NORTH of Burnley is a lovely rural stretch of the River Calder. The river meanders through large pastures as the land rises steeply north to the village of Higham and beyond it the ridge of Padiham Heights.

This walk follows sections of the Pendle Way and Bronte Way and encounters three waterways - the Calder and its tributary, Pendle Water, as well as the Leeds and Liverpool Canal skirting the edge of Brierfield.

1. Facing the parish church turn right and walk along the lane back to where it meets the A6068 bypass. This is a fast road so cross it with great care to go down the tarmac lane, Foxen Dole Lane, directly opposite.

Keep going straight ahead through a gate and the access drive is waymarked as the Pendle Way. Continue straight ahead and the drive becomes a gated field track running downhill with a view of Burnley and the the Pennines ahead. The track passes to the left of a farm (Pendle Hall) and leads to a kissing gate and new bridge over the River Calder.

2. Do not cross the bridge but turn sharp left through another kissing gate with the river on your right. The path follows the edge of the hillside and crosses a footbridge over a drain.

The path becomes unclear but just keep the higher wooded ground to your left and follow the edge of the large flat pasture until a more distinct path leads you back to the river. A kissing gate leads into a woodland. Just keep to the waymarked path signed as both the Pendle Way and Bronte Way.

Further stiles and footbridges lead under pylons to a large field. Go straight across this to drop down to a larger footbridge over a wooded stream on the opposite side. Climb the steep bank and the path follows a left field edge leading to a footbridge over the M65 motorway.

3. Cross this and join the waymarked path on the opposite side going straight ahead downhill to a gate leading to cottages. Cross the road bridge, Pendle Bridge, over the river and immediately join the signed path on the left hand side starting at a kissing gate.

You now follow the right hand bank of the river, which is actually Pendle Water now, not the River Calder. Follow the waymarked path, crossing several stiles, that keeps the river close on the left. It goes through a marshy area and leads to another crossing point of the river downhill from a farm.

4. Turn right uphill, still following the Pendle Way. The path keeps to the right of Monkhey Farm and soon joins the farm lane above the buildings. Keep going uphill and you soon reach the Leeds and Liverpool Canal bridge at a large information board.

Join the canal on the left here and turn right under the bridge to follow the towpath. The canal is followed for nearly half a mile just as far as the next bridge number 135. Leave the towpath on the right here following a stepped path down to a stile.

Cross the paddock to a gate on the opposite side then enter a large field with two stiles on the far side. Aim for the stile to the right leading on to a track, not the one leading to the stables. Cross the track and continue downhill to join the riverside path followed earlier.

5. Turn left and retrace your steps back to Pendle Bridge and the motorway bridge. After crossing the motorway retrace your steps along the waymarked field sections of the Pendle Way back to where you drop down to the large footbridge over the wooded stream at Spurn Clough.

An alternative way back here is to climb up from the bridge and at the path signpost turn right and follow the farm drive uphill to pylons. As you cross a cattle grid and pass Moor Isles Farm on the left, leave the drive on the right following a grassy track uphill.

Cross further stiles and follow the left edge of a field uphill until you reach a stile/gate on the boundary of new tree planting.

6. Cross this stile and walk straight ahead to the next metal gate/stile at a path junction. Do not cross this stile but turn sharp left here, following a waymarked path through new trees to a stile in the fence on the right. Cross this and keep to the left of this large boggy pasture.

Look out for a footbridge in the trees on the left not far up this field. Cross this and turn right continuing uphill then bearing left to the left hand side of the field. Follow the left fence line to the top end, go through the gate to join an access track back to the A6068 road.

Turn left and cross this with great care to pick up the tarmac path on the opposite side that leads to the back lane into Higham village.

Nick Burton will be leading a series of guided walks in East Lancashire this spring. See the event programme at