Clow Bridge
For a long time I have held the conviction that Burnley could market itself as the walking capital of the UK. I can think of few towns of a comparable size where the countryside is so accessible – and not just any old countryside but countryside of considerable interest and variety.

Start/finish: Limey Lane, Clow Bridge BB11 5NS (nearby)

Distance: 7 miles 11k

Time: 3 - 4 hours

Grade: Moderate with two steep climbs

Map: OS OL21 The South Pennines


 Walk by kind permission of Johnston Press      


1. Continue along Limey Lane pass through a metal gate


and walk along a track with the northern end of Clowbridge Reservoir to your right. After passing a utility building


continue for 50yds and then after a metal gate bear left onto a broad well made track leading uphill - the first climb of the walk. This takes you to Compton's Cross


and ancient type of waymarker which is just beyond a wooden gate. For the next part of the walk you follow the Pennine Bridleway a long distance path that was the creation of Mary Towneley. (See below) With a wall to the left keep on the track now less broad and less well-made - for 350yds and then turn left


onto a track that skirts along the edge of a plantation.


Follow the track for 800yds and then turn right as it takes you down to the B6238 East Burnley Road.


2. Ahead there is a fine view of Clough Bottom Reservoir. Cross the road, go through a wooden kissing gate and turn left onto a path that parallels the road taking you close to its junction with A671.


Before the corner turn right as the path now parallels the Bacup Road for 350yds before turning to cross it at a wooden gate.


Still on the Pennine Bridleway turn left now paralleling the A671 on this side to reach the top of Easden Clough.


Here turn right onto a broad track


that descends gently on a wide loop below Cow Side farmhouse. Keep on this to a point where the track turns left in front of a wooden gate. Go through the gate (close to a memorial to Mary Towneley)


turn left and on a steeper path head downhill with a fence to the left. As you near a farm


join a farm track to reach a junction with the Burnley Way. Turn left go through a gate


and follow the farm road for 700yds. Now begins a steep climb that will take you to the Singing Ringing Tree. Close to Dyneley Farm and in front of the farmhouse


turn left over a stile embedded in the wall.


Bear right , cross a plank bridge (with care)


and then bear left following a stream through a steep sided clough to reach a stile in a wall leading onto the A671.


(Readers are advised it may be better to go through a wooden gate about 50yds to the right for a better view on the busy road). From the stile turn right and then left at Heyne Farm - gate users go straight across


and follow the track past Dixon Hill plantation. After a property


go through a gate to enter open access land on a not altogether clear path that keeps well to the right of a ruin farm building aiming for a tall waymark pole. After a wall


the Singing Ringing Tree comes into view.


Aim to its left for a stile that gives access to its enclosure.

3. This piece of public art ought to be as well known as Anthony Gormley's Angel of the North. It is a sculpture constructed out of metal tubes arranged in a manner suggesting a wind blown hawthorn. When the wind is in the right direction the "tree" "sings" or "rings" is a strangely satisfying way. It is one of a number of panopticons scattered throughout the South Pennines as 21st century landmarks. From the tree take a clear path


that leads up to the picnic area


below a car park. Here turn right through a gate on a path


leading through a plantation of young trees. The path bends to the left and then parallels the Crown Point Road (apologies for all this paralleling!)


for 600yds before turning left to cross it. On the far side continue on a foot path leading up hill


and then descends to a junction of tracks. Here turn right


descending to Limey Water.


On the far side climbing up through woodland


and keep ahead to descend to the utility building passed on the outward leg close to Clowbridge Reservoir.


Turn right for the car park.

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