- For other places with the same name, see Burnley (disambiguation).
Burnley is a town in Lancashire, 30 miles north of Manchester. It's industrial and in 2021 had a population of 94,700.
"Burnley" probably derives from Brun Lea, the meadow by the River Lea. It's in the Pennines at a confluence of valleys, where the Calder flows out towards the Ribble. The Ribble forms the western half of the "Aire Gap" crossing the Pennines at low altitude, so it's always been a transport corridor, and its towns have water to power mills. Burnley was one of the smaller market and wool-weaving towns until 1800. Then the Leeds and Liverpool Canal made bulk transport simple, a local coalfield was developed, mills adopted steam power, and Lancashire towns switched from wool to cotton. Victorian Burnley grew rapidly with cotton mills and heavy engineering, until the late 20th century slump in textile and smokestack trades. The town has struggled to re-invent itself ever since. Transport improved but the M65 carved through the northwest side of town; light industry populates its outlying estates. Burnley is within easy reach of attractive moorland scenery but you're only likely to visit for family, business or a football match.
Famous people from Burnley include the actor Ian McKellen (b 1939), politician Lord Waddington (1929-2017), most of the band Chumbawamba (1982-2012) and cricketer Jimmy Anderson (b 1982).
Manchester Airport (MAN IATA) has global flight connections. Frequent trains run from the airport but none direct to Burnley: change in Salford, Blackburn or Preston, for a journey time of around 1 hr 45 min.
Trains run hourly from Manchester Victoria, taking 45 min via Rochdale and Todmorden to Burnley Manchester Road, and continuing to Accrington and Blackburn; the last departs from Victoria at 23:00. These trains start from Liverpool Central but are shown on timetables and displays as from Kirkby.
They run hourly from Blackpool via Preston, Blackburn and Accrington to Burnley Manchester Road, and continue over the Pennines to Hebden Bridge, Halifax, Bradford, Leeds and York. Change at Blackburn for Clitheroe.
1 Burnley Manchester Road is the main railway station, south of the river. It has a staffed ticket office and machines, and toilets. There is ramp access to the platforms.
A slow train trundles hourly from Preston via Blackburn and Accrington to Burnley Barracks, Burnley Central, Nelson and Colne.
2 Burnley Barracks is a platform halt southwest edge of town near the Travelodge. It has a ticket machine and ramp access to the single platform.
3 Burnley Central is on the retail park a quarter mile north of town centre, a draughty lonely spot at night. It has a staffed ticket office (mornings) and machines. There is ramp access to the single platform.
National Express and Megabus don't run here, take their bus to Manchester and change.
Transdev Witchway Bus X43 runs from Manchester Chorlton St (outside the coach station), taking 90 min via Prestwich and Rawtenstall. It's every 20 min daytime and hourly from 21:00 to 03:00.
Bus 152 runs from Preston every 30 min via Blackburn, Rishton, Clayton-le-Moors and Padiham.
Bus M1 runs from Accrington every 30 min, and Bus M2 from Clitheroe every 30 min via Padiham. Bus M3 runs from Trawden and Bus M4 from Keighley, both every 30 min via Colne and Nelson. Ribble Bus 64 also runs from Clitheroe and Bus 65 from Nelson.
Bus 483 runs hourly from Bury, taking 80 min via Rawtenstall.
Pendle Wizz Bus runs from Skipton hourly via Barnoldswick and Colne. Bus 592 runs from Halifax hourly via Hebden Bridge and Todmorden.
4 Burnley Bus Station is central in town. At night when it's locked the Witchway stops on Red Lion St just south.
From Manchester follow M66 onto A56 and M65. From the south you can go that way, but it's congested in rush hour, better stay on M6 to the M65 junction near Preston.
Local bus routes are #1 to Stoops Estate, #2 to Higherford, #3 to Pikehill, #4 to Worsthorne, #5 between Harle Syke and Rose Grove, #8 to Towneley and Bacup, #14 to Whittlefield and #15 to Rose Hill.
Taxi firms include Burnley Crown Taxis (+44 1282 455555), Maxi Taxi (+44 1282 431922), Delta (+44 1282 888888), Apollo, (+44 1282 797979) and Kings (+44 1282 422551).
The Leeds-Liverpool Canal courses through town. It's navigable from coast to coast and has a good towpath for cycling.
- 1 St Peter's Church is Anglican. The lower tower is 15th century but the rest is a series of additions in Perpendicular style; it's usually open Wednesday and Sunday mornings. The churchyard has interesting monuments.
- 2 Weavers' Triangle is an area of well-preserved 19th century mills along the canal bank. Oak Mount Mill has a restored cotton engine and also houses the visitor centre, open Apr-Oct.
- 3 Queen Street Mill, Harle Syke, Briercliffe BB10 2HX, ☏ +44 1282 459996. Apr-Oct W-Sa 12:00-16:00. Vast Victorian cotton-weaving mill; at its zenith it had over 1000 looms and retains 300. The snorting prime-mover is a compound steam engine called "Peace". Adult £3, conc or child £2.
- 4 Gawthorpe Hall, Burnley Road, Padiham BB12 8UA (2 miles northwest of Burnley), ☏ +44 1282 771004, firstname.lastname@example.org. Apr-Oct W-Su 12:00-17:00. Imposing Elizabethan manor, built 1600-05 for the Shuttleworth family, and much renovated in the 19th century. Its owner Dr Kay admired the novel Shirley on publication, discovered that Charlotte Brontë was its author and lived nearby, and invited her over to stay. She admired the Hall but wasn't at ease with the company, however she later stayed with the owners in Windermere and met Mrs Gaskell, who became a good friend and afterwards her biographer. Charlotte returned to Gawthorpe Hall in early 1855 but caught a chill, never quite recovered, and died a few weeks later. See Brontë Country for other nearby locations linked to that family. Adult £6, conc £4, child or NT free.
- Padiham has other fine mansions, Huntroyde Hall, Simonstone Hall and Read Hall, but they're private homes and can't be visited. St Leonard's Parish Church was completed in 1869.
- 5 Towneley Hall, Towneley Park BB11 3RQ, ☏ +44 1282 477130, email@example.com. Sa-Th 12:00-17:00. This now houses Burnley's museum and art gallery. Rebuilding means partial closure of the Great Hall to May 2024, the South Wing in late 2023 and the North Wing during 2024. The extensive parkland can be visited anytime. Adult £5.50, child free.
- 6 Singing Ringing Tree or "Burnley Panopticon" is a wind-powered sound sculpture resembling a wind-bent tree, installed in 2006. It stands on the Pennine moors so wind is seldom lacking. The ruin seen on the moor to the west was Crown Point isolation hospital, in use from 1901 to 1953.
- What's on? Read Burnley Express or Lancashire Telegraph, or listen to Capital on 99.8 FM or BBC Radio Lancashire on 95.5 FM.
- Cinema: Reel Cinema is next to Manchester Road Station.
- Theatre: Burnley Mechanics Theatre is just south of the centre on Manchester Rd (Box Office +44 1282 664400). Empire Theatre northwest is now a Thai restaurant. Burnley Youth Theatre are on Queen's Park Rd off A6114 a mile east of town.
- The Gallery is a live music venue on Gas St, off St James St.
- Football: 1 Burnley FC, Turf Moor, Harry Potts Way BB10 4BX. "The Clarets" were relegated in 2022 and now play soccer in the Championship, the game's second tier. The 21,400-capacity Turf Moor stadium is a mile east of Manchester Road Station. "The Clarettes" women's team play in the amateur leagues, with home games at the County Ground in Leyland.
- St Peter's Leisure Centre on Church St has a gym, fitness classes and pool. Minimum membership is one month, they don't have pay-as-you go access.
- Golf: Towneley GC and Burnley GC are both south side of town. There's another nearby in Nelson.
- Supermarkets on the retail strip by Burnley Central Station are Sainsbury's, Aldi, Iceland and Aldi.
- Charter Walk is the main shopping mall in town centre.
- Bellissimo, 3 Parker Lane BB11 2BY (by shopping centre), ☏ +44 1282 788689. Tu-Sa 10:00-17:00. Italian aiming for the shopping and office lunchtime trade.
- The Palazzo, 10 Grimshaw St BB11 2AS (south side of shopping centre), ☏ +44 1282 902123. Su-Th 12:00-22:00, F Sa 12:00-01:00. Chic Italian on two levels in a former bank.
- Ellis's at 31 Manchester Rd serves burgers and similar W-Su 12:00-23:00.
- 1 Shimla Spice, 45 Church St BB11 2DW, ☏ +44 1282 426786. Su, Tu-Th 17:30-23:00, F Sa 17:30-00:00. Buzzy upscale Indian earning good reviews.
- Aroma opposite Shimla Spice on Church St is mediocre.
- Aldo Due at 58A Bank Parade is a cheerful Italian.
- 2 Tawa & Karahi, 34 Plumbe St BB11 3AB (near football ground), ☏ +44 1282 786107. M, W-Sa 17:00-23:00, Su 14:00-23:00. Friendly small Indian place.
- 3 Sycamore Farm, Liverpool Rd BB12 6HH, ☏ +44 1282 427101. Su-Th 08:00-22:00, F Sa 08:00-23:00. Popular pub for all-day breakfast and carvery.
- Ballaro is an Italian by the Travelodge and Barracks railway station.
- Dugdales is within Rosehill House Hotel, see Sleep. The restaurant has posh dining on trad British fare, served M-Sa 12:00-14:00, 18:30-21:00, Su 12:00-14:30.
- Wilfred's and Bertram's are upscale places by Crow Wood Hotel & Spa.
- 4 New Waggoners, Manchester Rd BB11 5NS, ☏ +44 1282 421705. Daily 08:30-21:30. Splendid pub grub, well worth coming the extra distance.
- The Boot Inn, 18 St James's St BB11 1NG (east side of Charter Walk), ☏ +44 1282 463720. Daily 08:00-00:00. A standard JD Wetherspoons. In an Edwardian baroque building, nice interior, good range of drinks and pub food.
- Bootleggers, 8 Boot Way BB11 2EE (by bus station), ☏ +44 1282 453133. Su-Th 12:00-22:00, F Sa 11:00-01:00. Friendly sports bar with a big HD screen.
- The Bridge, 2 Bank Parade BB11 1UH (east side of shopping centre), ☏ +44 1282 411304. W-Su 12:00-23:30. Friendly beerhouse with a great range of world ales.
- The Swan, 44 St James St BB11 1NQ (south side of shopping centre), ☏ +44 1282 424035. Su-Th 10:00-23:00, F Sa 10:00-00:00. Bog standard pub blasting out music at weekends. Good beer garden on sunny days.
- The Big Window, 13 Manchester Rd BB11 1HG, ☏ +44 1282 439800. Cheap and cheerful sports bar with a drouthy crowd and, yes, a big window.
- Smacks (Smackwater Jack's), 4 Ormerod St BB11 1EP, ☏ +44 1282 722692. F Sa 22:00-03:00. Long-standing popular night spot. The basement is quieter, the main, middle floor is jampacked and there's a top floor.
- Bees Knees, 20 Hargreaves St BB11 1DU, ☏ +44 1254 53038. Su-Th 11:00-00:00, F Sa 11:00-03:00. Lively late spot with very young crowd.
- Sanctuary, 73 Cow Lane BB11 1NN, ☏ +44 1282 459595. Alternative music venue, also holds comedy gigs and quiz nights. Downstairs is a bar area with seating, pool table etc. and upstairs is the main room for bands/DJs.
- Brewery: Moorhouse's makes ale on Accrington Road west edge of town and offers tours.
- Distillery: Batch makes gin on Rosehill Industrial Estate south edge of town. No tours.
- 1 Premier Inn, Queen Victoria Rd, Burnley BB10 3EF, ☏ +44 333 777 3968. Very mixed reviews, several found the place dirty and smelly. B&B double £70.
- 2 Holiday Inn Express, 55 Pendle Way, Burnley BB12 0TJ (M65 jcn 10), ☏ +44 1282 855955. Clean spacious budget hotel. B&B double £80.
- Regent Guest House, 5 Albert St, Burnley BB11 3DB (next to football stadium), ☏ +44 20 8145 9283. Handy for the football ground. B&B double £60.
- 3 Travelodge, Barracks Rd, Burnley BB11 4SB (M65 jcn 10), ☏ +44 871 984 6125. Value-for-money budget hotel. B&B double £90.
- 4 Rosehill House, Rosehill Ave BB11 2PW, ☏ +44 1282 453931. Pleasant comfy small hotel with a good restaurant. B&B double £90.
- 5 The Oaks, Colne Road, Burnley BB10 2LF, ☏ +44 1282 414141, firstname.lastname@example.org. 50 bedrooms in a Victorian mansion with restaurant, conference facilities, sauna and gym. B&B double £70.
- 6 Crow Wood Hotel & Spa, Holme Road, Burnley BB12 0RT, ☏ +44 1282 227722. Upscale spa hotel with 76 bedrooms in wooded parkland. B&B double £170.
As of March 2023, Burnley and its approach roads have 4G from EE, O2 and Vodafone, and 5G from Three.
Town centre is safe enough at night but swerve clear of drunks. Rough housing estates where you have no reason to go are Burnley Wood, Stoops Estate and Stoneyholme.
- Manchester is the pulsating metropolis a short train ride south.
- Nelson and Colne is where you escape the East Lancs post-industrial landscape for greener hills towards Skipton.
- Clitheroe is at the foot of the scenic Forest of Bowland.
- The Brontë Country spans the Pennines, with most sites around Haworth.
|Routes through Burnley|
|Preston ← Accrington ←||W NE||→ Nelson → Bradford|