Towneley Park, Burnley 

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.

Start/finish: Riverside car park BB11 3RQ

Fact file

Distance: 14k 8½ miles

Time: 3 ½ - 5 hours

Summary: Strenuous

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.


2. Here turn right onto the Pennine Bridleway which climbs steeply up towards Deerplay Moor. As the track levels off look for the memorial to Mary Towneley to the left of the track.


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. 


3. Return towards the car park but before you reach it bear right onto a path leading to another section of the Community Woodland.


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.

POI Towneley Hall. This great house is without doubt one of Lancashire's top attractions. We seriously recommend that if you have not visited it before then try to make time when you undertake this walk. 

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.


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