This octagonal tower lies on the West Pennine Moors and overlooks the Lancashire town of Darwen. It was built in 1898 to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. It is officially known as Jubilee Tower, although most locals refer to it as Darwen Tower.
Darwen Tower is 86 feet tall and has two viewing platforms. A fairly stone spiral staircase leads up to the first level. The top level is reached via a narrower metal spiral staircase.
The view from the tower is spectacular. It was a fairly cloudy day when we visited but we still enjoyed good views of much of the Lancashire countryside. On a clear day, it is possible to see as far as Snowdonia and the Isle of Man. There are plaques at the top of the tower to help visitors identify distant features.
The tower is always open and admission is free. You’ll need to walk to reach it though.
One of the quickest ways to reach the tower is to take the path opposite the Sunnyhurst, a Daniel Thwaites pub (postcode BB3 1JX). There’s free street parking near the pub but Sunnyhurst Wood’s Lychgate car park is also nearby. The walk is only one mile or so but is quite steep, especially on the final stretch. The path is well-marked but is stony and certainly not suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs. There’s a handful of benches on the way to stop and rest.
Darwen Tower can also be reached from a path at the western end of Bold Venture Park. Adventurous folk can follow our walk from Sunnyhurst Wood.