This is another walk that starts rather unpromisingly close to the roar of the motorway and the modern industrial estates of East Lancashire. Worry not, for these are soon escaped for a delightful exploration of the parish of Old Laund.
From the railway station head downhill and where the road forks just before the bridge bear right to reach a footpath to the left. Follow this under the motorway and then cross Pendle Water. Once across turn right onto a lane
After 250yds this divides – take the left fork. After passing Old Laund Hall keep ahead to Wheatley Laithe Farm. As you enter the farm take a footpath on the left accessed by a wooden gate. Follow the wall to a wooded corner then bearing slightly right cross the next field to reach the by Padiham By Pass. Cross this busy road to a footpath opposite. Keep ahead to the left of a graveyard to arrive at a track. Turn right for the Inghamite Chapel and Wheatley Lane.
Turn right and then at the Sparrowhawk Inn turn left onto a footpath at the rear of the car park. After two stiles climb to the far right corner of the pasture. After a stone stile bear left and almost immediately cross a step stile over the wall. Aim for the wall corner ahead and then follow the wall on the left up to Noggarth Lane. Go straight across on a footpath leading through a young plantation of trees.
As you reach a farm drive turn left at a wall corner and with the wall on the left cross a large pasture to a wooden stile. Over this turn right onto a drive leading down to Higher Graystones. After passing through the entrance turn left on a path leading diagonally uphill back to the ridge.
The path continues on top of the ridge towards Higher Spen Farm and its nearby telecom mast. As you near the farm bear right behind it to a stile and cross a paddock to a wooden gate in its far right corner. Edge round the field to a gate. Keep ahead on a track to pass through a farm and reach a lane. Turn immediately left over a stile and cross a pasture to another. Over this turn right on a track leading to a road.
Turn left heading downhill. At Height Cottages turn right onto a footpath that crosses pasture to a stone stile. Keep ahead to a wooden kissing gate close to a hedge. Continue with the hedge on the left to a footbridge. Cross this and head downhill. When you reach the lane turn right and then just beyond the properties turn left onto a footpath leading diagonally right to a corner. Drop to a stile and then turn left in the next field and follow the wooded clough on the left down to Fence.
Cross the car park of the Bay Horse to a stile. Cross the road to a footpath opposite. This leads diagonally right to a small wooden gate. Turn left into the field. Keep ahead in the next field to reach a wooden gate accessed over a plank bridge. Turn right. After 150yds at a waymarked post bear left over the large field to a stile in its far right corner. Continue to a stile next to a gate. Over this, turn left on the farm road next to Moor Isles Farm. As you near Wood End Farm turn left on a footpath that drops to a footbridge over a gully. Keep to the fence line on the left as it crosses pastures in the direction of the roar of the motorway. At a small gate turn left over a ditch and then right to reach the motorway bridge. On the far side keep ahead dropping to cottages close to Barden Lane. Past these cross Barden Lane onto a tarmac track. Keep ahead to a metal gate and then turn right past a cottage on a riverside track leading you back to Quaker Bridge.
Walk by Edward Walton of the Burnley Contingent and described by Bob Clare of www.lancashirewalks.com.
Start: Brierfield Railway Station BB9 5PU. GR: SD845 365
Distance: 7½ miles, 11.5km
Time: 3-5 hours
Map: OS OL 21 The South Pennines