HIDDEN in the pastures of the rolling hill country between Blackburn and Preston is the little gem of St Joseph’s Catholic Church in the parish of Brindle. The church was built in 1786 and around it were planted 12 lime trees to represent the 12 apostles, although some of these have been lost.

There are some great lanes for walking around here and some fine views towards Preston and West Lancashire. A great walk for a crisp frosty winter’s day.

1. With the Boar’s Head on your left turn first left down Chapel Lane and follow the pavement past the end of the row of cottages. After nearly half a mile join the first signed public footpath on the right hand side of the lane.

This begins at a gate/stile in the corner of a field. Follow this path uphill with the hedge on the right to reach the wall boundary of Hoghton Tower. Turn right and cross the stile. Follow the wall side, crossing further stiles to reach the access drive to Hoghton Tower. Turn right down the drive to reach the main A675 road opposite the war memorial.

2. Turn left uphill following the pavement of the A road. Cross it with care when you reach the church on the brow of the hill.

Walk to the rear of the church and join the signed footpath that begins on the right hand side running between the church yard and car park. Cross the stile and follow the right field edge continuing straight ahead to a small disused quarry on the right. Another stile is crossed to meet a lane by cottages.

Turn right along the lane following it for about half a mile. It becomes a sunken lane (Windmill Lane) running downhill. Keep to it as it bends sharp left and leads to a lane junction.

Ignore the right turn down Gowans Lane but continue straight ahead a very short distance until a stile is reached on the right next to a gate.

3. Cross the stile and follow the left hand side of the field downhill to cross another stile at the bottom and join another lane (Hill House Lane). Turn right along this passing Yew Tree Farm on the right to reach another lane junction.

Turn left down signed Oram Road. Keep to this country lane which winds gradually downhill to the hamlet of Jack Green and a level crossing over the Preston-Blackburn railway.

Cross the line with care and immediately turn right crossing a stile to follow a field path running alongside the railway on the right and crossing a few fields.

In the third field the path leaves the side of the railway and runs diagonally left to reach the road, Gregson Lane, opposite Hewn Gate Farm.

4. Cross the lane turning right for a very short distance to turn first left up the track to the right hand side of the farm. Keep going straight ahead keeping to the right of the farm buildings.

The track becomes a field edge path leading to woodland and the little hidden church of St. Joseph’s. At the path junction turn right to explore the church and its grounds. But to continue the walk turn left along the track that soon swings right and crosses the tarmac access drive to Brindle Lodge over to the right. Keep going straight ahead along the field path in front of the lodge. You cross a stream and the track soon swings left to reach the A675 road.

5. The shorter route back to the Boar’s Head is simply by turning right along the A road and following the pavement past the houses. You can fork right of the busy A road and go through Hoghton village along Station Road. This crosses the railway at a level crossing then turn left at the lane junction to rejoin the A road. Turn right again to reach the Boar’s Head.

6. A slightly longer quieter route is to cross the A road, turning left then immediately right down the signed Quaker Brook Lane.

Follow this for a quarter of a mile and after crossing the brook, which gives the name its lane, you reach a sandstone farmhouse on the right as the lane starts to wind uphill.

Turn right through the gateway to the farm, this is a signed public bridleway. The old green lane, it can be muddy, winds its way between hedges and fields for the next three-quarters of a mile.

Keep to the main track (ignore the left turn at a house) and it emerges on a minor lane, Gib Lane. Turn right here and follow the lane for three-quarter of a mile, passing under the railway to emerge by the side of the Boar’s Head.

START: Boar’s Head, Hoghton, alongside the A675 Blackburn Old Road. Some roadside parking by the pub, pub car park for patrons, or along the adjacent Chapel Lane.

DISTANCE: Four-and-a-half miles (shorter route) or five-and-a-half miles (longer route)

MAP: OS Explorer 287 West Pennine Moors