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Lancashire walk - Thieveley Pike circular

PUBLISHED: 00:00 12 September 2018

The view to Pendle from Thievely Pike

The view to Pendle from Thievely Pike

john Lenehan

A striking sculpture attracts John Lenehan to this circular walk through some oustanding scenery.

Spectacular Cliviger GeorgeSpectacular Cliviger George

A drive from Burnley to Todmorden along the A646 involves passing through the dramatic Cliviger Gorge. To the right past Holme Chapel, the steep sided gorge is lined by vertical crags and above these crags open moor leads to the summit of Thieveley Pike.

I raced in the Thieveley Pike fell race many years ago but as with all fell races you don’t see much scenery as you need to concentrate on racing. I decided it was time I should revisit the pike and could have made a nice circular walk just to do this. However, when I was working out a route I noticed on the map a Singing Ringing Tree and decided with a name like that I should include it in the walk. The result: fantastic.


The award-winning Singing Ringing TreeThe award-winning Singing Ringing Tree

1. Leave the car park and turn left then turn left again at the track with the sign saying Pennine Bridleway Deerplay then follow the track as it passes under two bridges then turns left to reach a gate with a sign saying Private Road to Butlers on it. To the right there is a footpath sign and a narrow path leads uphill follow this and begin the steep climb through the wood on steps on some sections. The path bends right and at this point keep left following a sign for Burnley Way. Exit the woods and cross a stile then head directly uphill towards the two prominent rocks of Dean Scout. Pass to the right of the rocks that are now behind a wire fence and keep uphill until you reach a track. Turn left and follow the track for about five metres then turn right and follow an indistinct but visible path uphill all the way to Thieveley Pike summit with its triangulation pillar.

Note: The views are really good and on a clear day you can see Stoodley Pike above Todmorden, Peel Tower above Holcombe, and Darwen Tower above Darwen.

2. Stand facing the triangulation pillar with a wire fence behind it then turn left and after a few metres there is a stile on the right in the fence. Cross the stile and turn right and with the fence on the right follow the path as it goes behind the pillar then keep on the path following the fence that eventually becomes a wall. The path becomes a track that more or less follows the wall and goes downhill to reach a gate stile in a wall going straight on. Cross the stile and keep on with the wall on the right there is not much of a path so follow the wall as it turns left and drops down towards the A671 main road. The path ends at a gate. Go through the gate onto the road and turn right and take the pavement along the road until a road on the left signposted Rawtenstall B6238.

John on the summit of Thieveley PikeJohn on the summit of Thieveley Pike

3. Cross the A671 and enter the B6238 and almost immediately the road forks, take the right fork then follow the road until it reaches a car park and picnic area on the right.

4. There is a sign opposite pointing to The Tree Panopticon (Singing Ringing Tree). Cross the car park and cross a stile and follow the track up to the very prominent Singing Ringing Tree. It certainly sounds beautiful when you hear it.

Note: The sculpture was designed by Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu both architects and was completed in 2006 and a year later won the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) National Award. There is a second Singing Tree that was erected in Austin, Texas, in 2017.

Leave the Singing Ringing Tree by going right from the track that you approached it on to a stile with a footpath sign. Cross the stile and keep straight with a wire fence on the right then reach a wall then turn left and with the wall on your right go downhill. There is no prominent path so use the wall as a guide, keeping about ten metres away from it and eventually you see a footpath sign on a post pointing to a rather poor stile. Cross the stile and keep following a wall now on your left downhill until you reach a stile that is behind a cottage. Cross the stile and follow the concrete track downhill to the main road.

5. Reach the main road A671 and turn right then after a few metres cross the road to a stile with a footpath sign. Cross the stile and go down the wooden steps then turn right and head downhill towards the buildings of Dyneley Farm. At the bottom of the hill turn right and cross a bridge made of railway sleepers then bear left to another very poor stile that leads in to a lane. Enter the lane then turn immediately right and follow the track that is marked on the map as Burnley Way. Pass a white cottage on your left and through a gate and pass a ruined building on the right near which is a sign saying Holme Chapel 1 mile. Come to a wooden gate with a stile to the right of it marked Burnley Way. Cross the stile and keep left away from the farm entrance and reach a gate stile, cross this and turn left and follow the track until it bends left down to a railway bridge. At the start of the bend follow the path that goes right marked Burnley Pendle Way by a sign.

The path goes downhill towards the railway line then through a gate stile and then runs parallel with the railway line now on the left. Follow the path and then turn left under a narrow railway bridge and then turn right and follow the track until it joins a larger track.

This is the track from the start, turn left and follow this going under the two bridges again.

Compass points

Walk: Thieveley Pike and the Singing Ringing Tree

Start and Finish: Ram Inn car park Holme Chapel. Andy the landlord welcomes walkers but would appreciate if large groups are coming to walk could they please telephone so he can organise an area of car park to accommodate them.

Distance: 5.5 Miles(8.55km)

Time: 3.5 Hours

Terrain: A mixture of track and footpaths with an unavoidable road section. The first section up to Dean Scout through Buckley Wood is very steep but is stepped on the steepest bits. Good boots a must and good weather – it could be a miserable adventure in rain or mist.

Map: OS OL21 South Pennines

Facilities: No public toilets

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