|Walk:||Lower Cunliffe (West side), Middle Mickle Hey, Parsonage Reservoir, Dean Clough Reservoir, Dewhurst Farm, Close Nook, Dunscar, Lower Cunliffe (East side), Norden and Rishton|
|Start Point:||Rishton Railway Station||Grid Reference:||SD 724 297|
|Distance:||8.7 miles||Ascent:||1,111 feet|
|Weather:||Mainly overcast with the odd appearance of the sun.|
|Comments:||Generally the walk is over undulating
countryside on tracks and field paths with ample views. Some of the
paths are not obvious because of a lack of use.
Leaving the station the route is by Station Road and then left into Highfield Road to turn left again along Blackburn Road to Cut Wood Park. Here the route is north along Cut Lane to Lower Cunliffe Farm. There are a number of paths converging on Lower Cunliffe Farm. The one taken was the one before the farm buildings that ascends towards a former spoil heap in a NNW direction and then curves to the east to pass some disused workings. After the workings the path continues through two fields before turning north and ascending to Blackburn Old Road.
After crossing the road a commemorative stone can be seen set in the right hand wall. The path undulates and emerges on to a highway at the northwest corner of Parsonage Reservoir. Turning right along the highway the route follows the curve in the road to pass the end of York Road where Wilpshire Parish Council has provided a seat for weary travellers. The route leaves the road by a path on the left prior to the crossing of the reservoir and follows a wall for part of the way before crossing another highway. Following the sign for Great Harwood the path is over and ascending rough moor land by the way of what appears to be a demolished earth covered wall. Part way along at SD 711 323 the there is a line of a former wall going off to roughly to the north. The route is by following the line of the wall to drop down close to the western tip of Dean Clough Reservoir before ascending to a track above the north side of the reservoir. The route is then roughly east slowly descending the track to turn right and cross the reservoir dam. Turning right at the south side of the dam a path follows the periphery of a plantation to reach a road.
Turning right along the road the route then turns left down a farm road to Dewhurst Farm. (The map shows that by turning left to Dewhurst Farm there should be access to path going diagonally cross a field from the farm house in a general north direction. There did not appear to be any access). Where the access road turns left to the farm the route is by a newish stile in to a field on the right. Instead of crossing the next stile the route taken was by turning left down the side of a hedge to cross into and continue in the same direction in the adjacent field. The path then bears right to a stile at the corner of a field this stile is not crossed. The path heads down the field and to a hidden footbridge in a wooded area. Over the bridge the route is to the left to emerge on to a lane. Turning left and down the lane, the route turns right at Close Nook along a track to Dunscar Farm. (The intended route looping round Dunscar Farm appeared to be non existent). From Dunscar Farm the route is by the way of a track to Lower Cunliffe. Just before Lower Cunliffe Farm the route is by a stile on the left (overgrown July 2010). The little used path crosses fields to a bridge on a disused railway track. Under the bridge the path turns left to emerge on to a main highway. (Path flooded under bridge July 2010, alternative route is by climbing railway embankment and using path on old railway track). Turning right, the road continues to a set of traffic lights. Turning right at the lights a sign gives direction to Rishton Railway Station.
Map: West Pennine Moors 287. A compass and/or a GPS would be an advantage.
Rail Information: As at July 2010
Trains leave Preston for Colne at 22 minutes past the hour and arrive 31 minutes later at Rishton.
Returning to Preston the trains leave Rishton at 24 minutes past the hour.
The return fare with a Senior Rail Card is £4.10.
Scroll down to see photos of the walk
Between Lower and Higher Cunliffs
A hidden stile
This could bring tears to your eyes - fortunately it's not public
A commemorative stone found hidden behind vegetation on the way to Middle Mickle Hey - it reads: Heights Wood Planned to commemorate the 50th wedding anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 20th November 1997
Approaching Paronage Reservoir
A bee in clover
A resting place for lunch provided by Wilpshire Parish Council
A lone angler at Paronage Reservoir
Towards Great Harwood and Dean Clough Reservoir
Two Rail Carders approach Dean Clough Reservoir
A sturdy stile - but little used
A submerged path under a disused railway near Norden
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