Avid Rambler

The Tacklers Trail – The Witton Weavers Way – Darwen

Difficulty: moderate


Another portion of The Witton Weavers Way. This route starts and finishes at the Visitor Centre within Sunnyhurst Wood in Darwen, Lancashire. There really is a lot to like about this walk, there is a great mix of woodland, reservoirs, moorland and old ruined buildings. The walk is around 9.5 miles in length and can take around 4-5 hours depending on walking speed. The route has quote a view short steep ascents and can be muddy and waterlogged in places on the moorland, so solid footwear is a must.


  • Grid Ref: GR 678230
  • Nearest Postcode: Earnsdale Road, Darwen, BB3 0LA
  • Ascent: 1148 ft
  • Approx. Walk Length: 9.5 miles
  • Approx. Walk Time: 5 hours

The Tacklers Trail – The Witton Weavers Way – Darwen

Step 1 - Sunnyhurst Wood Visitors Center to Tockholes Road

Starting at the visitors centre in Sunnyhurst Woods, head further into the woods keeping Sunnyhurst brook on your right. Passing the first stone bridge, pond and band stand. Follow the main path higher into the woods. At the fishing pond take the right path and carry on up the path. You will soon reach a kissing gate at the corner of Earnsdale Reservoir.

Take a minute to take in the views of Earnsdale Reservoir and in the distance Darwen Tower. Which we will be visiting towards the end of the walk. Here there are a couple of benches to sit down on.

As you exit the woods at the kissing gates follow the path as it winds upwards towards houses at Tockholes Road.

Step 2 - Tockholes Road to Hollinshead Hall Ruins

After leaving the track you emerge on to Tockholes Road. Turn left and walk down the road for around 100 yards entering the woods by the wooden gate. Follow the path down towards the reservoir, at the crossroads take the right path and continue down. As you reach Roddlesworth Upper Reservoir turn left and follow the track keeping the fence and eventually low stone wall to your right. You will soon come to a low stone bridge, cross the bridge and take the left path keeping Rocky Brook on your left. You will eventually arrive at some wooden steps, ascend the steps, go through the wooden gate and then back down the wooden steps in front of you. Follow the path next to the brook until you reach the iron gate and cross Halliwell Fold Bridge on your immediate left. Take the right path here, it will gently ascend away from the brook and you will soon arrive at a wooden gate after a few hundred yards. After going through the gate, take the path down through the woods and you will soon arrive at Hollinshead Hall Ruins, with it's stunning well house.

Hollinshead Hall was the manor house of Tockholes and what remains are the ruins of the 18th century hall, stables and farm buildings. There has been a hall on the site since the 14th century. The last owner was Eccles Shorrock who allowed the buildings to fall into disrepair. The site was demolished in 1911 by Liverpool Corporation who needed the stone to build a wall to keep sheep out of the newly planted woods around the reservoir. The wellhouse (Wishing Well or Holy Well) still stands. Five springs of water meet here and they have legendary healing properties for eyes.

Quote taken from the Blackburn with Darwen Council Tacklers Trail Leaflet