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Foulridge Lower Reservoir from Colne


A circular walk from Colne in Lancashire. The walk initially heads through Alkincoats Woodland Nature Reserve, before heading on to Foulridge Lower Reservoir. The path circles the reservoir affording views of the surrounding area and of Pendle Hill, with benches along the way to sit and watch the world go by. The walk returns by the same outward route.



Parking: Parking available in the large car park by the side of the Colne and Nelson rugby pitches at the top of Harrison Drive (grid reference SD 882 408).
Directions: Google Maps: get directions here / What3words: mows.human.precautions
Walk distance: 3.5 miles (5.6 Km)
Estimated walk time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Height climbed: 100 metres
Grade: 1-B: A short walk that requires modest uphill walking
Peaks / summits: None of note
Map: Ordnance Survey - Explorer OL41 (Forest of Bowland & Ribblesdale)
Buy this map from Ordnance Survey
Walk features: Birds, Flowers, Views, Reservoir
Facilities / refreshments: None enroute. Cafes and toilets in nearby Colne and Foulridge.
Nearest town: Colne
Local accommodation: View accommodation close to the start of this walk from Sykes Holiday Cottages
Walk Tags: walk, walks, Colne, Foulridge, Alkincoats, Alkincoats woodland nature reserve, Foulridge lower reservoir, Pendle Hill, lancashire walk


Leaving the car park heading towards the rugby pitch
Leaving the car park heading towards the rugby pitch

Leave the car park heading past the clubhouse towards the large tree and follow the wooden waymarker, which directs the path to the right of the rugby posts and on towards the metal gate. Pass through the gap to the left of the gate, and head diagonally left, keeping to the left of the white board informing all about Alkincoates Woodland Nature Reserve, which has just been entered.

Looking left from the road towards Pendle
Looking left from the road towards Pendle

Keep on the wide grassy path through the trees and the bushes. At a junction of paths, keep straight ahead past a stone marker indicating "Canal Walk", and on towards the gate ahead. Pass through the gate, cross the road with care, and head down the road opposite signed "Sailing Club" and "Foulridge". As the road descends, wonderful panoramas open to the left of Pendle Hill.

After about half a mile, the road starts to descend more steeply, and shortly afterwards the land splits. Ignore the lane going off slightly uphill to the right and keep heading downhill on the lane on the left. A few yards further on Foulridge Lower Reservoir comes into view over to the right, and then not long afterwards a pedestrian footbridge on the left needs to be used to cross over the water.

As the road starts up a gentle incline, turn right taking the right hand fork, signed "Foulridge". Very shortly afterwards, turn right off the road to pass through a gap in the wall just to the right of the gate, which is the entrance to the sailing club - there is a footpath sign pointing through the gap.

Foulridge Lower Reservoir from the sailing club
Foulridge Lower Reservoir from the sailing club

Once through the gap, turn left up the gravelled track towards the clubhouse. Pass to the left of the clubhouse and out by the side of the water, where the path then begins to circle the reservoir. The walk around Foulridge Lower Reservoir affords panoramic views of all the surrounding countryside, with strategically placed benches scattered by the side of the path, making wonderful places to stop and simply watch the world go by.

The path mainly keeps close by the side of the reservoir, whilst every now and then, footpaths branch off away from the water. At a more substantial junction of paths, by a sign welcoming visitors to the reservoir, keep ahead by the side of the water in the direction of the church ahead.

Looking back towards Pendle Hill
Looking back towards Pendle Hill

Looking back across at the clubhouse
Looking back across at the clubhouse

After the church, the path exits tree cover and heads away from the water to the road ahead. Upon reaching the road, pass through the gap and turn right along the pavement bordering the A56.

Keep on the pavement towards the garden centre ahead and pass over the bridge - do not cross the road. Just over the bridge, turn right through a gap in the wall by the "Foulridge" road sign (only visible when you look back at it), and head down the path enclosed by a fence on the left and the reservoir on the right.

The two small footbridges
The two small footbridges

This path now circles round the remaining side of the reservoir, enclosed most of the way by a wall to its left and the water to the right. As the path heads back around towards the clubhouse, head left away from the water just before a fence. Keep by the side of the fence and then down and over two small wooden footbridges. Pass back through the gap in the wall and turn left onto the road, as the route down is followed now in reverse back to the car park.

The pedestrian bridge over the water
The pedestrian bridge over the water

After a few yards take the left hand fork, and then cross back over the pedestrian bridge over the water. Keep on the road as it climbs all the way back up to the 'T' junction. Cross the road and pass back through the gate into Alkincoates.

Pass by the seats and at the junction of paths continue straight ahead and on back towards the white signboard. Just past the board, turn right through the gap by the gate, down the side of the rugby pitch and back into the car park.


The above is an abridged version of a walk included on our 'Walks around Pendle' e-Book. The e-Book (a 2 disk CD and DVD set) includes: full walk text; numerous walk photos; a DVD slideshow of numerous photographs set to music taking you round this whole walk step by step (playable on a TV or a multimedia PC); interactive walk maps; hill profiles; information on towns and villages in the area; things to do and where to stay whilst you are in the area; wallpaper for your PC; and much, much more...

To see more about the book in detail and to order online, please click here.


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