sheep building.
The farmers are very nice and do not mind you going through the sheep building just be aware they may be in there working so keep to the path.
15. Stay on the path until you reach the road. Turn left and continue down the road until eventually you will meet the pub.
16. Now you can pick up your Click & Collect from The Highwayman and eat a well deserved meal!
by Aimee Sharples