This most picturesque 6 mile walk in the lower valley of Wordsworth’s “Long Loved Duddon” has mixed scenery and abounds in wild flowers.
It is fairly easy walking and suitable for all ages. Ulpha’s ancient church, containing some interesting antiquities, is reached through a lychgate, and is well worth a visit. The gaunt (reputedly haunted) ruins of Frith Hall have quite a history. First used as a pack horse station, then an inn, it at one time threatened to rival Gretna Green for runaway marriages. Not far away is the ruined 16th century pele tower of Ulpha Old Hall.
Take the road south from Millom, and just before Duddon Bridge turn left up the fell road. In just over a mile and past the entrance to Duddon Hall there is parking for two cars on the left hand side opposite the signposted track to Mill Bridge.
1. This leads between the houses with the old mill ruins on the right, over a bridge and between the buildings of what was Beckfoot Farm. Another footpath to lovely Rawfold Bridge goes around the left-hand corner of the old building on the right. But keep left to two adjacent gates, and, taking the left-hand one, proceed along the pleasant track through Forge Woods passing an isolated house with glimpses of the river through the trees. The track leaves the wood by a gate and skirts a field to go up a lane.
2. The walk can be shortened here by taking the left-hand fork, but otherwise keep straight on to a gate and the road at Bobbin Mills. Turn right along the road to take the left hand fork at Ulpha Bridge passing the church to the post office shop.
3. Here at the corner climb the gated stile and then, a short distance on the left, some steps to Rainsbarrow Wood. The path, narrow at first between the wall and woodland fence, is rough and sometimes muddy in parts with numerous large wood-anthills. After a stile it widens to a pleasant woodland track forking left to meet the road at Bobbin Mill.
4. Turn right over the bridge and immediately left through a gate. Follow the track and take the right-hand fork uphill keeping the wall on your left to a gate at the corner on the left. Here another track leads right past Castle How hillock to the road and uphill to Ulpha Old Hall. But proceed through the gate, over lovely little Bleabeck Bridge and follow the track past the ruins of Frith Hall. Then through a gate and the forestry plantations of Ulpha Park. In about V4 mile, where the plantation on the left finishes, there is a stile in the wall giving access to the lovely minor fell of Penn and its magnificent views. The track continues downhill between wall and plantations through two gates to the road at Beckstones.
5. Cross the delightful cascades of Logan Beck by the bridge and follow the road to the junction. Keep left, then over the cattle grid down a steep hill to the starting point.