Where is it? In Longridge near Clitheroe in East Lancashire
In which area of outstanding natural beauty? The Forest of Bowland
How tall is it? 1,142 feet (approx)
This is Great Britain’s most southerly named “Fell”. Standing at an epicentre of fantastic walking country this proud little fell holds its’ own in the company of some notorious giants, Pendle Hill is a little over five miles away to the east and Fair Snape Fell and Parlick even closer to the north west.
Longridge Fell is a “Cuesta” hill – a geological anomally whereby one aspect of the hill has an almost sheer drop but all other major approaches are more gentle and gradual. This anomally affords superb views from its’ summit ordnance survey colum and northern face across to the more central fells of the Forest of Bowland are of outstanding natural beauty. Longridge Fell is made up of two named hills, Jeffrey Hill to the west and Spire Hill to the North West.
The fell is cloaked in a mass plantation of Conifers including Larch, Pine and Sitka Spruce with the odd pocket of deciduous trees in the form of Sycamore, Hawthorne and Oak. Recent times have seen the Larch population decimated by an outbreak of Ramorum disease which has left in its’ wake scenes such as the one on the right, a sad scene it has to be said but one that when viewed in person is somewhat captivating!
Longridge Fell is enclosed on three of four compass points fronts by roads but the east to west route across the fell comes in at a whopping 2.5 miles across its’ greatest arc from the southwest to southeast thus eliminating any feeling of being penned-in by tarmac. An average walker can make it to the ordnance survery column from the layby on Old Clitheroe Road in less than an hour, yet it is possible to spend many more hours traversing the flanks and forests that make up this wonderful fell that is situated in a very reachable location. Although as with any hill approaches can usually be made from any direction, with Longridge this is somewhat reduced to jut the south, west and east as to approach from the north, up Spire hill would take a level of fitness or dedication that most of us simply do not possess – plus the impact of the northern viewpoint would be nullified as one would have to continually glance over one’s shoulder!
After three years worth of planning I have finally strode across this unimposing yet spellbinding fell and shall return at least once per year from here on in.