CRL - Community Rail Lancashire

Rail to Trail

Rail to Trail is a series of 12 self-guided walks along the Bentham Line. The walks combine into a 68 mile linear walk from station to station along the route.

The Bentham Line provides access to spectacular scenery, so why not combine a trip on the line with a self-guided walk in the surrounding Lancashire and Yorkshire countryside. The walks, a number of which follow ancient paths, offer the opportunity to explore the Lune, Wenning, Ribble and Aire valleys and pass through many villages each with their own unique charm and character. The programme of walks has been designed to appeal both to the experienced walker and to the leisure walker who enjoys a varied but not too demanding walk. The easier walks may be attempted by families with children.

The walks are being publicised with an introductory leaflet and a full size poster which can be downloaded by clicking the appropriate link. Each walk has its own detailed guide and these can be picked up at stations along the line or downloaded using the links below.

In addition to this, and in partnership with the Forest of Bowland AONB, four of the stations along the route, Wennington, Bentham, Clapham and Giggleswick have been designated ‘Gateways to the Forest of Bowland’. Publicity is displayed at each station and a leaflet has been produced as part of the Rail to Trail series and this can be downloaded by clicking the link here: Bowland Leaflet.        

About the walks:

The timing for each of the walks is based on a ‘look around and enjoy pace’ and allows for a break of 30 minutes. All walks end where there are refreshment facilities available. It is possible to combine many of the neighbouring routes to make a longer day walk. Take plenty to drink with you. Waterproofs and spare warm clothing are recommended, as are walking boots.

Walk 1 – Heysham Port to Morecambe

Walk 2 – Lancaster to Morecambe

Walk 3 – Morecambe to Bare Lane

Walk 4 – Bare Lane to Carnforth

Walk 5 – Wennington to Carnforth

Walk 6 – Wennington to Bentham

Walk 7 – Clapham to Bentham

Walk 8 – Clapham to Giggleswick

Walk 9 – Giggleswick to Long Preston

Walk 10 – Long Preston to Hellifield

Walk 11 – Hellifield to Gargrave

Walk 12 – Gargrave to Skipton

Walk grades:

Easy – short walk on clear paths;

Moderate – may involve small hill climbs; and

Strenuous – lengthy walk with hill climbs.


The Countryside Code

Any prospective walkers should make themselves familiar with the Countryside Code which can be downloaded by clicking HERE. The Countryside Code gives common sense advice to help everybody respect, protect and enjoy the countryside. It is also there to support local communities who live and work in the countryside.

Five simple messages summarise the Code:

1. Be safe – plan ahead and follow any signs
2. Leave gates and property as you find them
3. Protect plants and animals and take your litter home
4. Keeps dogs under close control
5. Consider other people

The Code applies to all parts of the countryside in England.