Last week we featured a long walk from Colne to Clitheroe. Here’s a short walk into the delightful countryside to be found to the south of the town.


Start: Colne Railway Station 


Fact file:  

Distance: 3 ½ miles 5.6k 

Time: 1 ½ - 2  hours

Grade: Moderate - a short walk but with some steep inclines.

Map: OS OL21 The South Pennines


Map by kind permission of Johnston Press


1. From the station forecourt find a safe place to cross the road (Primrose Hill) turn left and then right into Bridge Street. Rather unsurprisingly this leads down to a bridge over Colne Water. Keep ahead climbing up through streets of terraced housing - now on Knotts Lane to reach the edge of the town. 400yds from the bridge turn right onto a broad farm track at a public footpath sign.


This leads to Higher Knotts Farm with fine views across the town to Pendle on the right.


As you near the farm bear left


and keep on the main track as it leads up to the next farm house Hubbs Tenement.


This property seems to be a work in progress. Keep to the left of the farmhouse and keep on the main track as it climbs towards the skyline. Where the track bends left (not far from a television mast) Bear right across pasture to a stile in a fence.


Three waymark arrows offer choices - take the line of the top one directing you to the top of the hill.


This  is Castercliff the site of an iron age fort. The ancient Britons had an eye for a defensive position - this one commands a wide sweep of the countryside around. The path descends to the field corner leading onto Southfield Lane. 


2. When you reach it pass cottage on the right and just after the cycle route signpost


cross the wall on the left to take a footpath across the field to a gate in a wall.


Cross the next field aiming slightly left of the farm before you to join a track.  


Follow it for 200yds and then keep on it as it turns left towards a complex of buildings.


Just before reaching the farm turn right onto a footpath which crosses the track. This leads across pastureland to a conifer plantation. Enter the woodland at a wall stile


and keep ahead


to emerge onto a drive. Turn left. This leads downhill towards a cluster of houses on Birchenlee Lane.


Follow the drive as it turns left in front of Kiln House and then right at the next junction. After passing a large property on the left (Birchenlee House) take a footpath on the right.


(At the time of writing this was quite overgrown.) This leads down to open fields. Cross to a stone squeeze stile by a metal gate


and then continue in the same direction to a wooden stile leading into trees. After a decrepit stile turn left on a cinder track


to cottages


and then turn right onto Lenches Road. This takes you back to Colne.


As the road swings left once over Colne Water turn right at the Admiral Lord Rodney Pub.


Keep ahead for the town centre. When you arrive on Market Street turn left for the station.

POI Colne Town Hall. If there is something familiar about the town hall then it will come as no surprise that its architect, Alfred Waterhouse also designed Manchester Town Hall.


Both buildings are fine examples of the Gothic Revival style which flourished in the 19th century. Colne Town Hall was opened in 1894 near the end of his dazzling career.

Wallace Hartley Memorial. As you walk down Albert Road having passed the Town Hall look for the memorial to Wallace Hartley who lived in the town as he was growing up.


He was the bandmaster on the Titanic and together with the seven other musicians died as the ship sank in the icy waters of the Atlantic in April 2012. Famously "the band played on" choosing to stay on the deck to play calming music as passengers boarded lifeboats. One survivor observed, "Many brave things were done that night, but none were more brave than those done by men playing minute after minute as the ship settled quietly lower and lower in the sea. The music they played served alike as their own immortal requiem and their right to be recalled on the scrolls of undying fame". Hartley's body was recovered after the disaster and was interred in the town's cemetery.

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