Great Harwood Loop #2

 

The second loop for Great Harwood is a 3.6 mile walk, mainly in the beautiful countryside surrounding the town.  I did this with my two boys (11 & 9 years old) and including stops for taking pictures, , climbing trees and messing around on the top of Bowley and it took just under 2 hours .

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We set off from the town centre outside Great Harwood Library and passing Mercer Hall.   The hall was originally built in 1921 but converted to a swimming pool in 1967.  Turn right after the hall and walk along Water Street and when you reach Dr Grayson Way on your right, follow this past the front of the Great Harwood Medical Centre and it leads into Windsor Park.  Walk straight through the park and it will lead you out onto Park Road.

Turn left onto Park Road and this leads up to a junction with Park Lane.  Cross over Park Lane carefully and carry on along Allsprings Drive.  This leads up to Memorial Park.

As you continue along Allsprings Drive the park and football pitches will be on your left and on your right you will see views across to Simonstone and Pendle Hill.  At the end of Allsprings Drive there is a small house and a path on your right.  If you follow the path there are fields on your right and it leads down to Squires Farm and a gate leading into the countryside.

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Follow the path past the farm and along its natural course (it leads down the edge of a field through another gate and over a small “bridge” over a brook).  Once over the brook the path continues along, however, have a look carefully at the trees on your right and you will find “The Bone Tree” ( you may need to go down the slope to look!).  Once you have discovered this rejoin the path and continue along to the next gate.

The path is fairly obvious as you continue on past the fallen tree trunk (great for kids to climb on), again follow its natural course and as you go down hill you will see the next gate.  Up on your left there are some rocks the kids also enjoy clambering all over!  Through the next gate, the path leads gently uphill and leads toward Bowley Scout Camp.  If you look behind you there are some lovely views of the countryside, the river you may hear is the River Calder.

As you go through the next gate by the stone wall take care especially if you have children, the path drops away steeply to the river below and there is no fence, however, you are only on the path for a few metres before you turn left through another gate and start to head up along the public footpath that leads through the Scout Camp.

From here on it all uphill, however, it is fairly steady going.  Walk across the field and you will see the car tracks which are easy to follow and lead you eventually to top of the camp and its entrance on Dean Lane.  Continue up Dean Lane (just be aware of vehicles coming to and from the Scout Camp) past the entrance for Cowden Farm and a lay-by on your left.  Near the top of the Dean Lane there is a hidden stile in the bushes on your right, if you find this, it leads to Bowley Hill.  Climb over the stile, cross the field and over the next one that is ahead of you.  You can climb the hill easily, just watch out for rabbit holes hidden in the grass!  Once at the top you will have great views over the Ribble Valley and Pendle Hill if you look back towards the Scout camp, or, ahead of you and to the right is Dean Clough Resevoir and Wilpshire Moor, while on your left is Great Harwood and Accrington.

Once you have finished admiring the view, head back the way you came over the stiles and back out onto Dean Lane and continue following it round the corner and downhill until it reaches the junction with Cliffe Lane.  It is all downhill from here, past the Dog and Otter pub (as in the Great Harwood Loop #1), turning right onto Lowerfold Road an walking past Lowerfold Park.  Turn right at the junction with Church Street, follow the road downhill, crossing at the zebra crossing.  Continue along Church Street and you will reach the junction with Queen Street (the main high street in Great Harwood), turn left onto this and follow it all the way down to the Library to finish the walk.

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Great Harwood Loop #1

This walk is a simple 2.6 mile loop starting and finishing at the Mercer Memorial Clock, Town Gate, Great Harwood (Post Code BB6 7DD).  The first half features a steady uphill from the start, but the good news is it is all downhill on the second half!  The majority is walking on pavements and paths although there is a small section where you will be walking on a road with 30/40mph limit.

Basic Route Map
A basic map of the route

Setting off from the clock (which was built in 1900), head across Blackburn Road and past the Duke of Wellington pub, turning left onto Delph Road.  From here follow the road  over the roundabout where it becomes Edge End Road and goes past the Commercial pub.  The road leads up past a children’s play area on your right and finally becomes Clinkham Road.

Clinkham Road rises steadily with views on your left over Great Harwood, Accrington, Rishton and towards Blackburn.  You will pass Belmont Farm on your right and as you near the top, the road bears round to the right and you will see views across to Pendle Hill through the farm gate.  At the end of the road it meets with Blackburn Old Road & Smalley Thorn Brow, care needs to be taken here crossing to Billinge Woods that you see across the road, it is a stretch of road where the speed limit changes from 60 to 40mph as vehicles head into Great Harwood.

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Views over Great Harwood from Clinkham Road

Once you are safely across the road there is a path that clearly leads straight ahead and down into the woods, it bears right at the bottom and joins a tarmac path.  Follow this with the fence on your left hand side and you will see views over Dean Clough Reservoir towards Billington and Whalley.  Ahead of you, you will see Pendle Hill in the background, the smaller hill nearest to you is Bowley Hill.  Follow the path through the gate and then onto the next gate.

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The track leading into the woods.

As you exit this gate, turn left down the hill.  This short section will be on the road so take care again.  Once you reach the pavement follow this past the Great Harwood Cricket Club and as you carry on down the hill (which is now Cliffe Lane) you will see the Dog and Otter pub on your left – this serves good food and good beer so it’s worth a stop should you need refreshment!  After passing the Dog and Otter walk down Cliffe Lane until you get to Lowerfold Park, turn right walking down Lowerfold Road with the park on your left until you get to  the junction with Church Street.  Turn right onto Church Street walking past the zebra crossing and as you carry on you will see the Clock Tower ahead of you and the end of the walk.  You will pass the Cross Axes pub, then cross over Delph road past the Duke of Wellington and then finally back across the zebra crossing where you started.  If you are looking for a good beer, cider or glass of wine at the end of the walk, then it’s worth popping round the corner and visiting the 1BTap micro bar on Glebe Street – just make sure you check out it’s opening hours so you’re not dissapointed!

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Looking towards Bowley & Pendle Hill