Whalley - Sabden


Back to work, back to school! As summer now drifts into autumn the days grow shorter and the weather turns cooler but this is a most rewarding time of year to be out and about. This week’s walk explores “the Hidden Valley” of Sabden Brook between 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.


Start: Spring Wood Picnic Site near Whalley BB7 9TD


Fact file:  

Distance: 6 miles 10k
Time: 2 ½ - 3 ½ hours
Summary: Moderate. 
Map: OS Explorer 287 West Pennine Moors.


Map by kind permission of Johnston Press


1. From the car park turn left onto Accrington Road. Walk alongside the golf course to Portfield Road. Turn left.


Walk uphill to the junction with Portfield Lane. Cross to a footpath.


From the stile bear right to descend gently to another stile.


From this cross two fields to reach the drive of Easterley Farm.


Turn left


and then right onto Old Roman Road.  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. Through this turn right onto a track to walk up to a riding centre.


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 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.


Turn left.

2. After 250yds turn left onto the farm drive of Whittaker's Farm.


Follow the drive as it swings to the right and then as the drive hairpins left down to the property continue along a grassy track to cross a stile.


This footpath takes you down to Sabden. As it nears the village it joins a bridleway.


Close to a playing field turn left to enter the village. Turn right into Pendleside Close on a bridleway


leading Padiham Road. Turn left.

3. Walk along the road heading uphill crossing Sabden Brook and passing the White Hart on the right.


After passing Crowtrees Road on the right take a footpath on the left.


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


and 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 another stile.


Cross the next pasture to its far left corner using a telephone pole as a marker. When you reach the track turn left. 

4. Pass Wiswell Moor Farm with an interesting ancient steam engine


and continue along a lane for 3/4 mile .After passing the drive of Lower Clerk Hill on the left turn right


on a track to Clerk Hill. As you reach the property turn right by a gate post.


Follow the path as it edges around the house.


Cross a stile close to the wall end


and 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 on the car park.

POI What is immediately striking about Sabden is that has an 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 other 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.

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