WEST of Blackburn is the lovely parkland countryside traversed by the two waterways of the River Darwen and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. East Lancashire gives way to West Lancashire and this walk even crosses the boundary between Blackburn and Chorley.

A third waterway encountered on this walk is the River Roddlesworth, the same river that flows from the moors above Sunnyhurst Woods and which here joins the River Darwen close to the ruins of Feniscowles Hall, once occupied by members of the Feilden family.

START: Pleasington village. Roadside parking by the Butlers Arms and Priory.

DISTANCE: 5 miles (allow 2-3 hours)

MAP: OS Explorer 287 West Pennine Moors

1. Cross over directly opposite the Butler’s Arms and walk down the access road between the priory on the left and houses on the right. Beyond trees this becomes a fenced path between fields running gradually downhill.

At the bottom of the hill go straight ahead to reach the edge of playing fields. You can directly cross the playing field (assuming no matches are being played!) and continue straight ahead to reach the old stone bridge - Butler’s Bridge - over the River Darwen.

2. Cross the bridge and turn left to cross the cemetery access road. Directly opposite continue along the edge of another playing field with the river on your left.

This leads to a metal tubular bridge over the river. Do not cross this but continue straight ahead along the riverside path to reach a car park on the right. Turn right through the car park to rejoin the cemetery access road at the car park entrance.

Cross this directly and join the surfaced cycleway opposite which climbs steeply through woodland. This turns right and runs through a woodland to reach a bridge over the Blackburn-Preston railway.

Look out on your right near the bridge for a stone L & Y R (Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway) marker.

3. Cross the bridge to enter a residential avenue. Turn left then first left again to reach the main road, Preston Old Road.

Turn right and follow the pavement of this road before taking care to cross over and turn first left up a side lane leading to Livesey Library on the left. Continue straight ahead along the tarmac path to reach the canal towpath.

Turn right and follow the Leeds and Liverpool Canal towpath for the next one-and-a-half miles, near where you can see the M65 motorway high on your left above Stanworth Woods, you cross over the River Roddlesworth via an aqueduct.

Look out at this point for the white boundary marker between Blackburn with Darwen and Chorley boroughs.

After this you pass under a farm access bridge and leave the canal on the right via a path forking right downhill from the towpath.

4. This track skirts around the side of the old paper mill site. At the bottom of the hill turn right then left to go along the edge of waste ground to reach the main road again.

Cross this busy road with great care and turn right following the pavement gradually uphill.

Look down to your left to glimpse the River Darwen again and the remains of Feniscowles Hall. After nearly half a mile turn left downhill along the lane leading to Pleasington.

You pass the church on the right, cross the river again then climb uphill along the lane which leads back to the Butlers Arms and Priory.

Nick Burton will be leading a seven mile Alfred Wainwright themed walk, Wainwright in the Ribble Valley, today. Meet 10.15 am at Langho station, £5 per adult. More information can be found at www.allroutesnorth.com