Cromwell and his New Model Army spent a night in Gisburn on 15th August 1648. They broke a few church windows and camped down for the night in the grounds of Gisburne Park, the estate of Lord Ribblesdale, on the banks of the River Ribble.

The next day Cromwell went west and within a few days his troops won the decisive Battle of Preston which helped turn the course of the English Civil War in the Parliamentarians’ favour.

This walk passes through Gisburne Park – the former home of Lord Ribblesdale is now a private hospital – then crosses the River Ribble and heads north towards the village of Paythorne.

Above the steep wooded bank on the east side of the Ribble the walk reaches Castle Haugh, the site of a Norman fortification in a part of the valley known as Cromwell’s Basin. From here you can retrace your steps to Gisburn or complete a longer circular walk via farm tracks leading to Moor House Farm and Carter’s Lane.

Prior to the arrival of the railway the village was spelt ‘Gisburne’ - it lost the ‘e’ at the insistence of the railway company.

Walk down Mill Lane and cross the railway bridge. Gisburn tunnel can be seen over to the right. Continue along the lane for a further ½ mile past the entrance to Ribblesdale Park holiday homes. (You can actually avoid a section of lane by joining the pedestrian path on the right). Keep to the lane which drops downhill through woodland to the road bridge over the Ribble.

Do not cross the river but turn right between the old house and the car park. The tarmac track winds uphill through woodland and passes Gisburne Park Hospital on the left. Just follow the blue bridleway waymarkers signed as the Pennine Bridleway – and this is also the Ribble Way. After passing the hospital the access track bends right then forks left downhill through woodland, signed for Paythorne. The track crosses a bridge over the Stock Beck, turns right then left by the big house, just follow the waymarked route uphill and the fenced track leads through open fields to the busy A682 Settle road.

Turn left and follow the roadside path northwards for nearly half a mile. It eventually leaves the road behind and goes through waymarked gates straight ahead to the distinctive mound of trees known as Castle Haugh. There is a steep drop from the mound down to the River Ribble below. You can retrace your steps from here if you want to do a linear walk.

To continue the circular walk keep going straight ahead beyond the mound and the path drops down to the river and road which is crossed at Paythorne Bridge. Turn left over the bridge then leave the road on the left via a signed bridleway (leaving the Pennine Bridleway behind). The track climbs uphill and forks into two. Keep to the left fork following the bridleway rather than the footpath. This follows a boggy track which soon reaches a path junction next to a permissive access information board.

Turn left here along the farm track that leads past a barn on the left and another ruined barn on the same side. This is a permissive bridleway, follow the waymarkers, which soon turns sharp right and leads to Moor House Farm.

Go through a gate on the right and turn left along a field edge heading for the farm. Keep left of the main farm house and go through a metal field gate. Turn left in the farmyard then fork right following the waymarked farm access road. Keep to the access road all the way to the adjoining Carter’s Lane.

Turn left along the lane and follow it for ½ mile to the junction with the adjoining Gisburn Road. Turn left at the junction and drop downhill to the bridge over the River Ribble. Cross the bridge and simply retrace your steps along the lane back to Gisburn village.

Nick Burton’s book Wainwright’s Way, walking in the footsteps of Alfred Wainwright from Blackburn to Buttermere, is now available from all good bookshops (published by Frances Lincoln, £13.99).