Chorley - Darwen


Here is a challenging traverse across the West Pennine Moors making use of good transport links. 


Start: Chorley Rail Station PR7 1BS


Finish: Darwen Town Centre BB3 0DE

Fact file: 

Distance 10 miles (16k)

Time: 4 - 6 hours

Grade: Strenuous

Map OS Explorer 287 The West Pennine Moors


Map by kind permission of Johnston Press 


1. Immediately outside the station take the underpass leading to Steeley Lane. At the junction with East Way turn right and then left onto Lyons Lane. In 300yds


turn right onto the B6228 Eaves Lane towards Rivington. At the corner of the Shepherds Arms pub turn left into Crosse Hall Lane. Keep right on Crosse Hall Lane where the road divides at Haworth Road.


The lane continues crossing the canal and then the motorway and then climbs to waterworks and then White House farm


on top of the ridge extending from Healey Nab. Keep ahead on a track passing to the left of the farm and as this turns left continue to a stile


leading into fields. Cross to another stile and then bear left following an intermittent hedge to its end. Here turn right without a clear path to help you and aim to the far side of the broad field avoiding a marshy area to the left. Just beyond an old wall


cross a stile leading into patchy woodland. Keep on this as it crosses open ground


to bring you to a track by Nab Hill Memorial Forest.


Cross the track to a stile leading into pastures and bearing left continue the descent to a corner and stile above woods. Cross to descend steeply to Higher Moor Lane and the northern end of Anglezarke Reservoir.


Cross the causeway and after passing  mock Tudor Waterman's Cottage turn left onto a broad path just as the lane begins to climb.


Keep on this for a mile to reach a bridge on the left which gives access to White Coppice. 

2. The next section of the walk is all about Great Hill - going up it and going down it on the other side. The good news is that there are clear paths leading to the summit. I'll leave the bad news for later. Keep ahead as the track starts to climb to reach a distinctive sign post


(placed by the Ramber's Association) and here turn sharp right. After an intiatial steep section the way levels out on wide moors which will give you a view of Great Hill.


Do not be perturbed by its distance - it looks a good deal farther off than it actually is. At another R.A. sign


turn right on a broad track leading through the ruin of Drinkwaters. Continue along a walled section and then where the track divides branch left cross a stile and climb the final slope to the broad summit plateau.


There is no trig. Point to mark the top but there is a fine summit shelter. The views here are stupendous. Now the bad news. The next section of the walk requires you to be expert in the ancient art of "bog trotting" as you traverse the moors to reach the A675 Belmont Road. Keep ahead on the main track and after it starts its descent bear left on an obvious peaty path taking you to another ruined farm


marked "Pimms" on the OS map. Just after the last tree the path crosses moorland and then a stream to reach a fence. This now becomes the guide to reach the road. Turn left and follow the fence


as it swings round to bring you to the A675.


Turn left and then after 100yards turn right onto a path


leading into Roddlesworth Woods. At first the path is little improvement on the boggy moorland path you have just left but after 700yds it intercepts the main route through the woods.


Turn left and then after passing a substantial bridge to the left keep on the main track just past redundant gateposts.


Here turn right on a track leading up to Tockholes Road.


3. If refreshment is needed the Royal Arms and Vaughan's Country Café are nearby. Cross the road with a bus stop to the left and bear right on a drive leading past the end of a terrace and then out onto open pastures.


"Open" is the operative word because the views to the north are - well stupendous! They get better from Darwen Tower - plainly in view and easily reached.


After passing through trees bear left and then cross a stile on the right


on a path taking you to the top of Darwen Moor. Follow the path along the escarpment until you arrive at the Tower.


Its open and its free so go up to delight in one of the prominent landmarks in the north of England. The views from the top are…good. Darwen centre is down to the right. From the tower follow the main track for 100yds and then where it divides branch right.


As this track turns right near a bench keep ahead on a narrow path to descend to a farm.Take the path to the right of the farm


to continue downhill to the next farm.


Through a gate


join the drive  which leads to Granville Road


turn right and then left on Manor Road and then cross to an entrance of Bold Venture Park.


Turn left and follow paths leading to the war memorial.


Exit the park and bear left to Belgrave Road which will take you to the town centre.