West Pennine & Rossendale Walks
Date: 13th July 2010
Distance: 4.8 miles
Ascent: 935 feet
Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Start Grid Ref: SD679224
A nice walk up on to Darwen Hill to visit the rocket-shaped Darwen Tower and returning via the popular Sunnyhurst Wood.
Route Summary: Lychgate Car Park - Darwen Hill - Darwen Moor - Stepback Clough - Ryal Fold - Earnsdale Reservoir - Sunnyhurst Wood - Lychgate Car Park
Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.
Walk Detail: For Lisa's birthday we decided upon this short walk up to one of the best known landmarks of the West Pennine Moors.
The climb from Sunnyhurst Wood's Lychgate car park was short and steady. At a very early stage we had excellent long distance views of the Pendle and Bowland fells while further back the outlines of Ingleborough and Whernside could also be seen. Less aesthetically pleasing perhaps were the extensive views over Blackburn and Darwen while the M65 was also fairly prominent.
In the early part of the climb the path was lined on either side with bilberry bushes, the sight of the bilberry fruit brought back nice memories of my mum's bilberry pies when I was a young lad.
The main feature of the walk was the Jubilee Tower on the top of Darwen Hill. It was built between 1897-1898 to commemorate both Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee as well as to celebrate the granting of access rights to the moor for the general public. At 86ft high it completely dwarfs the neighbouring trig point.
There are two viewing platforms at different levels and after savouring the views from both we sat and ate a quick snack before heading south on a good path. Looking back the tower looked like a rocket ship from an old sci-fi movie perched on the top of the hill.
After an easy descent to the Roddlesworth Information Centre on the Tockholes road we then walked down to the dam of the attractive Earnsdale Reservoir before the final stage of the walk which was through Sunnyhurst Wood. This proved to be an attractive and popular country park with numerous features the most attractive of which were some small arched bridges either end of a small lake.
This was a short but hugely enjoyable walk which managed to pack in quite a lot of variety and interest in a small area. To top it all off we stopped off at the Punch Bowl in Earby for a rather tasty pub lunch.