Last weekend saw our first trip to Sunnyhurst Woods just outside Darwen. We've walked past the woods many times whilst walking alongside Earnsdale Reservoir en-route to Jubilee Tower but never ventured in.
Our trip began at the (busy) car park at the top of Earnsdale Road. The car park is well tucked away but gives direct access to the woods and a choice of footpaths. A small sign at the entrance suggested a path led up to the reservoir and back down alongside a stream so off we went, with the dog running in his usual crazed fashion when he senses water may be nearby.
There's not a lot to say about our route as we just meandered through the woods, deciding which path to take as we went. It was hard to get lost though as whilst it feels very remote, you're never more than half a mile or so from your car. The woods are full of surprises and in a way the surprise element was the best thing about the place. In the lower stretches a new scene presents itself around every turn. A bandstand in the woods, ornate ponds and bridges crossing the brook all made it a really interesting place to be.....and the dog loved it.
The woodland was established in the 1800s to provide cover and established as a park in 1903. Although quiet when we visited a frequent visitor told me it does get incredibly busy in summer so perhaps autumn would be a good time to make a trip. It's unlikely you'll be disappointed, particularly if you fancy a longer walk and take a trip up to the Tower.
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