Time 1 ½ - 2 ½ hours
Map: OS Explorer 287 The West Pennine Moors
Map by kind permission of Johnson Press
The eye is pulled along and up by the avenue to the castellated outline of the tower. Closer inspection is possible on the numerous days when Hoghton Tower is open to the public. After this pause of appreciate walk along the drive for a little under 300yds to reach a gatehouse and fence. Here turn right and soon after pass through a metal kissing gate.
With the fence on your left follow the track as it leads uphill to a patch of woodland.
Cross a stile and after another bear slightly right to a stile close to a prominent dead tree.
Continue in the same direction to gently drop to a stile
that places you on Green Lane. This quickly brings you to the Royal Oak at Riley Green.
Turn left on the A6061 Riley Green Switch Road and walk along it for 300yds (after the pub it will be best to cross to pavement on the other side) to reach an entrance to a drive.
to follow it down the escarpment,
through a ribbon of woodland to reach the River Darwen. On reaching the riverside turn left.
The path soon enters a gorge as the river tumbles over a weir
and beneath imposing railway viaduct of the Preston - Blackburn line.
For first time visitors to the area this scene will come as a surprise. The path takes you beneath the impressive viaduct and quickly reaches the edge of Hoghton Bottoms. As you reach the end of a terrace
bear left onto a bridleway.
This leads away from the houses and after a ruin on the right levels out alongside the Blackburn-Preston railway. As you near a road bridge ahead turn left
over a pedestrian level crossing. Trains pass by with a reasonable degree of frequency on this stretch so take great care crossing it. Through woods opposite you will arrive at the stone boundary wall of the Hoghton Tower estate.
Turn right and keep on the path with the wall on your left
as it crosses fields with an open aspect. Indeed the views here are extensive and on a clear day you will have no difficulty in picking out Preston North End's Deepdale Stadium and other less hallowed landmarks. After 600yds you will come to a stile next to a five-barred gate.
The lane will take you past some estate cottages and onto the drive of Hoghton Tower itself.