Gisburn Forest Waterfall

Route info
Distance 3.75 miles
Time 1.5hrs
Low Point 180m (approx)
High Point 250m (approx)
Height gain 70m (approx)
Terrain Forest tracks and paths, and road
Bogs A bit boggy in places
Dogs Great dog walk
Cow count 0
Enjoyment rating (5 = best) ★★★

The above information is accurate to the best of my knowledge, but you should always let someone know where you are going and what time you should be home. If using a GPS device, take a map and compass. Remember that mobiles don’t always have a signal. Click here for more safety information.

This weather forecast is generated by the Met Office Weather Widget

Health stats Approx
Steps taken 6,814
*Calories burned – 10 st – 140 lbs 334 cals
*Calories burned – 18 st – 252 lbs 601 cals

*Calories burned uses this calculator and is worked out as though we are walking ‘level’.  If inclines were added it should be higher.



Approximate map

Accurate GPS map

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Route description

Upper section of the falls

Upper section of the falls

Gisburn Forest sits at the northern tip of the Ribble Valley and is adjacent to Stocks Reservoir.  It is a large woodland area which is very popular with mountain bikers, but there also some great walks in amongst the cycle tracks.

Park up at the ‘Stocks Reservoir Car Park’ which is just north of the causeway and then walk up School Lane for about 500m.  The road ascends slightly and you’ll then see a fingerpost sign helping you make a right turn into the forest.  The track is reasonably well marked but can be boggy, so make sure you have good footwear.

The route joins one of the main forest thoroughfares and after about 500m take a left, heading in a northerly direction. The road takes a few sweeps left and right but stay on it and you’ll eventually come to a bridge over Bottoms Beck.  Don’t cross over the bridge, take a right just before and follow the track heading in a southerly direction.

The path splits after about 500m but I stuck to the left, choosing to walk as close to Bottoms Beck as I could.  This was mainly because I wanted to visit the waterfalls.  And sure enough I could hear the sound of roaring water a little further downstream.

If you want to visit the Gisburn Forest waterfall it should be noted that you have to leave the main route and there’s no proper path down to the falls. It is not really recommended for people who are inexperienced and great care should be taken even for those who are accustomed to walking off-route and scrambling.  I went down the hard way to see the main section – which is tough, and I slipped, so be careful.  I then went to the top section which is much easier to get to.

Back to the main route, for roughly 1km this path follows the course of the meandering Bottoms Beck and you’ll eventually be treated to nice views of Stocks Reservoir.  Shortly afterwards you are treated to nice views of Stocks Reservoir as you meet the main road, Hole House Lane.  Turn right here and make your way back to the car park.

On this route

Stocks Reservoir Car Park, School Lane, Gisburn Forest, Far Barn, Bottoms Beck, Gisburn Forest Waterfall, Hole House Lane