Rossendale, Irwell Vale - Helmshore - Tor Hill -

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Rossendale, Irwell Vale - Helmshore - Tor Hill - Irwell Vale

The walk starts at Irwell Halt, a small station along the Bury to Rawtenstall Line in the village of Irwell Vale. There is parking available for several cars and if you are lucky and are into steam trains, you may just see one whilst 'booting up'! After setting off, a short stretch of road brings you to a footpath leading to a riverside walk, emerging at the quaintly named cluster of cottages of Snig Hole. A short walk later and you begin the climb of Tor Hill, demanding in parts, a local flat-topped hill with rocky outcrops along its north-facing escarpment, which is then followed for a while. You are now on the Rossendale Way and a high meadow follows, then a farm and a brief piece of tarmac before a longer moorland stretch across the head of the Alden Valley and then towards Peel Tower. From the head of the valley to the highest part of the moor there is a sustained but not unreasonable climb. The descent is through Buckden Clough, a beech-wood, best seen in early summer, to the village of Strongstry and return to the start along the Irwell Sculpture Trail. Here is another chance to spot a steam train, especially if your visit is at the weekend.

There are several areas of the walk where there is mud or where the ground has been churned up by cattle or horses. Also, in woodlands and by the river, exposed roots can be a trip hazard. There are two road crossings with restricted vision of oncoming traffic, so care must be taken here.

England - North England - Lancashire - Pennines


Birds, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Moor, National Trust, River, Waterfall, Wildlife, Woodland
03/01/2015 - Stephen Hopkins

A very nice walk, done on 2/1/15.The instruction at 5 could be clearer, since we found no 'obvious' track at 15 yards. Should we have turned left along the wall? In the end we went diagonally up a faint path for about 20 yards and turned right (should it have been left?)along another path, but this took us back down to the wall that was on the right of the gate we had just come through. No harm done since we just followed this and it joins the Rossendale Way further along on the left, at point 8. The 'ladder stile' mentioned at point 10 is now just a regular stile. At point 12, as you come down to the lane, there is no stile by the gate, but you still turn right to find the ladder stile into the beech wood.

08/05/2011 - Michael Gilmartin

Excellent walk done on 7/5/11. Rained most of the time but still found no great problems with footing contrary to impressions suggested in guide notes. We missed the the entrance to the wood, WM 13, since there was a similar ladder stile to the left which bypassed the wood. My fault though for not reading the notes more carefully. A walk with varied scenery and some fine views.

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Distance away
26.1 Miles
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29.9 Miles
Pubs, cafes and restaurants
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15.6 Miles