My favourite walks in Burnley

Nursing student Rachel tells us about her top walking destinations in Burnley.

Studying in Burnley has great benefits, such as being just a short distance from the stunning East Lancashire countryside. I grew up in Burnley, alongside studying here, so I have extensive experience of the best walks! Here are my top walks, perfect for time with friends or on your own. Now you too can enjoy the beautiful scenery for yourself, just like I have for many years.

The Singing Ringing Tree

The Singing Ringing Tree is best visited on a breezy day. This Panopticon is a structure through which sound is created by the wind (which is where the singing comes from!). It is located on a hill overlooking Burnley and has some spectacular views of the town and surrounding countryside. If you are in town, it’s likely you can see the Singing Ringing Tree perched up on the hill. My top tip is there’s a great view from the UCLan Burnley library.

Leeds and Liverpool canal

The Burnley campus is next to the Leeds and Liverpool canal. The canal weaves its way through Burnley and surrounding towns, villages and countryside. It is ideal for both short and long walks and for those that don’t like hills. There is a huge variety of scenery such as parks and countryside. The ‘straight mile’ of the canal is an embankment which overlooks Burnley town centre and has some impressive views. One of my favourite areas for walking is in Barrowford, approximately six miles from Burnley where there is a flight of seven locks.

Towneley Park

Towneley is Burnley’s largest park and covers an area of over 400 acres. There is a huge network of trails and paths taking you through the woods, gardens and open spaces. They are well signposted, so it’s almost impossible to get lost and you can visit time and time again and not repeat the same walk. If you want to spend a bit longer, you can have a look around the impressive Towneley Hall too, which I highly recommend doing. There’s also places to get refreshments if you want to treat yourself after a long (or even short) walk.


Hurstwood is a small hamlet on the outskirts of Burnley. There is a large car park or it is a 20-30 minute walk from the village of Worsthorne, which is accessible by bus. There are two reservoirs and you can choose to walk around one for a shorter walk or both for an extended walk. It’s lovely and when I’ve been, it’s never too busy.

Pendle Hill

Pendle Hill dominates the horizon in most areas of Burnley and most residents have been up at some point in their lives. Although the hill isn’t actually in Burnley, I just couldn’t miss it off this list. The small village of Barley is the best place to start from. Footpaths to go up the hill are well signposted and failing that, plenty of local walkers will point you in the right direction. The walk up the side of the hill might be a bit steep, but you are rewarded with stunning views from the top. And of course, the walk down is much easier! Check the weather before you go and make sure you have plenty of layers, it can get cold and windy at the top sometimes. I’ve been up in all seasons and weathers and just never tire of it. Once you are back in Barley, there is a great café at the car park and two pubs serving food where you can rest and recharge.

I hope this blog has given you some ideas for your next walking route. There’s lots to see in Burnley and I’m sure you’ll enjoy these trails as much as I have!

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