Brun Valley Trail 22-04-2018 – Leader Dougie

Brun Valley Trail 22-04-2018 – Leader Dougie

On a humid and showery morning, yours truly and 3 other ramblers departed from the Centenary Way car park in Burnley and ascended onto the banking of the ‘Straight Mile’ of the Leeds & Liverpool canal.  After half a mile we went left through a gate into Thompson Park, which was conceived in 1920, when James Witham Thompson left £50,000 in his will for the Council to build a public park.  Following the River Brun, from which Burnley derives its name, we walked under the canal aqueduct into Bank Hall Park, the site of a colliery until its closure in 1972.

Soon we were walking into Heasandford Woods, which is one of the new plantations planted around Burnley in 1997 to commemorate the millennium.  Altogether, one million trees were planted in the area to form the Forest of Burnley.  After leaving the woodland, we came to the confluence of three watercourses – rivers Don & Brun, and Swinden Water.  At this point we entered Houghton Hag Woods, another plantation, where new leaves could be seen on several of the trees.  A muddy section was then negotiated into Hurst Well Plantation, where we crossed Swinden Water on stepping stones.  Just before Wood Hey Farm, we had a coffee break before carrying on to Rowley Farm and Rowley Hall, then turned left into Rowley Park, where there is a large lake.  This area was the site of Rowley Colliery, which operated between 1876 and 1920, then becoming a landfill site.

Passing the Thornton Arms pub, we came into Higher Red Lees, then walked down through the woodlands into Towneley Park, where we had lunch in the sunshine at a picnic table.  After lunch we set off on the Towneley Woodland Trail, and saw the oldest tree in Burnley, an oak which dates back to the time of Elizabeth the First, being over 400 years old!  The next landmark was Father Foldy’s Cross, dating back to 1520, Father Foldy having been the Towneley family’s Catholic Priest.  We then went down through the woodlands – where you could smell the wild garlic – to Towneley Hall.  Leaving the hall, we passed through some woods and came onto Todmorden Road, which we carefully crossed to go up a sloping path that followed the Burnley Way into the woodland.  We soon came to Timber Hill Lane, passing a house with a large garden, and taking us to the Healy Wood area of Burnley, where there is a village green.  This section was quite tricky to negotiate, but we eventually came out onto Manchester Road, then down to the canal and the Weavers’ Triangle, where we visited the museum and Victorian Tea Room.  Then it was back to the car after a pleasant ramble.

Write up Dougie, pics Judy.  If you wish to see a static view of the pics all in one go, then click here.

There is a link to the slideshow here.  You will need to click within the black page that opens up to see the show.

1 Comment

  1. arnolds

    Very informative write up of what I gather was an excellent walk, Dougie. Lovely pics, Judy, especially of the jay. Nice that Maureen and I met you all in the very interesting Weavers’ Triangle Visitor Centre afterwards – purely by accident!

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