When I heard Blackburn was trying to market itself as an inland seaside resort, I did wonder why? It already has a heritage which it needs to celebrate. What about East Lancashire, once the proud capital of the cotton industry?

Blackburn is at the centre of this heritage and there is plenty left for us all to celebrate and market. In any case, Lancashire has already got an inland seaside resort in Hollingworth Lake, Littleborough, where I visited on this week’s stroll.

With water everywhere, there is a real seaside feel to this fascinating stroll. There are plenty of picnic areas and adventure playgrounds.

There are boat trips on offer and the chance to see colourful yachts and canoes. You can even have a day’s fishing if you want.

The area is also close to one of the finest stretches of a Roman road to be found anywhere in England, so it is well worth devoting a whole day to Hollingworth as it is sure to have something of interest from those from “nowt to ninety”.

My Walk

Leave the car park and walk along the road through Hollingworth for about 100 yards. This is the only stretch of roadside pavement on the whole of the walk. Alongside the road there are amusement arcades, ice cream shops as well as those selling postcards and trinkets designed to create a real seaside atmosphere.

Approach the Beach Hotel on the left. Look out on the far right of the hotel for the obvious and well-made track leading to the lake on the left.

Follow the track and pass a number of seats to reach an area known as Queen’s Bay. This was once a popular meeting point during Victorian times.

Continue along the obvious route to reach Shan Moss Dam. This was one of the three huge embankments which have resisted the pressure of water in the lake since 1804. The lake was first built to provide the essential water for the locks along the Rochdale Canal. Because it was not drinking water and was soon used by the workers on their leisure times, it soon became known as ‘t’weavers seaport’.

Skirt around the area known as the Promontory and look out for a building called TS (Training Ship) Palatine run by the local sea cadets. The ‘Lady Alice’ pleasure boat which tours around the lake can be boarded at this point. Cross Longden Brook by a footbridge over the Rakewood Dam. Bear left with the ancient settlement of Hollingworth Fold away to the right. The old word for a settlement in a wood was called a Worth and Holling was the name of the holly tree which flourished in the area.

Turn right and cross the road to the visitors’ centre, information centre, car park cafe and shop. Also on the right is the children’s playground and toilets. Return to the road.

Cross over to see an inn on the right. Follow the path on the left and you will pass on the left the draw off tower which drains water from the lake to top up the Rochdale Canal a waterway which has recently been restored. Return to the start.