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|Witton Park and Billinge Hill|
|Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 09 Jul 2016||Walk rating : Rating:|
|A 3 mile circular and wonderfully varied walk near Blackburn in Lancashire. The route begins in Witton Country Park, 480 acres of parkland and woodland, before climbing first gently then more steeply through the beautiful dense woodland of Billinge Hill. From the summit, and on the way back down, you will enjoy fabulous views all the way across to Darwen Moor. |
The walk is fairly strenuous, with one quite long and steep climb up to the top of Billinge Hill. The route follows several stretches of unmade paths through woodland and parkland, parts of which can get very muddy in part so good boots are a must. You will need to negotiate several flights of steps and some kissing gates, but there are no stiles on route. You will cross one field which is likely to be holding sheep so take particular care with dogs. Allow 1.5 hours.
Witton Country Park is located about one mile west of Blackburn town centre in Lancashire. The main entrance is off the A674 Old Preston Road and there is a large free car park just through the gates on your right. Approximate post code BB2 2TP.
|Start to Lily Pond|
Start point: 53.7389 lat, -2.5135 long
From the parking area, turn right along the access lane heading into the park. Walk alongside a vehicle barrier and pass the athletics facility building on your right. Pass the children’s play area on your right and ignore the first path on your right (which leads to the Pavilion Cafe and toilets). A few metres later, with The Wits play area on your left, ignore the second path to your right (signed to Big Cover Wood).
|Lily Pond to Adventure Playground|
Start point: 53.7409 lat, -2.5167 long
Walk ahead, passing the lily pond on your left and passing under a wooden pergola. At the end of the pond, turn left and then immediately right to leave the formal garden via another ornate gate. A few metres later you will come to a T-junction (with a monkey puzzle tree on your right). Turn left along the tarmac path, leading you between beautiful mature trees.
|Adventure Playground to Under Billinge Lane|
Start point: 53.7426 lat, -2.5142 long
Continue ahead up the slope and then turn left across the footbridge. Take the shallow steps ahead and follow the path as it swings right (with the stream now to your right). Stay with this path which leads you up a very long flight of wooden steps. Beyond these steps continue uphill on the path, ignore the side path to the right (signed to Buncer Wood) and you will come to a kissing gate ahead.
|Under Billinge Lane to Billinge Summit|
Start point: 53.7467 lat, -2.5209 long
Turn left for just a few metres and then turn right through the gap in the wall to enter Billinge Wood (signed as a footpath and concessionary bridleway). Turn immediately sharp right, following the path with the stone wall running on your right. The path climbs steadily through this beautiful old woodland, leading you between a number of magnificent large trees surrounded by rhododendrons. As part of the landscaping plans, the Feildens planted hundreds of trees on their estate creating many woods, the largest being this one on Billinge Hill.
|Billinge Summit to Underpass|
Start point: 53.749 lat, -2.5212 long
Standing on the concrete plinth, facing the view, turn right on the stone path. Just a few metres along, at a subtle crossroads, turn left and soon this stone path begins to wind steeply downhill. At the fork, keep right, continuing on the main path downhill. About halfway down, the path swings left and then performs a hairpin bend round to the right to continue its descent. At the bottom of this stretch you will come to a subtle crossroads. Go straight ahead, continuing fairly steeply downhill. The path leads you out via an old stone underpass to reach a junction with Under Billinge Lane.
|Underpass to Open Parkland|
Start point: 53.7465 lat, -2.5256 long
Turn right and then immediately left to join the public bridleway leading you into Crow Wood. Stay with this stone path which leads you along the pretty woodland belt with open pastures each side. Pass through the two bridle gates and the views now open up to your left. On a clear day you will have a good view of Darwen Tower sitting proudly on the hills of Darwen Moor in the distance.
|Open Parkland to End|
Start point: 53.7392 lat, -2.5221 long
Turn left along the path, with Witton Wood to your left and the open parkland to your right. This tarmac path leads you through The Wits play area to reach a junction with the park’s main access lane. Turn right along this lane, follow it past the athletics building on your left and you will come to the parking area on your left where the walk began.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2016 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.
The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.
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