Please use the links below to view full route information including descriptions, elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.
You can also view an overview map of all the routes in the using the Lancashire Walk Map
|Abbeystead Reservoir||2 miles (4 km)||This short circular walk takes you around Abbeystead Reservoir in the Forest of Bowland. The reservoir has an impressive curved weir and is surrounded by some beautiful countryside. This walk starts in Abbeystead and follows the Wyre Way footpath along the southern shore of the reservoir. You'll pass near to the waters edge with a woodland section through Hinberry Wood. You then pass the weir and Bank Wood before returning to Abbeystead. It's a fairly easy walk with lovely views of the River Wyre and the Forest of Bowland countryside and hills.|
|Anglezarke Reservoir||5 miles (7.5 km)||This circular cycle loop takes you around the pretty Anglezarke Reservoir near Chorley. If you're coming by train you can easily reach the reservoir from Chorley or Adlington. Parking is also available at the south eastern end of the reservoir. |
The route takes you around the reservoir using a series of country lanes. There are some climbs with great views over the Rivington chain of reservoirs which includes Yarrow Reservoir, High Bullough Reservoir and Upper and Lower Rivington Reservoirs.
It's easy to extend your outing by heading into the nearby Rivington Country Park where there are more cycle trails.
The route below is a cycle route but the reservoir also has some lovely walking trails on the eastern side. If you park in the car park where this route starts then you can pick up a lovely waterside footpath which will take you to High Bullough reservoir. It's a lovely walk with woodland trails. You could extend it by climbing the nearby Winter Hill.
|Astley Park||2 miles (3 km)||This pretty park in Chorley has walking paths and a cycle track to enjoy. Features in the park include the River Chor, woodland, gardens and a beautiful lake. The focal point of the park is Astley Hall, a grade I listed Jacobean house. There is also a walled garden, art gallery and a new cafe. The park is ideal for a pleasant short stroll or a safe family cycle ride.|
Astley park is located just a short distance from Chorley train station and the centre of town.
|Avenham Park||1 miles (1.5 km)||This large park in Preston town centre is a great place for a safe cycle or walk. National Cycle Network Routes 6 and 62 run through the park and there are miles of well surfaced footpaths to follow into the adjacent Miller Park. Highlights in the park include a pretty Japenese Garden and riverside paths along the River Ribble which runs through the southern section of the park. From the high points there are nice views to the Pennine Hills, especially the prominent Winter Hill. Other park features include a pond with a fountain, tree lined avenues by the river and a grotto with rockwork and a water feature. There is also an excellent riverside cafe where you can enjoy refreshments after your walk.|
The Preston Guild Wheel cycling and walking route also runs through Avenham so there is scope for continuing your exercise. Heading west will take you to the Riversway Docklands and marina. If you head east you'll come to Fishwick Bottoms and the lovely Brockholes Nature Reserve with its large lake and abundance of wildlife.
The park is located very close to Preston train station so is easy to get to by public transport.
|Beacon Fell Country Park||2 miles (3 km)||Explore 271 acres of woodland, moorland and farmland in the Forest of Bowland AONB. Beacon Fell is situated 266 metres (873 feet) above sea level giving fabulous views of Morecambe Bay and the Isle of Man (on a clear day). There are several miles of lovely woodland walking trails and an excellent visitor centre with a wealth of information. Beacon Fell is situated a few miles north of Preston.|
If you'd like to extend your walk you could head to the nearby Parlick and Fair Snape Fell where there is a wonderful footpath with fantastic views over the Forest of Bowland.
|Bold Venture Park Darwen||1 miles (2 km)||This large park in Darwen is great for an easy afternoon stroll. The pretty Bold Venture brook runs through the centre of the park so you can enjoy a nice waterside walk through the surrounding woodland valley. Along the way there are a number of wooden sculptures of animals and a series of waterfalls to look out for.|
At the western end of the park you emerge from the woodland. Here you can enjoy nice views across the surrounding moorland towards Darwen Tower. At the end near the town the park has a large lake, a war memorial and attractive formal gardens. The footpaths throughout the park are generally good paved trails.
If you would like to extend your walk then you could visit Sunnyhurst Woods or continue along the Witton Weavers Way.
|Bolton Rotary Way Footpath||50 miles (80 km)||Enjoy industrial heritage, reservoirs, historic estates, memorials and country parks on this circular walk around Bolton. The walk visits Adlington, West Houghton, Blackrod and Farnworth. Walk highlights include Jumbles and Rivington Reservoirs, Blackleath Country Park and a waterside stretch along the Leeds & Liverpool canal.|
|Boulsworth Hill||7 miles (12 km)||Climb to Lad Law, the 1,696 ft (517 m) summit of Boulsworth Hill on this challenging walk in the South Pennines. The walk starts in the historically fascinating village of Wycoller and makes use of the Bronte Way and the Pendle Way footpaths to take you to Boulsworth Dyke where you begin the serious climbing to the hill summit. The views are far reaching with the Lake District Peaks, the Peak District, Pendle Hill and Blackpool Tower all visible on a clear day. You then descend via Bedding Hill Moor and return to Wycoller on the same paths.|
It's a fine walk with some wonderful moorland scenery and a nice waterside section along the Wycoller Beck at the start. The beck is crossed with ancient Clapper and Pack-horse bridges one of which is over 1,000 years old. You'll also pass the ruined Wycoller Hall thought to be the inspiration for 'Ferndean Manor' in Charlotte Bronte's novel Jane Eyre.
If you would like to extend your walk you could head to the nearby Widdop Reservoir.
|Bridgewater Way||38 miles (61 km)||A walk along the Bridgewater canal, through Cheshire, Greater Manchester and on into Lancashire. The route passes Salford, Trafford, Manchester, Warrington and Halton. |
When complete the Bridgewater Way will also be open to cyclists.
|Brockholes Nature Reserve||2 miles (3.5 km)||This lovely nature reserve near Preston has lots of nice footpaths to follow around a series of lakes. The area has been transformed from an old quarry into a splendid wetland and woodland nature reserve. There's miles of surfaced trails to follow through 250 acres of pools, reedbeds and woodland. The site also includes the nations first floating visitor village. This includes a lovely lakeside cafe and a visitor centre with a wealth of information on the wildlife visiting the reserve. This includes heron, great crested grebe, osprey, roe deer, otter and bittern. There are a number of hides and lookout points from which to observe the birds.|
There's a good sized car park at the site but if you'd like to visit the reserve by bike then National Route 622 and the Preston Guild Wheel will take you into Brockholes from nearby Preston. There's cycle racks by the car park where you can lock up your bike.
The Ribble Way long distance walk also passes the site so you could pick this up and enjoy a riverside stroll. Heading north will take you towards Grimsargh, while heading west takes you to Fishwick Bottoms and Avenham Park in Preston.
|Bronte Way||44 miles (71 km)||Follow the Bronte Way through Lancashire and Yorkshire and visit many of the places associated with writings and lives of the Bronte Sisters.|
Highlights on the walk include:
Gawthorpe Hall - visited by Charlotte Bronte on several occasions, Gawthorpe Hall is the start point of the walk
Wycoller Country Park - Wycoller Hall is believed to have inspired Ferndean Manor in Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre".
Top Withens - the inspiration for the location of Wuthering Heights
Ponden Hall - situated near the village of Stanbury it inspired Thrushcross grange in Wuthering Heights. It sits next to the pretty Ponden Reservoir.
Haworth - this Yorkshire village is where the Bronte sisters wrote many of their works and includes the Haworth Parsonage Museum
Thronton - birthplace of the Brontes
Oakwell Hall - inspiration for 'Fieldhead' in Charlotte Bronte's novel Shirley and also the end point of the route
Bronte Waterfall - this beautiful waterfall is located in Bronte Country near Haworth. It was a popular spot for the Bronte sisters who loved visiting the waterfall. There is a pretty little bridge called Bronte Bridge next to the falls.
As well as the interesting places above the walk also passes some beautiful scenery including Ponden and Leeming Reservoirs, the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and Penistone country park.
|Burnley Way||40 miles (64 km)||Explore the rivers, canals, reservoirs and moorland around Burnley on this varied circular walk.|
|Clougha Pike||5 miles (8 km)||This circular walk takes you to Clougha Pike in the Forest of Bowland. The hill is located a few miles east of Lancaster, reaching a height of 413 m (1,355 ft). Clougha Pike commands wonderful views over Morecambe Bay, Snowdonia and the Lake District Fells.|
You can park at the Rigg Lane car park (postcode below) just to the west of the hill. You then head towards Ottergear Bridge near Cragg Wood and the River Conder. The path then takes you towards Wisp Hill and Black Fell before coming to the Clougha Pike summit. Take a while to soak in the wonderful views. On a clear day you should be able to see the coast and beyond to the Isle of Man.
The route then descends back to the car park via Windy Clough with views of Trough Brook on the way.
An alternative, shorter route is to start from Rigg Farm and follow the Rowton Brook to the summit. The walk can be extended by continuing east along the path to Grit Fell and Ward's Stone, the highest hill in the Forest of Bowland. It can be quite a difficult walk though as it is a boggy area.
Cyclists can reach the hill on regional route 90 which runs through Quernmore.
|Clowbridge Reservoir||2 miles (3 km)||Enjoy a circular walk around this pretty reservoir near Burnley. There are good footpaths taking you through the countryside and woodland which surround the reservoir. You can park at the southern end of the water and pick up the path which leads up into the lovely countryside above Clowbridge. The path then takes you to the woodland of Greenhill Clough before returning to the car park by following the track on the west side of the water. |
You can extend your walk by picking up the Rossendale Way or the Burnley Way which run past the reservoir.
|Cumbria Coastal Way||182 miles (293 km)||Explore the wonderful coastline of Cumbria on this splendid long distance path. The walk begins at Silverdale and runs through a series of fascinating Cumbrian coastal towns and villages, before finishing near Gretna on the border with Scotland. Spectacular cliff tops, peaceful estuaries, beaches, mountains, rivers and canals are all features on this popular route.|
The video below shows the lovely views from Grange-Over-Sands and Arnside. From here you can see the Lake District Mountains and Morecambe Bay in the distance.
The walk has been designed for all abilities with very few strenuous climbs. It is also very accessible with train stations and bus routes dotted along the route. The walk is well waymarked with a dark green and yellow disc.
|Darwen Tower||3 miles (5 km)||This circular walk takes you up Darwen Hill to Jubilee Tower from Tockholes in Lancashire. The short climb to the tower gives great views over the surrounding moorland and reservoirs. The Bowland Fells and the mountains of Ingleborough and Whernside make a wonderful backdrop. On a clear day you can also see North Yorkshire, Morecambe Bay, Blackpool Tower, the Lake District and the Isle of Man. |
The walk starts from the car park at Tockholes and follows good footpaths to the hill summit and the tower. You can then climb the 85 feet high tower on the staircase inside. The tower was built in the late 19th century to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.
The route descends along the Witton Weavers Way, passing the attractive Sunnyhurst Hey and Earnsdale Reservoirs before returning to the car park. At Earnsdale reservoir you will find the pretty Sunnyhurst Woods. You could extend the walk by exploring the 85 acres of woodland with its streams and wide variety of birdlife.
|Entwistle Reservoir||2 miles (4 km)||This circular walk follows the waterside footpath around Turton and Entwistle Reservoir near Bolton in Lancashire. The walk starts from the car park at the eastern end of the reservoir but you could also start from the nearby Entwistsle railway station. Trains run to Entwistle from Manchester, Blackburn and Clitheroe. |
There is a good, well surfaced footpath around the reservoir, running for about 2.5 miles. It's a popular place for walkers with the beautiful still waters surrounded by attractive conifer trees. After your walk you can treat yourself to refreshments at the excellent Strawberry Duck pub located to the east of the reservoir, near the train station.
It's easy to extend your walk by picking up the Witton Weavers Way and following it south to the lovely Jumbles Country Park via Wayoh Reservoir.
|Fairhaven Lake||1 miles (2 km)||Enjoy an easy stroll around this pretty salt water lake in Lytham St Annes. It's a popular spot with a good footpath running around the perimiter of the lake and along the sea front. There are lovely views over Granny's Bay towards Southport and on a clear day the mountains of Wales are also visible. There are good facilities with a cafe and RSPB Discovery Centre. Look out for a variety of wildfowl on the lake and on the Ribble Estuary. These include Canada Geese, Swans, coots, water hens and other smaller fowl. You can also hire row boats and motorboats. |
The Lancashire Coastal Way coastal way runs past the lake so you could pick this up and head along the coast towards Blackpool to extend your walk.
|Forest of Bowland Walk||68 miles (109 km)||A circular walk around the Forest of Bowland AONB in Lancashire. You start at Caton and visit Slaidburn, Clitheroe and Garstang before returning to Caton. |
The walk begins with a lovely riverside stretch along the River Lune from Caton to Hornby. You continue to Slaidburn before following the River Ribble through Clitheroe and climbing Longridge Fell for some splendid views. The next section takes you to Calder Vale and then onto Garstang, passing Beacon Fell which is well worth a slight detour from the trail (see video). The final section takes you from Garstang to Caton passing Nicky Nook with its fabulous viewpoint (see video) and the Barnacre and Grizedale Reservoirs.
|Foulridge Reservoir||2 miles (3 km)||This easy, circular walk takes you around the pretty Foulridge Reservoir in Colne. The reservoir (also known as Lake Burwain) has a good footpath running along the water with super views of Pendle Hill. |
If you'd like to extend your walk you could pick up the Leeds and Liverpool Canal for more waterside walking.
|Gisburn Forest||4 miles (6.5 km)||Enjoy miles of wonderful woodland walking and cycling trails in this large forest in the Forest of Bowland. Mountain bikers can enjoy a moderate 9.5km blue grade trail and a more challenging red grade trail. Walkers can enjoy 5 waymarked walks of varying lengths and difficulty. In the forest you will find wide, well surfaced trails taking you through mixed woodland and conifer plantation with a wide variety of wildlife to look out for in one of the hides. There are also becks, streams and waterfalls.|
This easy circular route starts at the forest hub and takes you to Hesbert Hall before returning with a waterside section along Bottoms Beck and the lovely Stocks Reservoir. If you'd like to continue your walking in the area then you could try the Stocks Reservoir route which takes you all away around the reservoir.
|Hodder Way||27 miles (43 km)||Follow the River Hodder on this stunning waterside walk through the breathtakingly beautiful Forest of Bowland.|
The walk begins at Great Mitton and heads north through Whitewell, Newton and Slaidburn before a wonderful section around Stocks Reservoir finishes the route.
|Hyndburn Clog||31 miles (50 km)||A circular walk around Blackburn and Accrington in Lancashire, visiting a series of reservoirs and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.|
|Jumbles Country Park||2 miles (3 km)||Enjoy a short stroll around Jumbles Reservoir in this pretty country park in Bolton. The park is set within the beautiful West Pennine Moors with a lovely waterside footpath around the reservoir. There are also good facilities with a visitor centre and cafe.|
The park is located just a couple of miles north east of Bolton city centre, near to the Lancashire village of Chapeltown. If you have time you could continue your walk along the Witton Weavers Way to the nearby Wayoh Reservoir and Nature Reserve.
|Lancashire Coastal Way||65 miles (105 km)||Travel along the beautiful Lancashire coast from Silverdale to Freckleton on this fairly easy walk.|
You start off at Silverdale and head south to Morecambe Bay passing Warton and Bolton-Le-Sands. At Morecambe you'll pass the Eric Morecambe statue with great views over the bay towards the Lake District. There's also a great deal of coastal wildlife to look out for including Cormorants, Curlews, Lapwings and Oystercatchers. The area includes Hest Bank and is a RSPB reserve with sandflats and saltmarshes that attract thousands of birds. As such it is considered the second most important estuary in the UK.
From Morecambe you head inland towards Lancaster and along the River Lune to Glasson.
The next section takes you to Knott End on Sea where you catch the ferry to Fleetwood and continue south towards the world famous seaside resort of Blackpool with the iconic tower and pleasure beach.
The final section runs through the pretty resort of Lytham St Annes with Fairhaven lake at Ansdell, views over the Ribble Estuary and the landmark windmill on Lytham front the highlights. You finish soon after at Freckleton.
|Lancaster Canal||57 miles (91 km)||Follow the Lancaster Canal from Preston, in Lancashire, to Kendal, in Cumbria, on this splendid waterside walk or cycle. From the canal there are fine views of the Silverdale Coast, the Forest of Bowland AONB and the lovely Wyre countryside. The route passes Garstang, Lancaster and Carnforth before finishing at Kendal.|
|Lancaster to Caton||6 miles (9 km)||This easy short ride or walk follows the River Lune and National Cycle route 69 from Lancaster to Caton. The whole route is traffic free, following a riverside path to Caton. As such it is ideal for families.|
|Leeds and Liverpool Canal||126 miles (203 km)||Enjoy waterside cycling and walking along Britain's longest single canal. It runs for 126 miles across the Pennines, passing many villages, towns and cities with a fascinating heritage and industrial history. There are also umpteen pretty locks, viaducts and some wonderful countryside to enjoy. |
Walkers can enjoy the whole route from Leeds to Liverpool, while there are several sections for cyclists too. If you are on a bike then you can follow Sustrans National Cycle Route 66 from the start at Leeds to just outside Silsden. There's another Sustrans section around Barnoldswick and from Nelson to Burnley in Lancashire. The section from Chorley to Adlington is also open to cyclists.
Highlights on the route include the impressive 5 rise locks at Bingley, Wigan Pier and the lovely Foulridge Reservoir in Colne. Near Burscough you'll pass the wonderful Martin Mere Nature Reserve where you can look out for otters, flamingos, beavers and thousands of water loving birds. You can also link up with the Rufford Branch of the canal and head to Rufford Hall.
|Longridge Fell||5 miles (7.5 km)||Enjoy a walk to the summit of England's most southerley fell on this wonderful walk in the Forest of Bowland. The walk begins at the car park at Turner Fold and takes you to the 1,148-ft (350-m) summit on woodland footpaths. There are fabulous views from the high point including the Fylde Coast, the Vale of Chipping, the fells of the Forest of Bowland (including Parlick, Fair Snape Fell and Beacon Fell), the Yorkshire Dales and on a clear day the Lake District fells.|
Longridge Fell is situated to the north of both Preston and Blackburn.
|Lune Estuary Footpath||18 miles (29 km)||Explore the beautiful Lune Estuary on this waterside walk near Lancaster. The walk begins in Lancaster and takes you along the Lancashire Coastal Way and the Lune Estuary Footpath to Glasson Dock. It's a nice footpath with lovely views across the Estuary towards Morcambe Bay and the Lake District Mountains in the distance. Cyclists can also enjoy much of this section which forms part of the National Cycle Network.|
Glasson Dock is an attractive marina which makes a nice point to stop for refreshments. You could also start the walk from here and head north along the river to Lancaster if you prefer. This walk continues past the marina towards Cockersands Abbey, passing the old lighthouse on the way. At the abbey grounds you can see the 13th century vaulted chapter house. It is still intact and is a Grade I listed building and Scheduled Ancient Monument.
From the abbey you head inland, through the countryside, towards Lower Thurnham. You then follow the Lancaster Canal and the River Conder back to Glasson Dock. Return to Lancaster via the Lune Estuary Footpath and Lancashire Coastal Way.
|Lune Valley Ramble||16 miles (26 km)||This lovely easy walk follows the River Lune from Lancaster to Kirkby Lonsdale in Cumbria. As well as the stunning riversde scenery there are wonderful views of the South Lakeland fells and the beautiful Crook o' Lune.|
The route is bounded by high moors and limestone hills with the Ingleborough, Whernside and Leck Fells making a magnificent backdrop to the walk.
|Lunesdale Walk||34 miles (54 km)||This figure of eight walk takes you on a tour of the beautiful scenery around Carnforth.|
The trail takes in a series of waterways including the Lancaster Canal and the Rivers Lune, Hindburn, Wenning and Roeburn while also passing through several pretty towns and villages. Starting in Carnforth you will pass Swarthdale, Melling, Roeburndale, Hornby, Arkholme and Capernwray. You can also enjoy views of Morecambe Bay with the Cumbrian Mountains making a spectacular backdrop. Part of the walk also passes through the stunning Forest of Bowland AONB with its fabulous landscapes, woodland, hills and variety of wildlife.
|Lytham Hall||2 miles (3.5 km)||Enjoy a lovely stroll around the 78 acre grounds of Lytham Hall on this short walk in Lancashire. The walk takes you through the delightful archway and up the long driveway with super views of the farmland within the grounds. You then head through peaceful woodland to the two pretty duck ponds passing the dovecote on the way. Other highlights include the 17th century mount which you can climb for super views of the grounds. There's also delightful gardens and a wide lawn perfect for picnics. In February the snowdrop walk is particularly popular. The woodland paths are lined and surrounded by thousands of the pretty flowers for several weeks. As of 2014 the grounds are subject to major improvements including the creation of an Italianate parterre garden to mimic the original one.|
The grand 18th century Georgian hall has a fascinating history and many splendid rooms to explore. Home to the influential Clifton family for several centuries the hall is now run by the Heritage Trust for the North West. Excellent guided tours of the house are available on certain days.
The hall is located just a short distance from the coast where you could pick up the Lancashire Coastal Way and head towards Blackpool if you would like to continue your walk. You can also explore the Ribble Estuary with its wide variety of coastal birdlife.
|Martin Mere||1 miles (2 km)||This wonderful nature reserve near Southport has lots of nice footpaths to follow around the wetland habitat. There's a huge variety of wildlife to look out for in the reserve. Highlights include the flamingo shelter, otter enclosure and beaver enclosure. There's also a canoe safari where you can paddle throught the reedbeds and look out for water voles to reed buntings.|
The Wild Walk takes you along a maze of wetland tracks with wooldand, a web bridge, sculptures and lots of wildlife too look out for.
As well as the large mere there are a series of smaller lakes with many water loving birds to see. These include Goldeneye, Avocets, Pintail Ducks and Crested crane. There's also lots of interesting flora to see with marsh orchids, purple ramping fumitory and golden dock.
The reserve has a large car park but you can also visit using public transport. New Lane and Burscough Bridge train stations are close by. Rufford station is a little further away but if you come from there you can visit Rufford Old Hall and Mere Sands Wood nature reserve before coming to Martin Mere. The 16th century old hall has some nice gardens and grounds to explore.
If you are coming by bike then regional cycle route 91 of the Lancashire cycleway runs past the reserve on Marsh Moss Lane and Fish Lane. You can follow the cycleway from Chorley or Leyland via Bretherton.
To further extend your walking in the area you could pick up the Leeds and Liverpool Canal towpath or enjoy a stroll along the River Douglas.
Just to the north is the lovely Mere Sands Wood Nature Reserve where you will find 100 acres of lakes, broadleaved and conifer woodland, wet meadows and heaths.
|Marton Mere||1 miles (2 km)||Enjoy a short walk around this pretty nature reserve near Blackpool. The reserve includes a large lake with a number of good footpaths running through the surrounding area. There's several bird hides where you can look out for the water loving birds which visit the mere. These include Great Crested Grebe, Coot, Moorhen, Shoveler, Pochard and Teal. Other features include reed beds, grassland, small areas of woodland and a variety of wildflowers. Look out for bee orchids, yellow rattle, marsh woundwort and birdsfoot trefoil in the summer months. These attract a large number of butterflies such as common blue, red admiral and meadow brown.|
It's easy to extend your walk on the paths which run to the north and west of the mere. These will take you around a golf course to the pretty Stanley Park where you will find a large boating lake and lovely gardens.
Marton Mere is located just to the east of Blackpool town centre, near Staining. There are views of Blackpool Tower from the reserve. National Cycle Network route 62 runs close to the site so you can easily cycle there too.
|Mere Sands Wood||2 miles (2.5 km)||Follow the footpaths around this delightful nature reserve on this circular walk in Rufford, Lancashire. The reserve covers 100 acres and consists of several small lakes, reedbeds, broadleaved and conifer woodland, wet meadows and heaths. It's fantastic for wildlife spotting with Roe Deer, red squirrels and foxes to look out for in the woodland areas. Many water loving birds also visit the reserve such as Reed Buntings, Water Rail, Great Crested and Little Grebes.|
There is a reserve car park off Holmeswood Road where you can start the walk. You can also visit Mere Sands Wood by public transport though. Rufford train station is very close by and if you alight there you could also visit Rufford Old Hall. The 16th century hall has some nice gardens and grounds to explore.
If you are coming by bike then regional cycle route 91 of the Lancashire cycleway is a good option. You can follow the cycleway from Chorley or Leyland via Bretherton.
If you enjoy this walk then you could also visit the splendid Martin Mere. Here you can look out for otters, flamingos, beavers and thousands of water loving birds. The Leeds and Liverpool Canal also passes the reserve so this is another good option if you would like to extend your walking in the area.
Mere Sands Wood is located near to the towns of Southport and Ormskirk.
|Morecambe Bay||12 miles (19 km)||Enjoy a visit to the Morecambe Bay Nature Reserve and a stroll along the Lancaster Canal on this circular cycle or walk in Lancashire. |
The walk starts in the town centre of Morecambe near to the train station. You then pick up the Lancashire Coastal Way to take you along the promenade towards Hest Bank and Bolton-le-Sands. You'll pass the Eric Morecambe statue with great views over the bay towards the Lake District. There's also a great deal of coastal wildlife to look out for including Cormorants, Curlews, Lapwings and Oystercatchers. The area is a RSPB reserve with sandflats and saltmarshes that attract thousands of birds. As such it is considered the second most important estuary in the UK.
From Hest Bank you turn inland and follow the Lancaster Canal into Lancaster before another waterside sectoin along the River Lune. A shared footpath and cycleway then returns you to Morecambe though White Lund.
To continue your walking in the area you can head along the Lancashire Coastal Way to Carnforth.
You can also head south of Heysham and visit the delightful Sunderland Point. It's a lovely place for a walk with coastal views, salt marsh, beach, mud flats, farmland and lots of wildlife to look out for. There's also a series of attractive Georgian houses by the quay.
|Nicky Nook||4 miles (6 km)||This walk takes you up a popular and delightful fell in the Forest of Bowland. Starting in the village of Scorton you follow country lanes and footpaths to the 215m summit, passing a pretty tarn on the way. From the summit there are fabulous views of the Fylde coast, Blackpool Tower, Morecambe Bay and the Lake District fells. You descend through the lovely Grizedale, passing along Grizedale Reservoir and through peaceful woodland before returning to Scorton.|
|Oldham Way||40 miles (64 km)||Enjoy the canals, reservoirs and countryside around Oldham on this splendid circular walk. There's fabulous views of the Peak District with highlights including a visit to Saddleworth Moor, a climb to the 19th century tower on Hartside Pike and a visit to the pretty Dovestone Reservoir.|
|Parlick and Fair Snape Fell||4 miles (7 km)||This walk from Parlick Fell to Fair Snape Fell is considered one of the loveliest in the Forest of Bowland. The walk takes place on a very good footpath with wonderful views over the surrounding countryside.|
The walk starts at the parking area on Startifants Lane and climbs to Parlick Fell. You continue north to Fair Snape, passing Bindhurst Fell on the way. The summit stands at 520 m (1,710 ft) and commands wonderful views over Londridge Fell and Beacon Fell.
The walk can also be started from the nearby village of Chipping. It's located about 2 miles south east of Parlick Fell and is a great place to stop for refreshments.
If you'd like to continue your walking in the area then you could head to the nearby Beacon Fell Country Park for more wonderful views and woodland trails.
|Pendle Hill||5 miles (7.5 km)||This walk climbs to the summit of Pendle Hill in Lancashire. It starts in the village of Barley and makes use of the Pendle Way long distance footpath to take you on a circular tour of the area. It's a steep climb but the path is pretty well defined for most of the way. From the 557 metre (1,827 ft) summit there are fabulous views over the Pennines to the east, the Bowland Fells to the northwest, and the West Pennine Moors to the south.|
After leaving the summit you descend to Boar Clough before enjoying two waterside stretches along the Upper and Lower Ogden Reservoirs. The path then leads you back into Barley.
The area is famous for the Pendle Witch Trials. These took place in 1612 when twelve people from the area were charged with the murders of ten people by the use of witchcraft. Ten were subsequently found guilty and executed by hanging.
|Pendle Way||45 miles (72 km)||Follow the Pendle Way through Lancashire and visit Barnoldswick, Thornton-in-Craven, Wycoller, Reedley, Newchurch and Pendle Hill on this challenging walk. |
The climb to the 557 metre (1,827 ft) summit of Pendle Hill is a real highlight. There are fabulous views over the Pennines to the east, the Bowland Fells to the northwest, and the West Pennine Moors to the south. You also pass the beautiful Upper and Lower Ogden Reservoirs on this section of the walk.
The area is famous for the Pendle Witch Trials. These took place in 1612 when twelve people from the area were charged with the murders of ten people by the use of witchcraft. Ten were subsequently found guilty and executed by hanging.
|Pennine Bridleway||120 miles (193 km)||This fabulous 120 mile long trail runs through the beautiful Derbyshire Peak District, through Lancashire and on into Yorkshire.|
It is suitable for mountain bikers, horse riders and walkers taking you on a tour through some of the most beautiful parts of the country. The trail generally runs along dismantled railway lines, tracks and quiet roads passing through moorland, open fields and purple heather moors with the Pennine Hills providing a splendid backdrop.
Highlights on the route include several picturesque reservoirs and the eye catching 1300 ft Stoodley PikeHill in Yorkshire.
For more information on this route, including accomodation and holiday ideas please click here.
|Preston Guild Wheel||21 miles (34 km)||This circular cycling and walking route takes you on a tour of the parks, rivers, docklands and countryside around Preston in Lancashire.|
Route highlights include the delighful Avenham Park with its riverside gardens and a stretch along the Riversway Docklands and Marina. There are also long waterside sections along the River Ribble and a visit to the peaceful Brockholes Nature Reserve.
|Ribble Estuary||5 miles (8.5 km)||Explore the most important river estuary in the UK on this coastal walk in Lytham St Annes. The Ribble Estuary attracts hundreds of thousands of birds each year. It's a special place with changing tides, lots of wildlife and nice views towards Southport and the Welsh Hills. |
The walk starts from the RSPB Ribble Discovery Centre at Fairhaven Lake. The centre is a great place to learn about the birds that visit the lake and estuary. You can park at the lakeside car park or catch a train to the nearby Ansdell and Fairhaven train station.
The route then follows the lakeside path towards Granny's Bay before picking up the Lancashire Coastal Way to take you to Lytham. You can follow the nice surfaced footpath or take an alternative route through the sand dunes.
You continue along the promenade to Lytham where you can take a small detour to the pretty Lowther Gardens. Here you'll find attractive woodland, a rose garden and a pond with a statue and fountain.
After crossing the road to the sea front you continue to the iconic Lytham windmill. The mill was built at the beginning of the 19th century and is open to the public in the summer months. It contains a museum which explains the history and practice of flour milling. After leaving the mill you can enjoy a stroll along Lytham jetty. It's quite a long jetty and at low tide you can walk right to the end and enjoy an even better view of the birdlife in the estuary. Look out for herons, curlew, redshank, shellduck and dunlin. The walk then returns to the fairhaven lake car park the same way.
To extend your walking in this lovely area you can continue along the Lancashire Coastal Way in either direction. Heading east will take you along the River Ribble towards Warton and Freckleton. This section has nice views over the river and surrounding countryside with birds such as Lapwing and Little Egret to look out for. There's also lots of wildflowers in the summer which attract butterflies and other birds.
If you head west you will come to St Annes and Blackpool.
|Ribble Way||65 miles (105 km)||Follow the River Ribble through the beautiful Ribble Valley from its mouth at Longton, near Preston, to the source at Gayle Moor in Yorkshire.|
You start at Longton just to the west of Preston and follow the river through Ribchester and Clitheroe before reaching Gisburn. The path then crosses from Lancashire into Yorkshire before passing through the stunning Yorkshire Dales national park and finishing at the source at Gavel Moor near Ribblehead.
The route passes through a variety of landscapes including tidal marsh, open moorland and limestone gorges.
|Richmond Way||60 miles (97 km)||Travel from Lancaster Castle to Richmond Castle on this lovely walk through Lancashire and Yorkshire. You will travel through the lower Lower Lune Valley with a long riverside section at the start. You then head through the moorlands and fells of the Pennines and on into the valleys of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Finally, you follow the River Swale into the historic market town of Richmond - gateway to the Yorkshire Dales National Park.|
The walk passes Ingleton (with the wonderful Ingleton Falls), Ribblehead Viaduct, the picturesque Yorkshire village of Hawes and Castle Bolton.
|Rossendale Way||41 miles (66 km)||This circular walk takes you on a tour of the lovely Rossendale area of Lancashire and Greater Manchester.|
The path passes Haslingden, Whitworth, Stubbins and Healey with a series of attractive reservoirs including Cowpe and Calf Hey real highlights. The walk also takes you through the delightful Healey Dell Nature Reserve with waterfalls and wildlife to enjoy here. The views of the South Pennine hills are also splendid and make a fine backdrop to the walk.
|Spring Wood Whalley||2 miles (4 km)||Follow the nature trail through delightful woodland on this easy walk in Whalley. The woods are located close to the town centre and a short walk from Whalley railway station. The area has a series of waymarked, surfaced footpaths to follow through the ancient woodland. There are twenty four different species of trees, wild garlic flowers, ponds and in the spring there are carpets of bluebells.|
Spring Wood has good facilites with parking, an information centre and picnic areas. You can also extend your walk into the surrounding countryside at Wiswell where there are nice views towards Longridge Fell.
Whalley is a lovely town to stroll through so you can easily extend your walk by visiting the fascinating Whalley Abbey. In fact the monks of the abbey once owned Spring Wood. The River Calder also runs through the town so you can enjoy a waterside walk along the river too.
|Stanley Park||2 miles (2.5 km)||This lovely park in Blackpool has nice footpaths and a cycle trail to enjoy. There's 260 acres to explore with a large boating lake, pretty Italianate gardens, woodland areas, a model village and a great cafe. Park highlights include an Italian marble fountain and the iconic Medici lion statues. The footpaths are well laid out and take you along the lake and around the gardens. National Cycle Network Route 62 also runs through the park so you can bring your bike too.|
To extend your walk you could head a half mile to the east and visit the lovely Marton Mere. Nice public foopaths take you the nature reserve which has a large lake, reed beds, grassland, small areas of woodland and a variety of wildflowers.
|Stocks Reservoir||6 miles (10 km)||Enjoy a waterside walk around this lovely reservoir in the Forest of Bowland. The walk begins at the car park at the northern end of the reservoir and heads through the edge of Gisburn Forest and crosses the causeway. You then pick up a walking track which runs close to the waters edge, passing Rushton Hill and Ten Acre Hill on the way. On the western side you head to Eak Hill and Copped Hill Clough before a final woodland section through Gisburn Forest returns you to the car park.|
This is a lovely walk through woodland and farmland on well maintained, signed footpaths. There are splendid views of the surrounding countryside and hills plus ample opportunity for wildfowl spotting on the water.
If you'd like to continue your walking in the area then you could head deeper into the adjacent Gisburn Forest.
|Sunderland Point||3 miles (5.5 km)||Visit this lovely peninsula in Lancashire and enjoy great views across the River Lune and Morecambe Bay. Sunderland Point is located near Heysham and Lancaster. It's a great place for a walk with coastal views, salt marsh, beach, mud flats, farmland and lots of wildlife to look out for. These include birds such as Curlew, Heron and Peewit. |
You can park at Potts Corner at Alderley Bank to being the walk. Footpaths then take you along the coast to the village of Sunderland Point where you'll pass a series of attractive Georgian houses by the quay. The area is also home to Sambo's grave. The master of a slave or servant called Sambo left him at Sunderland Point in the 18th century where he subsequently died in the brewery. The grave is a tourist attraction decorated with flowers or stones painted by local children.
To continue your walking in the area you could visit Morecambe Bay or try the Lune Estuary Footpath.
|Sunnyhurst Woods||2 miles (2.5 km)||Explores 85 acres of woodland on this circular walk through Sunnyhurst Woods in Darwen. There's a nice stream running through the woods with good waterside footpaths on either side. It's perfect for a peaceful stroll and a picnic. The area is also a nature reserve so look out for a wide variety of flowering plants and birdlife including the great spotted woodpecker, nuthatch, tree creeper, kingfisher and tawny owl. There is also a pretty visitor centre with information about all the trails in the woods.|
This circular walk takes you through the woods and then past the neighbouring reservoirs of Earnsdale and Sunnyhurst Hey. Near the reservoirs there are great views across the moorland to Jubilee Tower.
If you would like to extend your walk then you could pick up the Witton Weavers Way and climb Darwen Tower for great views over the surrounding countryside.
|Towneley Park||2 miles (3 km)||Explore the 440 acres of parkland surrounding Towneley Hall in Burnley, Lancashire. In the park you will find woodland, the River Calder and the Deer Pond which is designated as a Local Nature Reserve. The hall itself contains period rooms, an art gallery and a museum with displays including: Natural History, Egyptology, Local History, Textiles, Decorative Art and Regional Furniture. |
If you would like to continue your walk you could follow the Burnley Way which runs through the park.
|Trans Pennine Trail||215 miles (346 km)||This terrific walking and cycling trail runs from coast to coast across northern England entirely on surfaced paths. It starts on the Yorkshire coast at Hornsea and passes through Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Greater Manchester before finishing on the Merseyside coast at Southport.|
|Trough of Bowland||8 miles (13 km)||Enjoy rivers, brooks, woodland and beautiful countryside on this circular walk in the Forest of Bowland AONB. The Trough of Bowland is a particularly scenic area of the AONB with its gorgeous valleys, moorland and wooded areas. There's also lots of wildlife to look out for including buzzards and oyster catchers.|
This walk starts in the pretty village of Dunsop Bridge and follows a waterside footpath along the River Dunsop to Calder Moor and Whin Fell. At Brennand Farm you turn south towards Rams Clough where you pick up a country lane which runs along the Losterdale Brook and the Langden Brook to Dunsop Bridge. This long waterside stretch is particularly lovely with little waterfalls and other small brooks to enjoy. See the street view link below to get a good idea of what to expect on this section.
|Warton Crag||3 miles (5 km)||This limestone hill near Carnforth stands at 163 metres (535 ft) making it the highest point in the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is also a nature reserve with grassland, ancient semi-natural woodland and limestone pavement, supporting some of Britain's rarest butterflies. From the high point there are fabulous views of the River Keer estuary, Morecambe Bay, the Forest of Bowland, the Lake District Fells and the Yorkshire Dales.|
The area supports rare plants such as Rigid Buckler Fern and Juniper, Pale St. John's Wort and Angular Solomon's-seal. In the woodland area you can find Wood Anemone, Bluebell and Primrose as well as Early Purple Orchid, Violets and Pignut. It is also home to many rare butterflies including Pearl Bordered Fritillary, Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary and High Brown Fritillary.
If you would like to continue your walk you could head to the nearby Leighton Moss Nature Reserve where you will find the largest reedbed in the north west and an abundance of wildlife. The Lancashire Coastal Way also runs past Warton Crag so you could pick this up and head towards Arnside Knott where you can find more interesting wildlife and plantlife.
|Way of the Roses||170 miles (274 km)||This fabulous 170 mile national cycle network route takes you right across the country from west to east coast along off road paths and quiet country roads.|
You start at Morecambe Bay in Lancashire on the west coast and head towards Lancaster where you join the River Lune for a lovely off road waterside stretch. You soon enter the beautiful Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The landscape here is simply stunning and there is also a variety of wildlife to look out for on this section.
The route then continues into the equally wonderful Yorkshire Dales National Park with more gorgeous countryside and a series of charming Yorkshire villages to enjoy.
A real treat awaits near Ripon where you will pass the fascinating National Trust owned Fountains Abbey - this 12th century ruined Cistercian monastery is a real route highlight and is an ideal place to stop for a rest and refreshments.
From Ripon you continue through Yorkshire along the River Ouse taking you into the historic city of York.
The final stretch takes you through the beautiful Yorkshire Wolds with the lovely Millington Pastures and the interesting 17th century manor house at Burton Agnes Hall, two of the highlights. The route finishes on the prom at the coastal town of Bridlington.
|Wayoh Reservoir||3 miles (4.5 km)||Enjoy an easy circular walk around this pretty reservoir near Bolton. There is a good footpath around the water which makes use of the Witton Weavers Way on the eastern side. The walk starts near Entwistsle railway station which can be reached from Manchester, Blackburn and Clitheroe. You then pick up the lovely path with waterside and woodland sections to enjoy. There are also great views of the surrounding countryside and the impressive Entwistle viaduct. |
To extend your walk you can head to the nearby Entwistle Reservoir or follow the Witton Weavers Way a mile south to Jumbles Country Park.
|Whalley Abbey and the River Calder||2 miles (2.5 km)||Visit the fascinating remains of this former Cistercian abbey and enjoy a waterside stroll along the Calder River on this lovely circular walk in Whalley. As well as the atmospheric ruins there are delightful grounds and gardens to enjoy. There is also a fine 14th century gatehouse in excellent condition. |
The abbey is located by the River Calder so you can extend your walk by heading along the water to the nearby Spring Wood which used to be owned by the abbey monks. Here you will find a splendid nature trail, ancient woodland, ponds, bluebells and wildflowers.
If you are coming by train then the abbey is just a short walk from Whalley Railway Station.
|Winter Hill||8 miles (13.5 km)||Enjoy a walk to Winter Hill on the West Pennine Moors in Lancashire. The walk begins in Rivington Country Park and takes you to the 1,496 feet (456 m) high summit on a series of footpaths.|
After leaving the country park you ascend crossing Rivington Moor with fine views of Lower Rivington Reservoir and Anglezarke Reservoir. You continue towards the village of Belmont where there is the opportunity for a short detour to the pretty Belmont reservoir. After leaving Belmont you ascend towards the summit of the hill where you will see the Winter Hill TV Mast. From here there are fabulous views towards Greater Manchester, Blackpool Tower, Jodrell Bank Observatory, Snaefell in the Isle of Man and the Lake District mountains.
The descent takes you to Crooked Edge Hill and Horwich before returning to the country park.
|Witton Country Park||2 miles (4 km)||This country park in Blackburn boasts nearly 500 acres of mixed woodland, parkland, grassland and farmland. The circular route below is suitable for walkers and takes you around the park and up to Billinge Hill where there are great views of the surrounding countryside. There is also a cycle track running through the park. |
The Witton Weavers Way walking route also runs through the park so there is scope for continuing your walk. The park is located just west of Blackburn near to Pleasington railway station.
|Witton Weavers Way||31 miles (50 km)||This circular walk starts and finishes in Witton Park near Blackburn. It's a lovely walk taking you first along the River Darwen and through Hoghton Bottoms towards Belmont with its attractive reservoir. There are splendid views of the 1496 ft high Winter Hill on this section. |
At Jumbles Reservoir in Jumbles Country Park you will turn north passing along Wayoh Reservoir before climbing Darwen Hill where you will find Jubilee Tower. You can climb the 85 ft high tower for some splendid views of North Yorkshire, Morecambe Bay, Blackpool Tower, Cumbria, and the Isle of Man. The route finishes passing the town of Darwen and then descending into Witton Park.
|Worden Park||3 miles (5 km)||This super country park in Leyland is perfect for a peaceful afternoon stroll. The park covers 150 acres and includes formal gardens overlooked by a wonderful conservatory with an accompanying maze. There are also woodlands, a duck pond, a folly, a water cascade, a mininiture railway and the 18th Century domed icehouse.|
The park is located just half a mile south of Leyland town centre.
|Worthington Lakes||4 miles (7 km)||This lovely walk takes you around Worthington Lakes in Standish, Lancashire. You will pass along the footpaths around the three reservoirs that make up this country park and nature reserve. The park is located near Adlington and Chorley.|
|Wycoller Country Park||3 miles (4.4 km)||Enjoy a lovely walk through the beauitful Wycoller Country Park in Pendle. The park has a number of footpaths taking you along Wycoller Beck to Bank House and the remains of Wycoller Hall. There are great views of the Pendle Hills and a stroll through the delightful Wycoller Village to enjoy. No cars are allowed in the village and many of the old buildings remain preserved, making it a particularly peaceful and special place. The area has strong links with the Bronte sisters who referred to many of the nearby landmarks in books such as 'Wuthering Heights' and 'Jane Eyre'. The park is located just a couple of miles east of Colne.|
If you wish to continue your walk both the Pendle Way and Bronte Way walking routes run through the park.
|Wyre Estuary Country Park||3 miles (5 km)||Enjoy a walk along the network of accessible paths by the beautiful Wyre Estuary in this waterside country park near Blackpool. There are also peaceful woodland paths and bird hides where you can view a variety of wildlife. The park has a visitor centre, cafe and picnic areas.|
|Yarrow Valley Country Park||2 miles (4 km)||Enjoy a long, waterside walk along the River Yarrow in this splendid 700 acre country park in Chorley, Lancashire. The park has a number of well maintained walking paths and a visitor centre. It is located less than 2 miles from Chorley town centre.|