GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Rawtenstall Walks

11 miles (17 km)

This Lancashire based town is in a great place for exploring the River Irwell and the Rossendale Valley. There's also miles of footpaths and hill climbs over the surrounding Pennine Moors to enjoy.
This route makes use of sections of the Irwell Sculpture Trail, the Pennine Bridleway and the Rossendale Way to create a circular walk around the town.
The walk starts near the town centre near the train station on the heritage East Lancs Railway. You can pick up the Irwell Sculpture Trail and follow the waymarked footpath east along the river towards Hareholme and Waterfoot. Here you can pick up the Pennine Bridleway and follow the shared cycling and walking trail south towards Cowpe Lowe and Black Hill. You then pick up the Rossendale Way and follow it south to Tottington Higher End Moor, passing Scout Moor and Whittle Hill to your west.
At the Grain Brook the route bends to the west passing Turf Moor and Fecit Hill before coming back to the River Irwell near Chatterton. Follow the riverside trail north and it will take you past Ewood Bridge before returning to Rawtenstall.


BB4 6EH - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations

Rawtenstall OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Rawtenstall Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking

Walks near Rawtenstall

  • Irwell Sculpture Trail - Follow the River Irwell on this splendid waterside walk through Greater Manchester and enjoy over 70 artworks by renowned artists
  • Rossendale Way - This circular walk takes you on a tour of the lovely Rossendale area of Lancashire and Greater Manchester.
    The path passes Haslingden, Rawtenstall, Whitworth, Stubbins and Healey with a series of attractive reservoirs including Cowpe and Calf Hey real highlights
  • Calf Hey Reservoir - The attractive area of Haslingden Grane includes some nice walking trails around Calf Hey Reservoir and through the adjacent woodland
  • Haslingden - This walk climbs to an interesting art structure and viewpoint in Haslingden, Lancashire.
    Start the walk from the car park on Cribden End Lane, just to the north east of Haslingden
  • Musbury Tor - This walk climbs to Musbury Tor or Tor Hill in the Rossendale Valley
  • Peel Tower - This walk climbs to the Peel Monument on Holcombe Hill in Ramsbottom near Bury
  • Summerseat - This village near Ramsbottom is a lovely place for a stroll
  • Salford Trail - This circular walk explores the city of Salford on a long distance waymarked trail.
  • Ramsbottom - A circular walk around Ramsbottom visiting some of the highlights of the area including River Irwell, Nuttall Park, Holcombe and the iconic Peel Tower.
    The walk starts from the train station and heads a short distance to the east to pick up the Irwell Sculpture Trail
  • Clowbridge Reservoir - Enjoy a circular walk around this pretty reservoir near Burnley
  • Entwistle Reservoir - This circular walk follows the waterside footpath around Turton and Entwistle Reservoir near Bolton in Lancashire
  • Wayoh Reservoir - Enjoy an easy circular walk around this pretty reservoir near Bolton
  • Jumbles Country Park - Enjoy a short stroll around Jumbles Reservoir in this pretty country park in Bolton
  • Redisher Wood - This walk visits the pretty Redisher Wood in Ramsbottom


The Buffer Stops pub is located at Rawtenstall train station on the East Lancs Railway. It's a nice place to enjoy a drink and watch the old steam trains go by. They have a great selection of ales with the pub a key stop on the Rail Ale Trail. On the experience you canhop on and hop off all along the East Lancashire Railway line, stopping at some of the oldest and most popular pubs in the Irwell Valley. You can find the bar on the platform at postcode BB4 6EH.

Dog Walking

The moorland and hills make for a fine walk for fit dogs. The Buffer Stops mentioned above is also dog friendly.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

One of the highlights in the town is the excellent Whitaker Museum and Art Gallery. There's some fine exhibitions, documentary films, a fascinatingart collection and picturesque gardens to stroll around in afterwards. Entry is free and the museum can be found on Haslingden Road at postcode BB4 6RE.
You could extend the walk by continuing south west to the iconic Peel Tower where you can enjoy fine views over the area.
To the west there's some nice waterside trails along Calf Hey Reservoir and Ogden Reservoir to try.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Lancashire Walks page.


Bank Street Rawtenstall - - 470955

Bank Street Rawtenstall

Rawtenstall Cricket Ground - - 688677

Rawtenstall Cricket Ground

River Irwell, Rawtenstall

River Irwell, Rawtenstall

Rawtenstall - - 386395

The junction of St Marys Way and Bank Street. The mill on the left is Ilex Mill which now houses people instead of looms.

Scout Moor High Level Reservoir - - 557616

Scout Moor High Level Reservoir. Looking down the valley from the Rossendale Way footpath.

Pennine Bridleway beneath Cowpe Lowe - - 123868

Pennine Bridleway beneath Cowpe Lowe. Cowpe Lowe is the flat-topped hill (440m) on the skyline. The Pennine Bridleway goes right to Waterfoot and left to Top o'the Leach on Rooley moor.

Remains of old coal workings on Grain Brook - - 491006

Remains of old coal workings on Grain Brook The stone structure in the foreground is all that remains of a stone arched bridge. Parts of the arch still spanned the brook until around 2000.

River Irwell - - 516812

River Irwell. Towards Townsend Fold.


GPS Files

GPX File

Rawtenstall.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Share>Save to Files')

Memory Map Route

Rawtenstall.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Share>Save to Files)