THE town of Great Harwood abruptly gives way to pleasant wooded pastures that roll northwards to the mature valley of the River Calder.

This walk heads for a very picturesque section of the river and reaches the disused Martholme Viaduct, which once carried the Great Harwood Loop of the East Lancashire Line some 60 feet high over the Calder.

The impressive sandstone arches were constructed in the 1870s to carry the railway line that linked Blackburn with Burnley via Great Harwood, Simonstone and Padiham. The walk also enters the railway sidings that once led into Cock Pit, the coal mines of Martholme Colliery.

The Victorian mine was still open between the First and Second World Wars.

At Cock Bridge the walk joins one of the loveliest stretches of the river, its waters having been swollen by Sabden Brook on the other side of the road bridge.

The river is here reaching its end, having risen on the Pennine moors above Burnley it is now about three miles from its confluence with the River Ribble by Hacking Hall on the other side of Whalley.

1. With the park war memorial on your left, walk along the pavement with the park wall on your left and the playing field over to your right. You reach a lodge house on the left at the end of the park.

Continue straight ahead along the access drive which soon bends sharp left towards Squires Farm.

Do not turn left here but instead go straight ahead through the gate and cross the large field with a view left over to Pendle Hill.

Keep going straight ahead to go through another gate, ford a brook and join another farm track with cottages on the left. This leads to the busy A680 Accrington Road.

2. Take very great care crossing this fast road to the pavement on the other side.

Turn right along the pavement then first left down Martholme Lane by Checcos Italian Restaurant.

Follow the lane only as far as the woodland on your right and go through the gate that leads into the woodland. Keep to the track through the trees which soon bends left and skirts Great Harwood golf course along a track bed. This was the site of the old Martholme Colliery.

The track leads to the tree-lined path along the disused Great Harwood Loop railway line. Turn left to soon reach the bench by Martholme Viaduct.

3. Drop down the steep set of steps to the left of the viaduct to rejoin the end of Martholme Lane. Walk back up to the junction with the A road and turn right by the Italian Restaurant. Follow the pavement on the right this far all the way to the Game Cock Inn on the left hand side. Take great care crossing this road again.

Walk past the pub on the left continuing downhill and join the waymarked path that begins at a kissing gate on the left just past the houses next to the pub.

4. The fine riverside stretch now leads across pasture and a little footbridge before using stones to ford a brook.

The path then climbs the steep right side of a hill overlooking the river.

At the top of a hill you reach a wall and gate on the right. Do not go through this but turn sharp left and follow the field path along a field edge.

This drops slightly then goes through a kissing gate in a field corner on the right.

Continue straight ahead through a boggy area and the distinct path is waymarked through several fields and gates.

You soon follow a diverted path around the front of Squires Farm leading to the access drive followed at the start of the walk. Follow this as it turns right and leads back to Memorial Park.