This is a 2-part walk, depending on how far you wish to walk.
Part 1 – from Sowerby Bridge – approximately 5.5 miles – 2.5 -3 hours
There are several carparks in Sowerby Bridge, the one’s near the Moorings at the canal basin have no charges. Leave Sowerby Bridge along the Rochdale Canal towards Luddenden Foot, taking in the many different views along the way
Part 2 – from Luddenden Foot – approximately 2.5 miles – 1.5 hours.
If you want the shorter walk, you can park off Station Road, opposite the Brandy & Wine PH, there is a large carpark.
Continue along the canal towpath until you reach Brearley Upper Lock No. 6, on the left between the houses you can exit the towpath. Turn right and up along the road, crossing over the canal on the bridge. Cross over the main road, the traffic is normally quite fast, so do take extra care.
The track opposite is Brearley Lane and is often uneven and can be slippery after it’s been raining. It is a well-defined walled path, which takes you up at the side of the wood. You will come to a yellow marker sign, turning right will take you up a steep path through the wood to some steep steps, which bring you out onto the road; the alternate route would be to go straight forward until you reach the road and then turn right and go up the road.
At the top of the road you come to a junction, turn right and walk along Town Gate in to Midgley. When you reach the Bus Turning Circle, there is a style into the field and a walled lane, follow this until you come to some old stone gate posts. Turn left just after the gate posts on the well-defined path to a style near the gate. You will now come out onto Naylor Lane. Continue up the lane, passing Midgley School on your left, to the junction.
Opposite is the Old Post Office, turn right and follow the road for a short distance until you reach the next junction, turn right and head off up the hill; you will pass the Recreation / Playground on your left.
The tarmac surface soon gives way to a grass track, at the first style go straight forward and follow the path as it bears right down the hill. Follow the path and on the left is a way marker, taking you down the hill towards the Kershaw Estate.
At the bottom of the field, a style will let you out by the side of a three-story block of flats. Go straight forward on to Greave House Drive and follow this to the end, turn left for approximately 30 meters, turn right on to Greave House Park, you will see a foot path on the left taking you down towards a streetlight. The path then zigzags down the hillside to some steps, which take you onto Luddenden Lane. Walk down the road back to the main road. There is a pelican crossing point, which takes to onto Station Road and back to the carpark.
If you started your walk in Sowerby Bridge, then you will continue along the canal towpath back.
There are many places along the route to sit and take in the views, take a drink or even a picnic.