Shirley M Addy, Editor and Footpath Inspector
This article is from Signpost 62, Spring 2020
I am an inspector of PNFS signposts that have grid references beginning with SD - as well as a footpath inspector - and early last year I devised a walk that would involve seven signposts in the Darwen area of the West Pennines. It is 5.6 miles long, moderate walking on clear paths on excellent ground with very little mud and great views. My directions are very brief so you need to carry Ordnance Survey's Explorer 287 map, but you should have no difficulty in following the signposts' directions.
Start at the Royal Arms pub, Tockholes, Darwen, BB3 0PA, grid reference SD66531 21496. Take your pick of two large free car parks here. From here follow the south-east bridleway over open moorland for nearly a mile to the first sign S537 at the edge of a wood.
Walk the path between the wood on the right and contours on the left. Once on the moor, follow the second path on the right which goes above Duckshaw Clough on the right. Turn onto the sharp right hand path to cross the brook onto White Hill. The second sign S306 is soon ahead of you.
From this signpost take a footpath on the left going south to the first of three signposts that are close to each other, S305, S304 and F30. The last one is a fingerpost with two green narrow plates.
After pondering upon plaque below the fingerpost commemorating the 'Tragedy on the Moors' of December 1917, continue walking east to the sixth signpost S303.
From this penultimate signpost of our walk, take the footpath north towards a gate onto a road. Do not go through here but instead to through another gate higher up on your right. This takes you onto a permissive and safer route to the road further on, where you cross over to enter Roddlesworth woods. Walk the footpath and soon you come onto the ruins of Hollinshead Hall and the seventh signpost S538.
As you pass this signpost, pick up the track north. After nearly a mile of woodland, a footpath rises east. This climbs to the road opposite the Royal Arms, where they served excellent local beers and light meals. Nearby is a cafe and information centre.
I enjoyed my walk, which was the first time in the West Pennines for many years, so much that my husband adopted it when he led a group of about 15 former colleagues on a monthly walk.
For more details of each signpost's location, go to http://peakandnorthern.org.uk/signposts/where-they-are.htm
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