THE rolling foothills at the edge of the West Pennine Moors form the backdrop to this walk through a rural area transformed by the Industrial Revolution.

We join the towpath of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal from the former mill village of Wheelton and pass Botany Bay, an 1850s cotton mill, before heading to the reservoirs of White Coppice.

The old Feniscowles-Chorley railway line used to cross the canal at Botany Bay. We then follow lanes and paths back to the church and vicarage at Heapey, passing under a viaduct of the former railway. There are good views west on a clear day towards Blackpool Tower.

1. Facing the clock tower memorial in the centre of the village walk down the residential lane, Kenyon Lane, to the left hand side of it. This soon bends left to the canal bridge adjacent to the Top Lock pub.

Cross the road bridge and turn immediately left to join the canal towpath. The towpath is now followed for the next one-and-a-half miles past Botany Bay. It crosses a lane and then you cross over a footbridge near locks where the canal is met by the Walton Summit branch of the canal.

Continue straight ahead until after passing the Botany Bay mill and car park on the right leave it at the next bridge - a cobbled path leads up to the road.

2. Turn left over the bridge and cross over to the right hand side of the road opposite the Lock & Quay pub.

Turn first right down a track, Bagganley Lane, signed as a footpath and as a private road to Bagganley Lane Farm. Pass the farm on the left and at the T-junction turn left and cross a ford over a footbridge. Continue straight ahead along the field edge, the path can be muddy here.

When the path forks keep right and follow the path running between a housing development on the left and fields on the right. The path starts to climb uphill and skirts along the edge of a woodland on the right before meeting a lane.

3. Turn left downhill along the lane and follow it to a T-junction at the bottom of the hill.

If you want to have a look at the White Coppice Reservoirs they can be reached via a footpath and car park on the right by a high wall just before the T-junction is reached. Continue the walk by joining the footpath that begins at a gate directly opposite the junction.

The path follows a farm track and heads under a bridge of the old Blackburn-Chorley railway line. Keep going straight ahead uphill and you get a good view back towards Rivington Pike and the West Pennine Moors. Cross a stile and the track continues straight ahead past farms.

Look out on your left for a good view north to Blackpool Tower. Eventually you meet a lane.

4. Turn left and follow the pavement downhill past Heapey church on the left. At the bottom of the hill cross the very busy A674 Wheelton bypass with great care and join the lane on the opposite side which takes you down to Wheelton village centre.

Nick Burton will be signing copies of his new walking book, Guide to Lancashire Pub Walks (Countryside Books, £5.95), at Darwen Library on Monday from 10am to 12 noon