Halsingden Sports Centre, Helmshore Road, Haslingden, Rossendale, Lancashire
This route explores a mix of quiet roads and traffic-free paths. It begins in the housing estates of Haslingden but soon picks up an old railway line which is now part of National Cycle Route 6, and follows this to Snig Holes where you have to re-join the roads for a spell, and down a swooping hill and along the beautiful tree-lined road to the historic mill village of Irwell Vale.
There might be steam trains in Irwell where you pick up NCN 6 once more, following alongside the river Irwell as you cycle on a traffic-free path to Stubbins. There is a short section of busier road here before turning off and following a peaceful narrow road to Chadderton, site of the mill riots in 1826, marked now by a peace garden.
Continuing on through the hamlet of Strongstry and re-joining the NCN6 you retrace your steps to Haslingden - the swooping hill is now a long, steady climb. You then take a slightly different route through the houses back to the start.
This route is 11 miles and has a mix of terrain. Some parts of the traffic-free paths are shale and gravel, so road bikes will not be suitable. Parts of the path can be muddy after rain. There are some hills but taken slowly they can be enjoyed.