Take in a former mill village, moorland and reservoir with Nick Burton

THE former mill village of Edgworth is ideally placed as a walkers’ centre, with routes heading off in all directions to the contrasting landscapes of Holcombe Moor and the wooded Bradshaw Valley linking the Victorian Wayoh Reservoir with its more modern neighbour, Jumbles.

This walk combines both hill and dale, encircling Wayoh then climbing gradually towards Crowthorn and Plantation Farm on the edge of the moors with a good view of the Bradshaw Valley below.

The site of the former Crowthorn School on Broadhead Road is worth a look. The buildings of this Victorian children’s home — the first National Children’s Home outside London — are now being sold off as private residences. The school was founded with the help of the Barlow family who also built Edgworth’s village institute. Sir Thomas Barlow, born in Brandwood Fold (where there is a blue plaque in his memory) was the royal physician to three monarchs — including Queen Victoria.

Starting facing the road at the Barlow Institute, turn left and follow the pavement past the bowling green. Walk through the village along the main road as far as the Black Bull Inn on the right hand side. Cross over and join the path that starts at the right hand side of the inn. The path goes through a gate and joins a reservoir track to the dam of Wayoh. Turn left and follow the tarmac track over the dam to the far side of the reservoir.

Turn right through the gate on the far side of the reservoir to join the wooded shoreline path with Wayoh on the right. Follow this straight ahead for about half a mile until it forks. Take the right fork crossing the causeway over the reservoir with the railway viaduct carrying the Bolton-Blackburn railway over to the left. The path swings right on the far side of the causeway and skirts along the shoreline to a kissing gate at a lane.

Turn right along the lane (Crow Trees Lane) and cross the reservoir again. On the far side simply continue straight ahead up Hob Lane. Take care as there is no pavement here and the lane winds gradually uphill. The lane leads back to houses in Edgworth along the Roman Road to Blackburn. Cross over here and directly opposite proceed up School Lane. When this forks into two take the right fork, following a bridleway track that leads gradually uphill passing under electricity pylons. The track eventually comes out on Broadhead Road.

The former Crowthorn School is a bit further up the road on the right hand side. But to continue the walk turn right downhill along Broadhead Road, Take care as there is no pavement here. Walk only as far as the next road junction on the left and join Plantation Road on the left hand side. Follow this country lane for about ½ mile. It winds around the back of Plantation Farm and when it follows a straight section look out for three footpath signs close together — one on your left and two on your right. Take the second path on the right, an access to Heyhead Farm. If you pass a cattery on your right you have missed this turn off!

The path leads down a farm track, keeps to the right of a house and passes a derelict farm on the right. Go through the kissing gate next to the field gate at the derelict farm and simply follow the track straight ahead downhill heading back for Edgworth. The path emerges on the road between the residential caravan site and the Rose and Crown pub. Turn right along Bury Road then left at the village crossroads to return to the Barlow Institute.

Nick Burton’s ‘Wainwright’s Way’, an exploration on foot of Alfred Wainwright’s life from Blackburn to Buttermere (Frances Lincoln, £13.99).