Disabled Rambles Category 3. Stretches of rough surfaces &/or steep hills.
Starting at Ryal Fold car park this is a trip to Darwen Tower with some fantastic scenary. Follow the Bridlepath through several gates to the Sunnyhurst pub.
Opposite the pub the route climbs up to Darwen Tower and Darwen Moors.
In 1896 access to Darwen Moors was re-gained by local residents following an 18 years legal battle
The highlight of the walk has to be the views from the octagonal Jubilee Tower on Beacon Hill, overlooking the town of Darwen. The tower was completed in 1898 to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee and also to celebrate the victory of the local people for the right to access the moor. The tower was opened to the public on September 22 1898. 85ft in height, you can climb to the top of the tower via the internal stone spiral staircase to the first level and slightly above, followed by a smaller metal spiral staircase which leads to the very top. Both from the top of the tower and the covered walkway at the bottom, breathtakingly beautiful views of both the surrounding moorland, and the slightly further afield sights of the Yorkshire Dales, Morecambe Bay, Blackpool Tower, Cumbria, the Isle of Man, and North Wales.
A splendid view of Darwen can also be obtained of the 300 foot India Mills chimney can clearly be seen. This took 14 years to complete at a cost of £14,000 & was opened in 1868. The Chimney which is Italian in inspiration and design which has also been home to a pair of peregrine falcons nesting far up on one of the ledges. India Mill chimney stands now as a lone memorial to King Cotton.
From the tower the route heads South West over the West Pennine Moors back towards the start point.
The route decends the track between SD6746 2043 and SD6733 2098 which has undergone extensive repair and is now an excellant route on and off the fell for this route and for anyone wishing to exlore the moor.
The route can be extended by continuing from SD6746 2043 to the Tocholes road then turn right, following the road back to the start point.
Ryal Fold Car Park which is the start and finish point hosts the Roddlesworth Informantion Center: 01245 704503.
Map for other all access routes in this area can be found at:
Also located here are:
The Royal Arms @ Ryal Fold
Vaughns Country Cafe
Roddlesworth Information Centre