HIS walk encircles Whalley village and takes in all its attractions — Spring Wood nature reserve (once owned by the Abbey monks), the longest railway viaduct in Lancashire, the River Calder, the Nab and, of course, the ancient parish church and Whalley Abbey. The walk can be started from Whalley train station.

If starting from Spring Wood car park, face the back of the car park and join the path turning left in the corner of the car park. This does not climb through the wood but runs parallel to the A671 over to the left before soon crossing under it.

After passing under the bypass bear diagonally right along the meadow path which crosses a stream and stile and heads towards Whalley village.

As you reach a residential road turn left and follow it to the road junction at a mini-roundabout.

Turn left here and follow the main village street towards the pubs. Cross over and turn right up Church Lane which is overlooked by the De Lacy Arms.

Follow this lane straight ahead passing the church and then the Abbey entrance on the left. Continue straight ahead through the gatehouse to pass under the railway arches.

If starting from Whalley train station, you can reach the railway arches by simply crossing over Mitton Road outside the station and joining Broad Lane to the right of Breda Murphy’s restaurant.

This lane runs parallel to the railway arches on the left and soon meets the crossroads of lanes where the route from the Abbey gatehouse is met.

Continue the walk along the tarmac path that keeps the railway arches, built 1848-1850, on the immediate left. The path crosses the River Calder over Old Sol’s Bridge and on the far side of the river you leave Whalley and enter the parish of Billington and Langho.

On reaching the residential road turn left then first right up Walmesley Brow at the top of which you reach a little chapel on the left on the Whalley-Billington Road. Go straight across this with care and continue uphill along the signed footpath almost opposite. This enclosed path runs alongside a field and reaches another road — Whalley Old Road.

Cross this and directly opposite are two signed footpaths.

Take the left forking one which runs behind a house and climbs gradually uphill through fields.

The view opens out to Whalley and the river below. At the next lane continue directly opposite joining a tarmac driveway at a cattle grid. This swings around the hillside towards woodland and another cattle grid. The view is exceptionally good from here and looks across the Calder Valley to Spring Wood and Wiswell Moor. You are now on the steep northern flank of Whalley Nab.

Continue the walk by going straight ahead over the next cattle grid but when the driveway starts to swing right join a signed footpath and bridleway on the left by a wall.

Both these routes now run steeply downhill by the wall. Keep to the better path and take great care particularly if wet as the rocky sections can be slippery.

Go all the way downhill and you are soon back in Whalley village by the road bridge.

Cross this and an interesting way back to Spring Wood can be followed by joining a signed footpath on the right hand side of the road soon after the bridge is crossed.

This leads down a little terrace, crosses a bridge by a weir and follows the north bank of the River Calder.

It soon leaves the river by turning sharp left and running uphill between fields to meet a road.

Cross this with care, turning slightly right along the pavement, to join a path on the left.

This climbs steps and crosses a stile to enter a large open area of rough pasture. Keep to the higher path and walk straight ahead. This will lead to another stile bringing you out on busy Accrington Road opposite the entrance to Spring Wood.

Cross with care at the traffic lights to return to the car park or to continue the route back to the train station.