Irwell Riverside Walk

Irwell Riverside Walk/ 3.49 miles/ 50m Elevation Change/ Easy Hike/ Dog and Family Friendly/ Not Pushchair Accessible.

Start Location Postcode BL0 0QQ (Parking is at the side of the road next to old soap factory).

Click the button below to download the Irwell Riverside Walk GPX file to your smartphone and follow by using with the ‘Footpath Route Planner‘ App. Please note you will need to download the ‘Footpath Route Planner’ App in the app store first. Once you have downloaded this app, click the button below and save the route to the app.

Welcome to this relaxing riverside walk along the banks of the River Irwell in the Rossendale Valley.

Parking at the side of the Old Soap Factory

The start of the walk is the parking at the side of the old soap factory, at the entrance to Irwell Vale Village. There is enough parking here for 4 cars, if all spaces are taken and you are parking in the village, please be considerate of the residents and park sensibly.

Set off walking south along Irwell Vale Road towards the village, and cross the bridge to the junction between Aitken Street and Bowker Street. Turn left along Aitken Street and continue towards the River Irwell.

Cross the bridge and take in the views down the river. This is a great photo opportunity downstream to the south, with the trees framing the River Irwell.

Irwell Vale Halt

Once you have made it across the river, you will reach a signpost directing you right towards Lumb Village, along Meadow Park. Follow the signpost right passing Irwell Vale Halt on your left hand side. If you wish, you can walk up to Irwell Vale Halt and take in the surroundings of this 19th Century Railway Station, on the East Lancashire Railway. There is a bench opposite the station up the banking, which is a great spot to take in the fantastic views down the valley. If you have walked up to the station. Return the way you came and now head down Meadow Park.

Continue 0.3 miles down Meadow Park, keeping the River Irwell on your right hand side. Half way down Meadow Park you will see some steps on your right hand side, follow these steps for a great view of the river. If you chose this route, return back to Meadow Park and continue South along it to continue the walk.

After 0.3 miles you will reach another bridge that crosses the River Irwell. Do not cross this bridge, instead follow the footpath through the gap in the wall, to the right of the weak bridge sign.

Continue along the path along the banks of the river, taking in a great view of Lumb Viaduct to the right. You will eventually come to a fork in the path. Take the left path underneath the railway line.

Follow this path until you reach a gate which leads into a farmers field.

Pass through the gate and carry on along the path, keeping the railway on your right, until you reach a second gate. Pass through this gate too.

At this point, the path forks, take the left hand path up the banking towards the Remnant Kings Sculpture. As you are climbing the banking, don’t forget to take In the great views to the left overlooking the valley and the East Lancashire Railway.

You will now find yourself at the Remnant Kings Sculpture. At this point, there is a bench if you wish to take a short break and take in the surrounding landscape. If not, continue on the path past the sculpture back down the banking to the path alongside the railway.

Continue on the path, passing through another gate. At this point you will reach another fork in the path. Take the path to the right and continue to follow this through a further gate.

Once you have passed through the gate the path descends downhill and to the left. Follow this path now for 0.1 miles, passing a pond on the right, until you reach a bridge leading over a stream.

Cross the bridge and at this point, if you have a dog, please ensure it is on a lead as you will be passing the alpacas. Continue through the gate passing the alpacas on either side of the path.

Follow this path for a further 0.2 miles. The path is now back alongside the river on the right, and continues to follow the river around the meander bend. At the end of the path, you will the reach a further gate, pass through this into the field containing horses.

Continue along the path, on top of the river bank, until you reach a further gate taking you away from the river bank. Go through the gate and turn left towards Chatterton Village. Pass through the gap in the wall and enter the village.

Once you have entered the village, you find yourself on Chatterton Road. Follow this road for 0.4 miles, passing the church on your right and farm buildings on your left, until you have left the village and find yourself approaching a Junction with Bolton Road North.

As you are approaching Bolton Road North, you will see a bridge on the right hand side. When you the reach the junction, turn right and cross the footbridge.

Once over the bridge you will see a small memorial garden on the right. Turn right through the garden, and follow the footpath for 0.1 miles through the housing estate, until you reach a junction in the footpath.

At this junction, turn right and you will find yourself back on the banks of the River Irwell. Follow the path, following the river, until you reach a gate which leads into Strongstry Village.

Pass through the gate and follow the road under the railway bridge. Here you find yourself in Strongstry village, and on your right is the picturesque village garden.

Continue to follow the road through the village, passing under the second railway bridge. At this point, you will find yourself at a road junction, turn right following the road uphill. As you are walking up the road, keep an eye out for a gap in the wall on your right hand side. Once you find the gap, pass through it, onto the path on the old railway lines.

Follow the path along the old railway lines for 0.6 miles, taking in the surroundings as you do so. You will find the path lined with beautiful woodland, with gaps in the woodland giving way to views over the valley. This path is also part of the Lancashire cycle network.

After 0.6 miles, you will find yourself at a fork in the path, continue on the left path taking you over the viaduct. Here you will find another great photo opportunity from the top of Lumb Viaduct, looking back up the valley towards Rawtenstall.

Once you have crossed the viaduct, continue along the path, taking in the surroundings and the views over the valley as you do so, until the path starts to ascend out of the old railway lines.

At the summit of the path, you will find yourself at a junction. Take the path to the right and follow this downhill.

Continue on the path downhill, this will lead you back into Irwell Vale Village. At the bottom of the path you will find yourself on Bowker Street with the Methodist Church on your right hand side. Follow Bowker street around to the left, and continue past the 19th Century cottages until you reach the bridge over Ogden Brook. Cross the bridge and find yourself back at the old soap works. Congratulations, you have completed your scenic walk through the Irwell Valley.

Did you enjoy this walk? Why not leave us a review in the comments below and share your thoughts with your fellow hikers.

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5 thoughts on “Irwell Riverside Walk

  1. A hidden gem of a walk in the Irewell Valley. Very informative and easy to follow instructions make for a walk that has many interesting details to our industrial past. Easy walking makes this an ideal walk for everyone.


  2. Another very pleasant and enjoyable walk, which would have been undiscovered to us if it wasn’t for this very easy to follow website. Thank you and keep them coming.


  3. Just completed this walk with my husband and two children. It was so lovely. We couldn’t download the app but used the clear instructions on this website, the photos were helpful too. Thank you!


  4. Completed this lovely walk today. The route was easy to follow but quite boggy through the field past the alpacas until arriving in Chatterton. Definitely needed Wellies or waterproof boots.


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