HIS country walk links the waterways of Hyndburn Brook and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal with the disused railway that once linked Blackburn and Burnley via Padiham.

The railway — known as the Great Harwood Loop — closed in 1957 and has been partly restored as a walking and cycle route.

The Hyndburn Brook runs eventually into the River Calder heading towards Whalley, and this walk explores a short rural stretch of this large tributary on the boundaries of Dunkenhalgh Park — the hotel at the centre of the estate was once the seat of the Petre family.

The walk also joins the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at its exact halfway point at Church, from here it is exactly 63 miles to both cities.

Walk along the pavement on the main road to the corner of the cemetery directly opposite the Little Brook Nursery on the edge of the town.

Turn left into a former car parking area now closed by a barrier.

This leads to a footpath going through a tunnel under the old Great Harwood Loop railway.

Go through the tunnel and continue straight ahead through woodland, crossing over a brook and joining a lane that leads uphill into the farming hamlet of Tottleworth with its old-fashioned lamp posts.

Continue straight ahead along the hedged lane beyond the houses and you eventually reach a main road, Hermitage Street (A678).

Turn left here and walk downhill to pass old mill buildings and cross the road bridge over Hyndburn Brook.

Take great care and cross over the busy road immediately after the bridge before it bends right uphill.

Join the signed footpath on the other side which follows a track straight ahead through parkland with the river on the right.

The track crosses Hyndburn Brook again and continues straight ahead soon being rejoined by the brook on the left.

The path goes through gates, passes under the M65 motorway, then swings left then right to continue straight ahead along a path passing a ramshackle farm on the right and soon joining the towpath of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

On the opposite side of the canal can be seen a sculpture marking this as the exact halfway point of the canal.

Turn right along the canal to the nearby access bridge.

Leave the canal here and join the cycleway heading right marked by blue signposts and signed for Rishton.

This passes through a farm and is a surfaced track followed for nearly ½ mile, eventually rejoining the canal towpath.

The canal is now followed for 1¼ miles. It crosses over the M65 and passes under the road bridge in the centre of Rishton. There are good views towards Boulsworth Hill and Pendle Hill. Leave the canal on the right after passing under bridge 108 (the next bridge after the road bridge through Rishton).

Follow the track straight ahead along the edge of playing fields and under electricity pylons. A path running left to right is reached — this marks the approximate line of the old Blackburn-Burnley railway.

Turn right and follow this path back in the direction of Great Harwood. It soon crosses the railway bridge passed under at the start of this walk.

Drop down the steps on the left side of the bridge to return to the main road by the nursery.

Alternatively walk straight ahead after the bridge for a little bit further before turning left along the drive through the cemetery.