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Whalley and Sabden

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Whalley and Sabden
Author: Lancashire Walks, Published: 25 Nov 2018 Walk Rating:star0 Whalley and Sabden Walking Guidestar0 Whalley and Sabden Walking Guidestar0 Whalley and Sabden Walking Guidestar0 Whalley and Sabden Walking Guidestar0 Whalley and Sabden Walking Guide
Lancashire, Whalley
Walk Type: Hills, valleys and dales
Whalley and Sabden
Length: 7 miles,  Difficulty: boot Whalley and Sabden Walking Guide boot Whalley and Sabden Walking Guide boot Whalley and Sabden Walking Guide
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A 6.5 mile circular walk starting from a picnic site close to the village of Whalley in Lancashire. The route explores the hidden valley of Sabden Brook, between the Spring Wood picnic site and the village of Sabden. At any time of year this is a delightful place, made all the more pleasurable by the fact that it is so infrequently visited. In autumn its beauty is enhanced by the changing colour of its many trees. What is immediately striking about Sabden, is the industrial heritage in a charming rural setting. An old mill chimney survives in a street of terraced housing. In the 19th century the high quality of the water was ideal for calico printing. At its height there were seven mills in Sabden employing more than 2,000 people. More recently, Sabden has claims to be one of the world's great centres of treacle mining – but that is most definitely another story.

The terrain is moderate with several steady climbs and descents throughout. The walk follows a mixture of grass paths across fields, farm tracks, village pavements plus two stretches of road walking. You will be sharing some of the pastures with sheep and cattle and you will also cross a horse paddock. You will need to negotiate gates, kissing gates, footbridges plus around 15 stiles. The stiles include fence stiles and stone wall stiles, and some are enclosed so dogs may need a lift over. The final stretch follows the edge of a golf course so take care of any stray flying golf balls. Allow 3 hours.

The walk starts and finishes from the Spring Wood Picnic Site and Car Park, a countryside site managed by Lancashire County Council. The car park is accessed from the A671, about half a mile east of Whalley and five miles north-east of Blackburn. The car park entrance is at a crossroads with traffic lights and is marked with a brown tourism sign. It has a 2.1m height restriction barrier and the parking fee is £1 per day (correct Autumn 2018). The nearest post code is BB7 9UE, but this is not exact so follow the brown signs as you approach the crossroads junction.

Walk Sections

Start to Portfield Lane
Start to Portfield Lane

Start point: 53.8204 lat, -2.3954 long
End point: 53.8167 lat, -2.3864 long

Leave the car park via the vehicle entrance and turn left along the pavement of the A671 Accrington Road. Walk on this pavement alongside the golf course to reach the junction with Portfield Road on your left. Turn left and follow the road, taking care of any traffic. Walk uphill to for about 500 metres to the point where the road bends left, and you will see a white house on your right alongside the junction with Portfield Lane.

Portfield Lane to Old Roman Road
Portfield Lane to Old Roman Road

Start point: 53.8167 lat, -2.3864 long
End point: 53.8147 lat, -2.378 long

Go ahead, crossing over the end of Portfield Lane to reach a stile marking the start of a footpath. Cross the stile, bear right to descend gently and cross a second stile. From this, cross two fields to reach the drive of Easterley Farm. Turn left to reach the T-junction with the road and then turn right onto Old Roman Road.

Old Roman Road to Riding Centre
Old Roman Road to Riding Centre

Start point: 53.8147 lat, -2.378 long
End point: 53.8164 lat, -2.3643 long

After 350yds, turn left onto a farm drive. Pass one farmhouse on the left and then, as you approach the second farm, keep right onto a footpath that leads into pastureland. Keep ahead through a kissing gate and, after crossing a field, cross a stile to the right of a hedge and then bear left to a metal gate. Pass through this and turn right onto a track to walk up to a riding centre.

Riding Centre to Back Lane
Riding Centre to Back Lane

Start point: 53.8164 lat, -2.3643 long
End point: 53.8183 lat, -2.355 long

As the track reaches buildings, follow it right and then turn left at the end of tall conifers. Go through a metal gate into a paddock and, after crossing this, follow a fence aiming towards a stile. From here follow waymark signs taking you past a wind turbine and then walking close to a wall on your right. Follow the wall to its far corner and turn right, cross the wall and keep ahead to reach Back Lane via a stile.

Back Lane to Pendleside Close
Back Lane to Pendleside Close

Start point: 53.8183 lat, -2.355 long
End point: 53.8304 lat, -2.3371 long

Turn left along the lane and, after 250yds, turn left onto the farm drive of Whittaker's Farm. Follow the drive as it swings to the right and then, where the drive hairpins left down to the property, continue ahead along a grassy track to cross a stile. This footpath takes you over fields down to Sabden village. As it nears the village it joins a bridleway track. Close to a playing field, turn left to enter the village, emerging into Pendleside Close.

Pendleside Close to White Hart
Pendleside Close to White Hart

Start point: 53.8304 lat, -2.3371 long
End point: 53.8325 lat, -2.3365 long

Walk ahead on the close, ignore the first side branch on the right and then, where the main lane bends left, turn right into a side branch stone track which is also a bridleway. You will emerge onto Padiham Road. Turn left and follow this main road as it bends left, crossing Sabden Brook and then passing the White Hart on your right.

White Hart to Higher Whins Farm
White Hart to Higher Whins Farm

Start point: 53.8325 lat, -2.3365 long
End point: 53.8329 lat, -2.3495 long

Continue on the road and, after passing Crowtrees Road on the right, take a footpath on the left through a wide metal gate. Following hedgerow on the left, keep ahead over two fields to reach a stone stile. Cross this, turn right and then bear left onto a path leading between buildings. After a pair of metal gates, pass an imposing farm building on your right.

Higher Whins Farm to Wiswell Track
Higher Whins Farm to Wiswell Track

Start point: 53.8329 lat, -2.3495 long
End point: 53.8298 lat, -2.3703 long

Continue on a path that edges along a plantation. Keep ahead after a kissing gate - now in the open with a fence on the right. After the next kissing gate enter a large pasture bearing right to begin the climb towards Wiswell Moor. After crossing a gully aim for the fence just below woodland. Here, cross a stile next to a metal gate and continue the ascent to cross another stile. Cross the next pasture to its far-left corner, using a telephone pole as a marker. You will emerge to a track.

Wiswell Track to Clerk Hill
Wiswell Track to Clerk Hill

Start point: 53.8298 lat, -2.3703 long
End point: 53.8223 lat, -2.3824 long

When you reach the track turn left. Pass Wiswell Moor Farm with an interesting ancient steam engine and continue along a lane for 0.75 miles. After passing the drive of Lower Clerk Hill on the left, turn right on a track to Clerk Hill.

Clerk Hill to End
Clerk Hill to End

Start point: 53.8223 lat, -2.3824 long
End point: 53.8206 lat, -2.3952 long

As you reach the property, turn right over a stile by a gate post. Follow the path as it edges around the house on your left. Cross a stile close to a wall end and then head downhill with a fence on your left. After 250yds, cross a stile and then a footbridge to reach the golf course. Keep ahead with Spring Wood on your right. A stile in the corner will put you in the car park where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2018 by iFootpath and the author lancashirewalks 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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