Look up from the Riverside car park in Towneley Park, Burnley and you will notice a distinctive shape on the skyline to the south. This is the Singing Ringing Tree one of five “Panopticans” that have been sited on the landscape of the South Pennines to encourage visitors to explore the outstanding countryside of the area. This walk will take you up to this iconic sculpture on an exhilarating moorland walk and if the wind is blowing in the right direction the “tree” will “sing” for you.
Time: 3 ½ - 5 hours
Map: OS OL21 The South Pennines
Map by kind permission of Johnston Press
1. From the car park cross the bridge over the River Calder to the left of the toilet facilities
and turn left onto a broad track
- a recently laid to act an amenity for runners. Follow this along the edge of playing fields turning right as you near a fence. Then when you reach a gate
leading into pasture on the left go through it and keep ahead to exit the park.
Now in a residential area keep ahead and after crossing a road bridge
turn right over a footbridge. At the far end turn left following a path leading into a close. The footpath continues slightly right opposite to arrive at the A646 Burnley Road.
Cross to a footpath on the far side which climbs steeply to cross a railway line
and then continues across pasture.
After a stile keep alongside a wall on the left
until you reach a lane. Turn left. At the next junction keep left
on a farm track and stay on this for half a mile to reach Stone House Fold.
Continue on the bridleway as it leads up through Easden Clough
close to the isolated farm of Cowside and then as it nears the A671 Bacup Road
turn left keeping parallel with the road
before crossing it
below Deerplay Hill. Follow the track as it bends right
to take you towards the B6238 with a fine view over Clough Bottoms Reservoir down to the left. As you near the road follow the track left
to reach a crossing point 200 yards further on.
Cross to enter Dunnockshaw Community Woodland. After 100yards turn right through a wooden gate
and follow the path as it crosses to a track near Crown Point Road. Go straight across
on a path that follows Crown Point Road to the right albeit in a bendy fashion.
As you reach the rise that is Crown Point
cross to a car park and follow signs for the Singing Ringing Tree - 400yds along a path.
Through the gate keep left on a path that parallels the road. After 700yds this intercepts the Burnley Way. Turn right on the path as it leads down through an attractive valley below New Copy Farm.
The path swings left to cross marshy ground.
After a stile keep ahead edging alongside a golf course to reach a stile at a chain-link fence.
Turn right as the path leads down hill past a farm and then (steeply)
to the A646.
Cross the road and turn right walking 50yards to reach a wooden gate (United Utilities). Through this follow the track leading right and then swings left through woods to reach a gate leading down to the A671. Cross the road, turn right
and then left into the Barwise entrance of Towneley Park. Follow signs for the Hall.
Once at its front keep ahead for the Riverside car park.
Mary Towneley (1935-2001) campaigned to create a long distance path suitable for horse riders and cyclists as alternative to the Pennine Way. In 1986 she rode 250 miles from Northumberland to Derbyshire to launch the idea. Unfortunately she died of cancer before her dream could be fully realised but in her honour a 40 mile loop was created in this lovely area of the South Pennines.