Saturday, 16 May 2015

Sunnyhurst Wood

It's been a lovely sunny day today though with a cold and brisk wind. Good for hanging out the washing but not as good for being out and about. Luckily on the April day that we headed to Sunnyhurst Wood in Darwen, it was both gloriously sunny and very warm. The wood covers 85 acres and was planted in the 1800s. It became a public park in 1902.

Our walk started near the larger green circle on the right and followed Sunnyhurst Brook to Earnsdale reservoir on the left.

There are formal areas at the beginning around the visitor centre and cafe.

With bridges.


And waterfalls.

The paths then climb into the woods.

A feature of the woodland trail is a number of sculptures...

...and stone carvings.

There's real wildlife too. Standing in one spot, we saw robins,

great tits,

and coal tits. We also saw wren, dunnock, blue tits and chaffinch but they were too quick for photos. There was the call of a green woodpecker too but it stayed well hidden.

Apparently there are real kingfishers in the woods but we only saw this carved one. Seeing a kingfisher is on my bucket list.

I loved this little cluster of celandine growing halfway up a tree.

Believe it or not, this is a badger. Maybe it's the lack of stripes but this really doesn't say badger to me.

At the end of the wood, you can continue to follow the public footpath to a gate...

... and into the fields towards the wonderfully named Donkey Brew, which is a steep cobbled path.

We stopped at Earnsdale reservoir though. On the top of the hill you can see Darwen Tower which we visited last summer.

Descending back into the woods and following a different loop, we came across more carvings and sculptures.

There's a small pond where children can have a go at pond dipping.

It was the first time I'd walked these woods and I'm told it's full of orchids in the summer so I'm sure we'll be back. In the afternoon though, we headed east to a museum: I'll probably tell you about that next time.

We've had a quiet day in today catching up on washing and housework. Tomorrow we're planning to visit a few more sculptures on the Irwell Sculpture Trail which also happen to be in a country park. I'm hoping the cold wind drops: photographing sculptures is ok but trying to photograph flowers while they're waving around in front of you is tricky!

Before I go, I also wanted to thank you for your lovely comments about my journal qulit - you are all so kind. Something happened this week that I think might be making it onto my May quilt...but that's all I'm telling you for now :-) xx


  1. Great post, lovely photos. I did a quick check on googlemaps and this is only 30 miles from me. I'll definitely be visiting soon, it looks fab. I wonder, could you walk up to Jubilee Tower from here?

    1. Hi Ian, Yes there are several routes which run near the wood. When we visited the tower we parked at the Lychgate car park and took the path opposite the pub. It's a short, steep climb from there but there are also circular routes which you can find online - our route was part of Darwen Tower route 2.

  2. All those sculptures are great - the badger one doesn't look very badger-y, I agree, though those big digging claws do redeem it a little! Lovely walk!

  3. Wow - what a wonderful place. Love the sculptures and the birds - and that tree is amazing!!

  4. Looks a lovely walk and you have taken some great photos, I like finding sculptures in wood walks.
    Amanda xx

  5. What a lovely walk, it all looks so green. That's a very round robin! I like the sculptures but that badger doesn't look that much like a badger, I agree. xx

  6. Lovely photos with interesting information.

    Best wishes

  7. This looks like such a lovely and interesting place to visit. The sculptures are amazing and your photos are beautiful as always.
    Marianne x

  8. That looks like a really relaxing day, back when we had sun and warmer temperatures! (I hope June is more like April...) I'm impressed with the extent of your bird knowledge and have to agree with you that the badger sculpture doesn't really say badger to me either. x