This was the Group’s second attempt at this walk as constant ice on the footpaths in January brought the walk to a prompt stop shortly after setting off.

It was dry and mild as our group of five commenced the walk from Pendle Heritage Centre at 10am. We followed various footpaths, towpaths, tracks and for short distances local roads during the walk.

Pendle Heritage Centre in Barrowford is an old Manor house with Walled Garden and is set in a Park next to Pendle Water.

We were able to admire the views of the hilltop town of Colne and Boulsworth Hill as a backdrop from the white lock keeper’s cottage as we joined the towpath alongside the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The Foulridge Tunnel which took five years to build was completed in 1796 and was of interest to us all. There is no towpath through the tunnel so boats were “legged” through by men lying on top of the craft using their legs on the roof of the tunnel.

Lock Keepers Cottage

Foulridge Tunnel Western Portal

Shortly thereafter we passed the path of the former Colne to Skipton Railway. A deep ford lay ahead which thankfully could be avoided by a safe footbridge!! Safely across, we were then entertained as we watched two commercial vans go through the water which was approximately a foot deep. Fortunately, neither got stuck!!

We then ascended the hill, via a small holding, to Colne Edge and after passing through Alkincoats Woodland, a local Nature Reserve, we soon arrived at Alkincoats Park where we stopped for our coffee/tea break.

It was now time to head towards Boundary Mill at Colne where on route and with great care we crossed the busy dual carriageway. We were soon away from the traffic and heading back towards Barrowford via the Leeds Liverpool Canal Towpath. It was time for lunch which was had under one of the canal bridges as it provided shelter from the rain, and we were able to watch the volume of water entering the canal from an inlet increase dramatically. With more energy, it was time to continue the walk and as we left, we turned to watch the substantial increase in the amount of water flowing over the lock gates a few feet up stream.

The designed-in overflow is just behind the arch on the left. When this was swamped the water started to come over the lock gates.

The Swinden Aqueduct was crossed then immediately after a ‘changeline bridge’ (where the towpath swaps sides of the canal) as we then headed in the direction of Barrowford passing numerous sports fields and a velodrome. We opted for the drier option back to the Heritage Centre i.e. via the higher wooded area. An alternative route would have been via the Barrowford Memorial Park directly below our chosen route.

Thereafter it was refreshments for us all in the comfortable and welcoming Heritage Centre Café.

Ann Shaw