Explore these top ten winter walks in Lancashire!
Lancashire is a truly beautiful county in winter as snow settles on the hilltops you’ll likely need wellies or sturdy footwear for any of these Lancashire winter walking trails.
Fairy Glen is a woodland vale above Appley Bridge and close to Parbold Hill. The footpaths through Fairy Glen pass cliff edges, long-fallen trees and cascading waterfalls. A little imagination and some storytelling and the little ones will truly believe this is a magical place. Look closely and you’ll see the outline of mythical faces carved by time in the gnarly tree trunks. A peaceful haven in winter, Fairy Glen is pleasantly sheltered from the wind that can whip across High Moor above.
Hoghton Tower trails
Near Preston, Hoghton Tower is a 16th Century fortified manor house. There are several routes to take through the peaceful grounds that are easy to follow from the main car park. Ideal for a winter stroll, surfaced footpaths meander around the property and its formal gardens. If you’re keen on an eerie wander, look out for the spooky tours of the house that run from October to February. They will certainly spark curiosity into Hoghton Tower’s history and that of its former residents as the sun sets behind the ancient sandstone walls.
Pendle Hill dominates the landscape of north-eastern Lancashire. As the sun crosses the horizon on its low winter trajectory, grey clouds loom above Pendle Hill and shadows dance ominously on its slopes as the wind sways the surrounding forest. The history of Pendle Hill is as fascinating as it is mysterious. From here, the Pendle witches were led to Lancaster for trial in 1612. There are a number of trails up and around Pendle Hill that tell the stories of this impressive landmark and those who walked it before.
Rowley Lake and Brun Valley Forest Park
Rowley Lake is a man-made body of water with a dam and weir that contrasts beautifully with the post-industrial landscape of Burnley. The seven-acre lake is part of the Brun Valley Forest Park and is surrounded by towering trees that provide walking shelter on the windiest of days. A circular walk around the water on well-maintained, flat paths makes for a pleasant stroll on winter days.
Sunderland Point and Sambo’s Grave
A walk along the Lancashire coastline in winter will certainly blow away the cobwebs if you’ve been hibernating indoors. The Lancashire Coastal Way runs along the county’s entire seaboard and there are several stages that can be rambled in a few hours. The section between Middleton Sands and Sunderland Point has a suitable ‘end of days’ feel in gloomy weather. The route crosses a causeway to reach the isolated village of Sunderland Point. Here you’ll find Sambo’s Grave, the unconsecrated burial site of a boy assumed to have been a slave. His 18th Century epitaph talks of the “angry winters wave… thundering this bleak and barren shore”. Apt words for a stroll on a bracing day.
Johnson Hillock Locks
Perfect for snowy, wintry weather, a towpath stroll around the Johnson Hillock Locks ensures a flat, fairly sure-footed trip outdoors. Johnson Hillock Locks are an impressive series of seven locks near Chorley that raise the waterway by 66 feet. When the winter sun is low in the sky, the glistening reflection of snowy surrounds on the water is stunning as the icicles on the lock gates drippily melt. A lovely walk is to start and end at the Top Lock pub that sits just off the bridge carrying the road through Wheelton over the canal.
The Darwen Tower, completed in 1898 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, stands tall and proud above the town whose name it shares. A path to the octagonal 85-feet high monument bisects the Earnsdale and Sunnyhurst Hey reservoirs where wildfowl seek refuge in the colder months. Take care on wintry days, it is said that Oliver Cromwell turned back his troops on this moor in bad weather. There is a staircase inside the 86-feet sandstone tower offering views of Snowdonia, the Irish Sea and even the Isle of Man on a crisp, clear day.
The Tolkien Trail
If the Lord of the Rings movies are on your Christmas film list, a visit to the Ribble Valley is a must. Only a 30 minute car ride from our Ribble Valley holiday park, the Tolkien Trail is an easy-to-stroll five and a half miles. It starts and ends in the village of Hurst Green, following in the footsteps of the esteemed author. Tolkien stayed regularly in the area and fans of all things Hobbit will enjoy guessing which landmarks bear a similarity to place names found in his books. The trail has its beginning and finishes at the Shireburn Arms in the village of Hurst Green. Many believe the name of the inn inspired the naming of the River Shirebourne that runs through Middle Earth.
If you’re staying at Silverdale Park then a walk through Eaves Wood, a mile or so from the site, is a lovely way to stretch your legs on a crisp, cold day. Sheltered paths extend through the woodland before the trees suddenly give way to stunning views over Eaves Wood’s abandoned quarry. Following the waymarked path that hugs the treeline then opens out once more to provide vistas out to Arnside Knott and a chance to explore the ruins of Arnside Castle.
Bolton-le-Sands to Carnforth
A wonderful walk for a winter’s day that can be started from the Bay View park is to walk from Bolton-le-Sands itself along to Carnforth. This towpath trail along the Lancaster Canal offers views out across Morecambe Bay and further out to the Lake District on clear days. We recommend walking along the coastal footpath from Bolton Le Sands to Bay View and then through Bay View onto the canal footpath to Carnforth itself.
The best winter walks in Lancashire aren’t complete without lunch in a cosy pub before settling down in your own haven from the elements in a Holgates park, be it a lodge, cottage, caravan or glamping pod. Ready to book your winter break in Lancashire? Take a look at our latest availability.