In Lancashire we’re fortunate that away from our busy cities and towns we’re never too far from beautiful greenery and scenery.
From dramatic hills to tranquil forests and rolling fields, there are landscapes that are suitbale for all ages and abilities.
Darwen Tower, also known as Jubilee Tower, on Beacon Hill rewards walkers with breathtaking views of the surrounding moorland as well as Morecambe Bay, Blackpool Tower, Cumbria, and Yorkshire.
A walk to the iconic octagonal tower, which was built in 1898 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, is the perfect way to get some fresh air and exercise – but it can be tiring work.
Fortunately, a post-walk pint is definitely an option and you can rest your tired legs at the nearby Sunnyhurst Pub.
It’s Darwen’s first Cask Marque approved pub and offers a wide range of lagers and ales provided by Blackburn-based Thwaites’ Brewery. The pub also has a good selection of guest ales, wines, and spirits. Most importantly it’s dog and family friendly.
Be aware of the pub’s winter opening times to make sure you don’t miss out on a refreshing reward at the end of your walk.
It’s closed on Mondays and open 5pm-11pm Tuesday-Thursday, 4pm-midnight on Friday, 12noon-midnight on Saturday and 12noon-11pm on Sunday.
The circular walk below takes in stunning views of the Darwen Moors countryside and takes around 90 minutes to complete, covering a distance of roughly two miles.
Besides Darwen Tower, highlights include views of Earnsdale Reservoir, which was built in 1854 to supply Darwen water. It’s now sheltered by trees and provides a haven for waterfowl in the winter.
- Start from Sunnyhurst Wood Lychgate car park (BB3 1JX) – to get there follow the brown tourist signs off the A666 which direct you up Earnsdale Road to the car park.
- Turn right out of the car park and head up the lane past Waterman’s Cottage. Keep left as you approach the fork and climb up the hill.
- Continue along the fark track, passing Higher Wenshead Farm on your left going through a farm gate. Keep walking and pass through a second farm gate. Carry on along the track until it bears to the right. Then climb the stile on the left by the farm gate. Turn immediately left and climb the steps to the hillside. You should see a stone marker with a carving of Darwen Tower and a direction arrow as you pass over the stile. It is the first waymarker of several that leads you to Darwen Tower.
- Take a right at the top of the steps and follow the path in front of the remains of Stepback Cottage, better known as “Owd Aggies”. The name comes from the owner who was murdered in 1860 by burglars who ransacked the cottage and stole £5.
- Keep walking up the path to the top of the hill and turn left at the wooden bench overlooking Stepback Clough. As you bear left take note of the stone waymarker as you carry on along the path.
- Continue along the path, forking right past another stone marker. On your left is Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir. A little further along is a short path to the right whcih takes you up to Darwen Tower.
- Once you’ve taken in the amazing views and the tower you need to retrace your steps down the hill until you get to the Ordnance Survey triangulation point. Then take the path on right and at the next junction carry on down the path.
- Note the kissing gate on your right, but don’t climb over it as it leads you to Darwen town centre, and carry on down the track. On your left you should see the water treatment plan opposite Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir.
- Carry on down the track and pass through a farm gate. The path then splits into two and you should take the way that forks to the left. At the end of the path take a left and you’ll find yourself opposite the Sunnyhurst Pub. Stop off for a well-earned drink before going along Tockholes Road back to Sunnyhurst Wood Lychate car park.
Download a map and full instructions from the Visit Lancashire website.
Let us know your favourite walks in Lancashire in the comments below.
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