The Scenic Route

Majestic viaducts, dark tunnels, ancient mill ruins, shady wooded groves… 

Lancashire’s new sustainable transport programme links up stretches of disused railway to create off-road greenways, and offers some brilliant opportunities for creative engagement. 

Our programme The Scenic Route introduces the new routes, through workshops in schools, family activities, community festivals, artist commissions and more.

The East Lancashire Strategic Cycleway network is made possible by government funding and is led by our partners at Lancashire County Council.  Over the next few years, they are investing millions of pounds in joining up the dots of some existing but fragmented cycle routes based on old railway lines, building up a more joined up network.  LCC have invited MPA to bring a creative dimension to the programme, and we are delighted to be working with them.

The LCC team worked with us previously on the hugely successful Padiham Greenway, where our European award-winning  creative programme helped build up local involvement, sense of pride and real community ownership.

The Scenic Route introduces two key routes.  The Valley of Stone Greenway will run from Rochdale all the way through Rossendale to Rawtenstall.  In Hyndburn, The Branch Line, part of the Sustrans national cycle network, NCN Route 6, will link Accrington down through Rossendale via Haslingden and Helmshore to Ramsbottom.

We have been organising a busy programme of community activities in some of the neighbourhoods where work on the routes is taking place.  They include Woodnook, Helmshore, Snig Hole, Stacksteads, Shawforth and Whitworth.

Workshops offered to local primary schools look at ideas of destination, what makes a tourist spot, and some of the special places that the greenways link up, including some beautiful concepts for tourist destination posters from our young designers. Activities for older participants in secondary schools are being customised to meet their needs.

The Greenway Explorers team regularly pop up at all manner of community events, offering family-friendly activities for all ages, and a chance for parents to learn more about the routes.

See links at bottom of page for more details of all our activities.

The Scenic Route is made possible with funds from Lancashire County Council, the Hyndburn Windfall Fund, and from Heritage Lottery Fund for some of our work in Rossendale, linked to Spodden Valley Revealed.  We are also grateful for funding from Postcode Community Trust, a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Further information on the proposed routes and background to the project is on the East Lancashire Strategic Cycleway Network  webpage.  Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council are also delivering and part funding the Weavers Wheel route as part of the overall scheme.


Britannia’s Brand New Greenway from Mid Pennine Arts on Vimeo.