Sunnyhurst Wood lies in an 85 acre valley in Darwen, Lancashire. It is a beautiful location for walking and picnics.
It was purchased by Darwen Corporation in 1902 to commemorate the coronation of Edward VII and opened as a public park a year later.
Well-marked paths lead up the valley, running alongside Sunnyhurst Brook, towards Darwen Moor and the Earnsdale Reservoir.
The area is rich in wildlife and has relatively few artificial structures. The old woodman’s cottage now acts as the Sunnyhurst Wood Visitor Centre and offers maps of the woods and walking trails. It also hosts exhibitions by local artists and photographers.
The Olde England Kiosk opened in 1912 to mark the coronation of George V and is now a café and licensed bar, serving snacks, beer, wine and ice cream. It is a popular venue for marriage ceremonies, wedding receptions, and other parties and events.
The Friends of Sunnyhurst Wood is a voluntary group that works to improve facilities here and assist with Blackburn with Darwen Council with maintenance. In 2010 they commissioned a series of wooden sculptures of animals native to the woods to be erected along the two-mile long Herbert Parkinson nature trail. The sculptures were carved by Geoff Whitley and include a frog, heron, and squirrel.
Sunnyhurst Wood lies half a mile northwest of Darwen town centre. There are several entrances.
The main entrance is on Earnsdale Road (postcode BB3 1JA). This is the closest entrance to the Sunnyhurst Wood Visitor Centre and the Olde England Kiosk. There’s plenty of free street parking on Earnsdale Road.
The Lychgate entrance is located at the southern end of the woods, adjacent to the Sunnyhurst pub (postcode BB3 1JX). There’s also a dedicated car park here.
There’s a path directly opposite the pub that leads straight to Darwen Tower.
Adventurous folk can try our walk to Darwen Tower. It starts at Sunnyhurst Wood and takes in the Earnsdale Reservoir and Ryal Fold.
The nearest train station to Sunnyhurst Wood is Darwen. Services calling here include trains from Blackburn, Bolton, Clitheroe, and Manchester.