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Burnley Way - Part 5: Towneley to Hapton






On this section of the Burnley Way, the walk takes you along parts of the Wayside Arts Trail with its carved bricks and mark posts; across high moor and woodlands; through the site of old industries; across farmland and into local beauty spots. At certain times of the year, you will be able to see kestrel, skylark and curlew as well as a variety of waterfowl on the reservoir. Oak, birch and rowan thrive in the semi-natural woodlands of Castle Clough, and the damp shade of the woodland cliffs provide the right conditions for rare ferns. For this walk, we recommend walking with a friend or group. We also advise wearing stout boots, waterproofs, and warm clothing.

Walk Waypoints

  1. 1 From the Barwise car park/picnic site and carefully cross the road away from Towneley. Head up the sloping track following the marker posts between the houses. Past a gate about 150m from the road, turn right parallel to the railway, go through the woods past the Coke Ovens and the Wayside Arts Brick Kiln by artist Julie Miles, to The Kilns housing development.
  2. 2 Past some of the houses turn left (before the road descends to Rock Lane) and follow the path up the steps. Behind Lower Timber Hill House, the path becomes a track. After 150m, turn left onto another track with a step-over horse stile. 100m further on turn right up a flight of steps to the A646.
  3. 3 Go left and after 30m carefully cross to a home driveway. The path heads to the right behind a hedge and heads tightly up some steps between the shrubbery and a fence. Go over a stile and up through a field edge to a track up past Lower Small Hazels and Burnley Golf Club with a slight veer to the left by a small covered reservoir fence. At the golf course there are two alternative routes.
  4. 4 Route 1 - head straight up through the golf course up to the stile at the top of Woodplumpton Road, being careful to avoid golf balls and not to wander across the fairways.
  5. 5 Route 2 - to avoid the golf course and follow part of the Wayside Arts Trail, turn sharply left and follow the fence and rough edge to a stile. Head across the large, boggy field towards the distant barn (watch out for cattle and sometimes a bull) before veering left to a marker post and a track, which hairpins right down to the stream. Follow the right bank above the stream up to Copy Clough Wood, where there is a Forest of Burnley sign. Here the path crosses several small footbridges to a stile that leads up to Crown Point Road. Turn right and carefullly cross to a kissing gate, and head up to rejoin the main Burnley Way route.
  6. 6 Having carefully crossed Crown Point Road, head through the kissing gate up to the hill top with the former Isolation Hospital to your right. Go along the path with a wall to your right until you descend to Manchester Road via the Wholaw Nook old stone yard, now the site of new planting and the Four Seasons stone carvings by Iain Cant.
  7. 7 Carefully cross Manchester Road, and follow Tom Fort's Lane to Higher Nutshaw. Look for the stile across the former colliery site. Clowbridge Reservoir is visible down to the left. Cross one field to a track which after 400m joins a minor road. Turn right and continue up for 1km to the base of Hameldon Hill.
  8. 8 Take the steep path up on the North side to rejoin the road at a cattle grid. Cross the stile beside the cattle grid, and follow the fenced track to the left of the masts for 700m.
  9. 9 Cross a stile and veer right across the moor before descending for over 1km via the footpath and track (with wall and Thorny Bank Clough to your right) to High Barley Green.
  10. 10 Turn left along a short track, then cross the common below the old shoooting range to the conifer plantation, where an indistinct path weaves through the trees to the far corner on the clough side. A stile leads through a field to Mista Farm and onto a track to Accrington Road (A674), eventually skirting Hameldon Plantation, managed by Lancashire County Council as part of the Forest of Burnley.
  11. 11 Carefully cross the main road to a stile opposite the conifer wood entrance. Veer left round the huts, then right descending through the field to a footbridge by a wood - the Forest of Burnley site called Childers Green. Over the bridge, head up the narrow path to Mill Hill Lane. (The Hyndburn Way and the Huncoat Trail share this section of the route.)
  12. 12 Turn right carefully down Mill Hill Lane, which runs across this area of common land. After 100m, turn left opposite the car park entrance, and follow the path through the Western flank of Castle Clough Wood. (BEWARE: keep strictly to the path, as there are cliffs in the clough below it.) At the North end of the wood, veer left over a stile, and alongside the railway fence.
  13. 13 Either cross the railway carefully at the stiles and the turn right, or, for a larger group, continue for 250m to go underneath it by the A56, and double back on the path to rejoin the Burnley Way. Continue beside the railway, then pass under the motorway bridge towards the canal. If you are finishing your walk here, turn right at the canal, then go up the steps and along the path to Wordsworth Street. Turn right across the motorway footbridge and left to Manchester Rd. Carefully turn left for Hapton Railway Station or the bus stop back to Burnley.

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