Very muddy in parts. Steep drops by the gorge so keep you dog and kids under control. There are 2 4ft stiles on this walk. May be some off lead opportunities in the woods but keep to the footpaths as shooting takes place on the estate.
Park up by the chapel on Chapel Lane (easier parking than at the bottom) and walk down the lane to Viaduct Road. Turn down Viaduct Road and follow it for half a mile or so until you see a footpath fork off to the right. These lanes are quiet but there is some light traffic so keep your dog on a lead.
Walk along the footpath past numerous clean up after your dog signs (clearly there has been a problem here at some time) and under the impressive railway viaduct. The views up the gorge here are quite impressive but unfortunately there is a fair amount of rubbish that has accumulated during times of spate. The river Darwen is though much cleaner than in the past when it used to change colour dependant on the dye being used in the mills!
Follow the path up the river until you reach a stile (small dogs may just get underneath). Go over the stile and through the field (watch for sheep) until you reach another stile leading into the woods. If you look over the river you'll see where the Hoghton Tower estate breeds their pheasants. The ducks on the river are further targets for the shoot. Please make sure your dog doesn't become a target - keep it on the lead near livestock!
Go up through the woods (very steep and muddy in parts) and, in autumn, have a play in the fallen leaves.
When we reached the next stile we retraced our steps, stopping for a paddle to wash off the stinking mud!
I liked this walk. So did the dog!
Map and details of a circular walk which takes in part of what we did today (which we'll try one day)
Doggy rating 6/10