Walk: Oakworth

First published in Walks in Lancashire Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by

OAKWORTH Any reference to Oakworth usually prompts a mention of the Worth Valley steam railway and little else. This is easy to understand because of the classic film The Railway Children.

Actually there is much more to Oakworth than the railway, although a visit to the restored station and a trip along the line should not be missed. For those interested in the history of the Industrial Revolution then a stroll around Oakworth will be a delight. Spend time in Holden Park which was once the garden of the former Oakworth House, the home of Sir Isaac Holden – the man said to said to have been the first to develop a Lucifer Match. A leisurely stroll around Oakworth will show that the early mills were powered by the River Worth — later replaced by steam.

Set off past the war memorial, passing a bowling green on the right to reach the limestone grottos. Take time to look at these and try to find the fossils which make up part of the rocks. From there head towards an open area of grass and look for a gravel path to the left. This leads into an area of woodland. Bear left to reach an archway forming the entrance to the park and head into an enclosed track. Turn right in front of a terrace of attractive cottages.

At a junction turn left and then left again to reach a second enclosed lane this time close to more modern houses. You are now on Race Moor Lane. This lane leads to a more substantial road. Turn left and follow a track.

Turn left for a short distance along a road and descend a lane. At this point in my walk a hail storm had been replaced by watery sunshine. Here are panoramic views of the Worth Valley and Oakworth. The name Haworth means a settlement (worth) and Hawthorn growing wheat. Oakworth. Look for a speed sign and take the track to the right close to Lowbank Farm. There is quite a steep climb at this point and turn onto Turnshaw Road which is a splendidly cobbled area. Turn right uphill over a track between fields and reach Derby Hill Road.

Take a left turn and head downhill until you reach Tin Hill which turns off sharply to the right. Follow this down hill for 400 yards and look out for a well signed path straight ahead and through a couple of stiles. Turn sharp left and follow a track close to Lodge Farm. Follow the track towards Mytholmes. Turn right here and go over a bridge over the river Worth. Pass Mytholmes Terrace and look for a footpath signed to Vale Mill Lane. This twists and turns among a mix of houses and then down to Vale Mill. Turn left through this complex which was a Victorian Mill. Look for stone steps ahead which lead to a path passing under the Worth Valley Railway. At this point find and climb a second set of stone steps. At a junction turn right to reach Station Road and then to Oakworth station. Spend time at the station, the village and Holden Park.

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