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Lancashire Way - Central Loop


164 km / 102 miles
This route has been developed over the past 20 years by Neil Harwood.

The Central Loop is the second part of the Lancashire Way. In comparison with the Southern Loop it is longer at 101 miles and ascends over 13,000 feet, which is almost twice that of the Southern Loop. Hence it is very much the bigger brother of the two loops. It is estimated that it will take on average just over 40 hours walking so can be completed in between 5-7 days and thus one complete week.

It begins and ends in Preston, as did the Southern Loop. There are twelve Stages in total, with the longest being just under 12 miles so can be completed in a day for most people. Other stages are shorter so can be combined with adjacent stages according to your pace. The first four stages make their way from Preston in an easterly direction along the southern side of the Ribble Valley to Pendle Hill. The route then turns north crossing the Ribble and Hodder valleys before turning west through the southern half of the Bowland Fells. The final three stages meander back to Preston via Longridge Fell along the northern side of the Ribble Valley.

This part of the Lancashire Way is very much more rural with some of the very best scenery that the county has to offer. There are real hills such as Pendle Hill, beautiful villages and magnificent rivers. There is history but it is dominated by the beauty of its landscape.

Details are on the website below.

Update 9th November 2022:
The Lancashire Way (Central Loop) is diverted due a closed footbridge near Red Scar, east of Preston. The footbridge in question is on Tun Brook, at SD 5908 3247, and the diversion (reportedly well signposted) is via the upstream footbridge at SD 5922 3343.

Route hazard (reported November 2022):
The route of this long distance path along the B6245 Blackburn Road east of Ribchester is reported narrow and without pavement(s) in places between Stone Bridge (SD 6534 3544) and Ribchester Bridge (SD 6619 3565). An alternative route is suggested via the footbridge at SD 6554 3576.


Path Type: Other Paths
Attributes: Other Paths
Start and Finish: SD534291 - Preston Railway Station, Lancashire View on StreetMap
Open Date: 2017
Web Sites: Lancashire Way


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Hostel Accommodation
Camping Barn

Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2016.
© OpenStreetMap contributors under Open Database Licence.
Rights of way data from selected Local Authorities.
Large scale digital mapping is provided by John Thorn.
At high zoom levels the route is indicative only.
Purchase Ordnance Survey Maps:
OS Landranger 102, 103
OS Landranger Active 102, 103
OS Explorer 2, 21, 41, 286, 287
OS Explorer Active 2, 21, 41, 286, 287

Accommodation within 5 km of this Path:

Hostel Accommodation
< 1 km
86 km
Camping Barn
4 km
88 km

Additional Images:

Connected Paths:


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GPX Route File
MemoryMap Route File
Lancashire Way - Central Loop Memory Map Route File
Last Updated 16/03/2022 17:15:27
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Tracklogs Route File
Lancashire Way - Central Loop Tracklogs Route File
Last Updated 16/03/2022 17:15:27
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Route Profile:

163.4 km (101.5 miles)
3,855 m (12,648 ft) ascent
544 m (1,785 ft)  maximum height

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