With new cycle paths and improvements to the canal towpath, Burnley is becoming one of the best places in Pennine Lancashire to cycle.
So why not get out on your bicycle and discover Burnley's rich heritage? Burnley has two historic houses, outstanding parks and superb countryside. In the nineteenth century Burnley was the cotton weaving capital of the world.
Routes like the canal towpath are a great way of getting into town, work and school, avoiding the stress of rush hour traffic and keeping fit too.
Did you know that 80% of the district of Burnley is countryside? You can now discover the urban and countryside surprises by bike, using the growing network of greenways - attractive, traffic-free routes connecting town centres and surrounding green spaces; great for getting outdoors for leisure and your everday activities.
Burnley and Padiham Greenways include:
Opened in autumn 2009, the new cycle path on the old railway is the jewel in the crown of Burnley's cycle network. Linking with the canal it means that you are able to cycle all the way from Padiham to Burnley town centre on a traffic free route. There are links from the old railway to schools, employment areas and Gawthorpe Hall, a National Trust property.
The Greenway won an European Greenway Award in 2011 for the creative programme of community events managed by Mid Pennine Arts when the Greenway was first opened.
Cycle through the countryside. Take the cycle route along the Calder Valley from Padiham to Ightenhill. Pedal past ancient woodland and riverside meadows. Watch out for sculptures and the Trail of Words. Stop at Ightenhill Bridge over the River Calder and admire the idyllic view.
Follow the Brun Valley Greenway from Burnley town centre through parks and wooded river valleys out into the countryside.
Starting from Burnley Central Station by the new college the route follows an old mineral railway through parkland. From Netherwood Bridge take the climb up to Briercliffe and Queen Street Mill, a historic steam powered mill or continue up the Brun Valley to Rowley Lake, Pike Hill and Brownside.
There are links from the Greenway to the canal, schools and employment areas. Places to stop on the way include:
An outstanding town centre park with boating lake and model railway.
The last working steam driven cotton weaving mill in the world. There is a café at the mill.
Attractive lake surrounded by woodland. The lake is popular with wildfowl and fisherman. Stop for a picnic by the lake.
Take the Greenway through open space along the Sweetclough Valley from to Gannow. From Gannow you can follow cycle paths and the canal towpath to the town centre.
You can cycle on the canal towpath all the way from Hapton west of Burnley to Barnoldswick. When the cycle path on the old railway is open in autumn 2009 you will be able to get to Padiham too. It is a great route to avoid all the traffic and fine for all the family too. Being flat there are no hills and you will be surprised how quickly the miles slip past.
There are places to stop on the way like Barden Mill Marina and Café. The Weavers Triangle gives reminders of Burnley's heritage as a centre of cotton weaving. The canal played a major part in the development of Burnley with once mighty cotton mills lining its banks. Pedal along the 'Straight Mile' on one of the Seven Wonders of the Canal Age, a mile long embankment with splendid views out over the town and surrounding countryside. North of Barden the canal becomes more rural with views out to Pendle Hill with its associations with witchcraft.
From Burnley town centre to Barnoldswick the canal is part of national cycle route 68, the Pennine Cycleway running from Derby to Berwick-on-Tweed.
There are links from the canal to the town centre, employment areas, schools and surrounding attractions, including Towneley Park.
Between April and October 2013 the towpath is closed between Knotts Lane bridge, west of the Padiham Greenway for bridge works.
A network of cycle paths is being developed in Towneley Park. You can get from the canal to Towneley Park via Finsley Gate, which though busy is traffic calmed. The Pennine Cycleway (National Cycle Route 68) goes through the park.
Centrepiece of the Park is Towneley Hall, one of Lancashire's finest historic houses. Dating from Tudor times, the Hall was the home of the Towneley family. One of the Towneleys, Colonel Francis Towneley, was executed. The Hall is now a museum and art gallery and is well worth visiting, or stop at the café for a snack.
A demanding but spectacular cycle ride from Burnley crossing the South Pennines to Hebden Bridge and back (30 miles).
Burnley's Pennine Countryside offers great mountain biking.
There is short 1.6km blue (easy) mountain trail by Hurstwood Reservoir. The trial links with the Mary Towneley Loop.
Part of the Pennine Bridleway the Mary Towneley loop offers a 47 mile long mountain bike challenge criss crossing the Pennines between Lancashire and Yorkshire on ancient packhorse routes. Unless you are very experienced and quick the whole route needs two days to enjoy it to the full.