This rail trail walk is 3.74 miles long and the grade is medium. Explore the old line to Bury, along with Howarth art gallery and Oak Hill park. Then, pass the Art-Deco old police station to the centre of Accrington. OS maps licence pending.
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Accrington station to Woodnook Vale.
From the station cross the road and then turn right up Eagle street. Cross by the roundabout in the front of Tesco on to Ormerod street. You will see the Globe works in Front and a large cog sculpture on the left.
Turn left in front of the Waterside tower block and keep on with the lodge on your right. There are usually Canada Geese and gulls bobbing on the water. Additionally you will also see the old railway bridge supports, painted red. This is the route of the line to Baxenden.
The path here was built as a cycle way along the old railway line, and was once water.
Carry on past the lodge and you will see, on the left, the remnants of the embankment that once lead to the Nuttall Street bridge. Consequently, the bridge was demolished in the 1980’s.
This was actually the second bridge on the site. The original 1840’s bridge was replaced in the 1930’s.
Cross Nuttall street and head half right to regain the track bed. The first feature you will see is a stone overbridge, still smoke begrimed, from the locomotives. Next the path dips where once a viaduct stood. There is a rather pathetic footbridge that crosses the stream at the bottom of the dip.
Keep along the track bed for a about a mile untill you reach another dip in the path, where a bridge used to be. Here turn left towards Baxenden. The path curves back, past a school and onto Manchester road.
Baxenden to Howarth art gallery
Once on Manchester road keep on towards Accrington. you will see St John the Baptist Church on the left. When you reach Newton drive, turn left. This leads to Howarth art gallery. Next, pass some new build houses on the left. Turn right down Hollins lane and the entrance to the gallery is on the right.
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The gallery has a cafe and you can view the Tiffany glass collection. Back on Hollins lane turn right towards Accrington and you will pass Oak Hill park, this is worth a visit as it has an impressive war memorial. You can either regain Manchester road through the park, or carry on down Hollins lane.
Keep on down Manchester road, however, don’t go down Grange lane, cross it . The old fire and Police station is on the left a bit further down Manchester road. Cross Wellington street and on into town.
Head left down Little Blackburn road, you will eventually reach Eagle street. Turn left for the station.