Lancashire

The Lancashire Valleys

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Overview

Start out from Salmesbury Hall before heading into industrial heartland of Preston. Enjoy the drive out to Martins Mere before visiting the National Trust’s Rufford Old Hall. Take in the canal at Top Lock before heading to the market town of Chorley. Visit Rivington en route to Gawthorpe before exploring the Elizabethan mansion. Then head through Weaver’s Triangle before finishing up in the mill ton of Burnley.

Samlesbury Hall

Built in 1325 this historic half timbered manor house has been linked to much of our history from Robert the Bruce, Witches, the English Civil War and in the 19th century was owned by a Cotton Baron or two. Sitting in manicured lawns and woodland the hall is well worth a visit.

Preston

Richard Arkwright was born in the town and the area has undergone massive regeneration especially around the dock area where you can take in the history with steam trains, shops and eateries. The Market Square has fine stone buildings and the town is filled with parks and a 21 mile trail around the town – the Guild Wheel. Brockholes visitor centre floats over the wetland habitat.

Martin Mere

This wetland centre covers a vast area and is a major stopping off point for many varieties of migrating birds as well as introduced species, and that includes the Lego Brick variety. Managed by the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust the varied habitat including reed beds is also filled with many native species of flower and fauna.

Rufford

This timbered Tudor manor house is owned by the National Trust and its fine interior is filled with solid oak furniture, tapestries, stained glass in the windows and a collection or arms and armour.

The Top Lock

The Leeds and Liverpool Canal near Chorley offers some interesting towpath walks with Top Locks and the seven consecutive locks at Johnson’s Hillock a particular feature. Now given over to leisure the canal once carried the trade of the area and canal side there are some fine hostelries for the weary walker.

Chorley

The market town has a rich heritage with pleasant parks, historic houses and peaceful parkland. Top attractions include the intricate architecture of Astley Hall, the fortified manor house that is Hoghton Tower or the Tudor Manor house Heskin Hall, or explore the great outdoors by walking in the Yarrow Valley country park.

Rivington

At the foot of Rivington Pike and a great place to start a walk or bike ride to the summit to see Pike Tower and enjoy the views over the West Pennine Moors. Jepson’s Clough waterfall is partly hidden in a narrow ravine - the south side walk provides the easiest access.

Gawthorpe Hall

This Elizabethan country house was originally built overlooking the River Calder but the river was diverted to enable open cast coal mining to occur in the area. It is one of starting points on the 43 mile Bronte Way across the South Pennines to Haworth.

Weavers' Triangle

This area of Burnley consists mostly of heavily renovated 19th-century industrial buildings at the western side of the town centre clustered around the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. Linked to the cotton industry they chart the development of the town and its weaving industry. The visitor centre is located in the former Wharfmaster's House and Toll Office.

Queen Street Mill

Just to the North East of Burnley the renovated Queen Street Mill will be opening for visitors on certain days each week during the summer months. It is a regular backdrop for films and TV productions including the 2011 film the Kings Speech scene set in the weaving shed.

Animal / WildlifeCyclingHistory

Overview

1

Samlesbury Hall

2
5.8 miles

Preston

3
15.4 miles

Martin Mere

4
4.1 miles

Rufford

5
13.5 miles

The Top Lock

6
3.4 miles

Chorley

7
4.4 miles

Rivington

8
24.6 miles

Gawthorpe Hall

9
2.8 miles

Weavers' Triangle

10
3.3 miles

Queen Street Mill

What to see and do…

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Lancaster Castle

Castle Parade, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1 1YJ

Lancaster City Museum

Market Square, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1 1HT

Blackpool Tower Eye

Blackpool Tower, The Promenade, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY1 4BJ

Madame Tussauds Blackpool

Madame Tussaud, 87 - 89 Promenade, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY1 5AA

SEA LIFE Blackpool

SEA LIFE Blackpool, Promenade, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY1 5AA

Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Blackpool Pleasure Beach, 525 Ocean Boulevard, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY4 1EZ

About the The Lancashire Valleys Trail

Distance:77 miles
Cities / Towns:10
Number Of Businesses:6

Samelsbury Hall is an historic manor house owned by Cotton Barons. The solid architecture of Preston reflects the wealth brought by trade through its docks. The nature reserve at Martin Mere was once the largest area of open water in England before being partly drained. Rufford Old Hall is a fine Tudor manor house and then the trail includes a stop on the Leeds / Liverpool canal to explore the set of locks near Chorley. Chorley itself has a number of fine medieval houses to explore and then on to the edge of the West Pennine moors at Rivington Pike.

The National Trust owned Gawthorpe Hall, an Elizabethan country house is at one end of the Bronte trail and then on to Burnley with a large number of renovated buildings reflecting its weaving industry past; clustered around the Weavers Triangle by the side of Leeds and Liverpool canal this has become a popular tourist destination.

The trail ends just north of Burnley at the restored Queen St Mill with a chance to see the various stages of cotton production.

Animal / Wildlife
Cycling
History

King Cotton

The industry shaped the region leaving behind canals, former mill buildings, warehouses and villages that became major towns like Preston, Burnley, and Chorley. The renovated buildings have long lost their dark satanic feel and now provide an educational insight into a period of social history.

Rich History

A large number of impressive country houses are found along the trail from Samelsbury to Rofford Old Hall and Gawthorpe Hall. Around Chorley Astley Hall, Hoghton Tower and Heskin Hall all have interesting architecture from half timbered to ornate stone balustrades and fascinating collections.

Let there be water - but not too much

Water flows off the Pennines and powered the local economy as well as canals providing transportation. The Leeds Liverpool canal has fascinating lochs at Johnson’s Hillock and the wetlands at Martin Mere and Brockholes are a wildlife sanctuary.

Also Nearby

Lancaster Castle

Castle Parade, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1 1YJ

Lancaster City Museum

Market Square, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1 1HT

Blackpool Tower Eye

Blackpool Tower, The Promenade, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY1 4BJ

Madame Tussauds Blackpool

Madame Tussaud, 87 - 89 Promenade, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY1 5AA

SEA LIFE Blackpool

SEA LIFE Blackpool, Promenade, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY1 5AA

Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Blackpool Pleasure Beach, 525 Ocean Boulevard, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY4 1EZ