Time to pull on your boots as Nick Burton’s latest route takes in a variety of views and a striking transport landmark of an earlier age

THIS walk links the pleasant parkland of Great Harwood with a rural stretch of the River Calder and the listed Martholme Viaduct, above, the sweeping arches of which once carried a railway line from Blackburn to Padiham over the river.

We encounter the River Calder in its mature stage just before it meanders below the Nab and enters Whalley.

Martholme Viaduct was constructed in the 1870s as part of the Great Harwood Loop of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. The line had stations at Great Harwood, Simonstone and Padiham, which were all closed in the late 1950s. There are plans to open up the viaduct as a walking and cycling route to Padiham.

Facing the park war memorial turn right and follow the pavement alongside the park boundary wall on the left. At the lodge on the left continue straight ahead along the farm track that leads to open fields and Squires Farm on the left.

Walk past the front of the farm to a kissing gate and join a field path. Keep the field boundary on the left and the path runs downhill to another kissing gate.

Continue straight ahead here through parkland. The path is way marked and goes through further gates, dropping to a little stream crossing before climbing uphill throug a field to meet a wall at the edge of woodland overlooking the River Calder.

Do not go through the gate leading to the woodland but turn sharp right and follow the high bank above the river that drops steeply downhill to stepping stones over Egg Syke Brook. Continue straight ahead along the picturesque river bank with the river to the left. The obvious path soon skirts away from the river and nearby road bridge to join the A680 Whalley Road next to the Gamecock Inn.

Turn right along the pavement and cross the busy road with great care to continue along the pavement on the left hand side. On reaching Checco’s Italian restaurant turn left down Martholme Lane. Follow the lane gradually downhill until the steep steps leading up the side of the old railway viaduct are reached on the right. Climb the steps to the top of the viaduct.

Turn right along the old railway line and follow it straight ahead for about ¾ mile until it reaches a lane (Mill Lane) near the entrance to a caravan park. Turn right along the lane which leads back to the A680 Whalley Road. Cross this again with care then turn right along the residential avenue then left into Park Lane. Follow this for about ¾ mile and cross over the road after passing the Park inn on the right. Shortly after passing the pub turn right down Allsprings Drive which leads to the playing fields and park lodge. Turn left at the lodge to return to the war memorial.

START: START: Memorial Park, Church Lane, Great Harwood. Park on the roadside adjacent to the park facing the playing fields.
DISTANCE: 4 miles (allow 1 ½ to 2 hours)
MAP: OS Explorer 287 West Pennine Moors
It is advisable for anyone who plans to follow the walk to take a copy of the relevant Ordnance Survey map.