Category Archives: Walking

Guest Review – January 2017

David Hurrell – Peak and Northern Footpath Society



David came along to our January meeting to present the work of the PNFS. The group is highly dependant on subscriptions for income, so naturally, his ulterior motive in speaking to us was to gain new members.

Describing themselves as a preservation society, the group’s territory stretches from Morecambe to the outer reaches of Staffordshire, and from the region’s west coast to Derbyshire’s eastern border, their remit being to ensure that traditional footpaths remain open and accessible.  David provided us with examples of how the Members of the PNFS work tirelessly to keep our sometimes ancient pathways open to the public, even by actively chopping their way through pathways overgrown by brambles if needed, or by  negotiating with errant farmers who have  blocked public rights of way with for example, piles of manure or makeshift barriers.

The talk covered many aspects of walking from the more obvious health benefits (did you know that walking 1 mile equates to an additional 20 minutes on your lifespan?), to the pleasure of spotting seasonal flowers and vegetation and the fallacy that farmers may not graze bulls in fields with a public footpath running through them – they can, but the rules regarding the age of the beast and who they may consort with are complicated it seems!

If you would like to join the PNFS, enjoy some great company and enjoyable walks whilst contributing to their very worthwhile efforts in preserving the 20,000 miles of footpaths within their territory, you will find information on their website

Kim Whittle


Eccleston Circular Walk

This month’s “SCRAMBLERS” walk took  the group on a 7.5 mile walk continuing our exploration of Eccleston


For a change, we had a dry day for the walk. Four members of the Scramblers group met up at the community car park on Drapers Avenue, following local roads until we reached Red Lane. Following this single track lane for a mile we dropped onto a wooded Bridleway through the fields to Heskin Green.

Following the main road back towards Eccleston, we headed to Heskin Hall Craft Centre for a coffee and comfort break. Whilst there looking what was on offer in the shops one of the group found a new Ukulele shop had opened. ( take note Ukeleylanders !)

A short walk down the old estate lane towards Howe Brooke Hall brought us to our halfway point and lunch stop.


The return leg took us down Bannister Green then down Wrennels Lane to a steep slippery section to a footbridge across Howe Brook then onto Tannersmith Lane in Mawdesley.

We soon arrived at the Robin Hood Pub, turning right we followed Tinklers Lane back into Eccleston and headed for the church. A short break and a discussion about architecture and historical landscape feature we headed up the Church Walk, the ancient trackway which lead from the church to The Farmers Arms Pub. Back onto Red Lane, we retraced our steps back to the car park.

During the walk, we talk about many and varied topics. This time we touched on Tennon Topped Gate posts . Please check the link to an articles  I wrote a while ago.

We are planning to do a monthly walk of between seven and ten mile. If you are interested check out the “SCRAMBLERS” page or speak to me at the next monthly meeting


Cuerden Valley Ramble

The Ramblers first walk on Thursday started when we all met up in the carpark of the Ley Inn, Clayton le Woods.

Nine of us set off at 10.30 heading south into the woods at Whittle and then into the valley heading down to the ruins of the dye works at Kem Mill. This was of interest as some of the walkers had not been in this part of the valley park. The day was very pleasant and dry as we continued south towards St Johns Church. Leaving the park for a while we crossed the Lostock river and walked alongside, around the cricket pitch and back across the river. Here the path followed the banks of the river again and becomes quite narrow with plenty of exposed tree roots and three stiles.

This path leads into the grounds of Liseux Hall part of which has now become a nursing home. We followed the lane out of their grounds and at the junction with Dawson Lane turned right onto the cycle path that led back into the valley passing Clayton landfill. At Kem Mill we turned north again following the river until we came to another path that would take us over the river again and uphill back to the pub.

The walk took just an hour and half and we got back to the pub as it opened. In the pub the walkers had their choice of refreshment and we had a very sociable hour or so sitting around together.

I think all agreed it had been a good first outing, could perhaps have been a little longer and perhaps a little more strenuous. The weather was very kind to us and I was asked to order good weather for our next outing.


A tramp up the hill to Darwen Tower

This month’s “SCRAMBLERS” walk took  the group on a 7 mile  walk to Darwen Tower and Roddlesworth woods.


Seven members of the Scramblers (two new ones) set out on a fine but cool dry day from the Car Park on Crookfield Road following the footpath towards the ruins and well House of Hollinshead Hall  

The path then led through Slipper Lowe Wood, over the road then onto the moorland adjacent to Cartridge Hill.  Following a short climb, the path levelled out at led to the rear side of Darwen Moor.


Heading for the Tower

The Tower loomed large in the distance, but another 15 minutes walk found us at the summit of Darwen Hill and the base of Darwen’s Jubilee Tower.

After a run up the spiral internal staircase to the top of the Tower for a quick photograph (to prove we had been there ! ) we descended the Darwen Hill,  and headed to the village of Tockholes for a well earned lunch at Vaughns Country Cafe 


Top of a breezy Jubilee Tower

After lunch, we headed for Roddlesworth Wood. Following a footpath downhill we finally arrived on the shore of Roddlesworth reservoir. The path now wound it’s way through the autumnal coloured woods, slowly rising until we reached the top of Slipper Lowe Hill. Here, it dropped again into the ruins of Hollinshead Hall  and back to the car park.

As on the last walk, conversation turned to place names and their meanings. The first one was HOLLINS. This is a quite a common root word found in Lancashire, mainly found in the form of Hollins Lane etc. It comes from an Old English word HOLEGN for HOLLY. Must admit, we did pass many Holly trees in the woodland.

The second word was LOWE. Again, another common word found in the landscape. This can be traced back to the pre 7th century word ‘hlaw, meaning a prominent small hill, a barrow or burial mound.

Croston Circular

This month’s “SCRAMBLERS” walk took  the group on a 8 mile circular walk form Leyland to Croston.


As with the previous walk, the weather forecast all week was showing Rain again !! but, the walking gods smiled upon us and it was dry all day.

Starting from a convenient car parking area, we followed a few little used footpaths along the bank of the river Lostock, through the fields to Holker Lane. These paths are only 1/4 mile from the main road, but you could hardly hear the traffic. Onward along Holker Lane we arrived at Lostock bridge. Again taking to the fields we followed paths that led us behind Gradwells caravan park and joining Southport Road at the site of Croston Mill Hotel (now demolished).

A little road walking took us into the heart of Croston for a well deserved lunch stop at a Thyme on the Yarrow, a  recently reopened tea room with great food at reasonable prices. I shared a mixed platter for two. as you can see plenty to go at !!


After lunch, we headed passed the old cross, through the church yard and then West along Syd brook Lane towards Eccleston. Leaving the road at Croston Mills, we again took to the fields, following the bank of the river Yarrow until we came to Eccleston Church. Here we stopped for a short break to eat a scone we couldn’t resist at our lunch stop and have look round the church yard.


The only evidence of the Boxing day flood is the final touches of the refurbishment of the church hall. Hard to imagine that the grave yard was under 2 feet on water.

Leaving the church, we headed up Lydiate Lane, crossed Southport Road and again though the fields via little used path to the start.

During the walk, we talk about many and varied topics. This time we touched on Corpse Roads and the Ambrye Meadow Stones. Please check the links to a couple of articles  I wrote  a while ago.


Rufford Circular

The weather forecast had been showing a wet day all week for the planned walk on Thursday so the “SCRAMBLERS” walking Group weren’t surprised when it started to drizzle when we parked up at Bretherton. But, as they say in Iceland “ekkert sem heitir slæmt veður bara röng föt” **

This walk was a circular route, starting from Eyes Lane in Bretherton, following the track over the pontoon bridge over the River Douglas until we reached the Rufford branch of the Leeds & Liverpool canal. Here we turned south and followed the tow path until we reached Rufford. We had decided to break here for lunch and even though we were quite soggy, Tastebuds cafe at Fettler’s Wharf Marina made us most welcome. Even offering us a towel to dry ourselves.


After a refreshing break, we headed back out into the drizzle, over the railway crossing and onto the bank of the river Douglas. Here we encountered a Forest of Himalayan Balsam over 8 foot high. When I walked this route earlier there was no evidence that we would encounter this pernicious weed. Further along the river we came to the area where the breach in the banking that caused all the flooding in Croston last Christmas. As can be seen in this shot I took in April.


Area of breech in the bank of the river Douglas

We continued along the bank of the Douglas until we reached the pontoon bridge were we dropped back onto Eyes Lane and back to the waiting dry cars.

We are planning to do a monthly walk of between seven and ten mile. If you are interested check out the “SCRAMBLERS” page or speak to me at the next monthly meeting


** “no such thing as bad weather just the wrong clothes” a lesson for us all 🙂

Walk around Runshaw Moor

Even though the weather forecast showed rain for most of the day, a few members of the “SCRAMBLERS” walking  Group decided to venture forth and explore  few of the little used footpaths around Runshaw Moor.


The seven mile walk starting at the Worden Park gate following field paths and old tracks across Runshaw Moor, skirting the edges of Euxton and Eccleston before arriving at the Plough for a well earned lunch.

We are planning to do a monthly walk of between seven and ten mile. If you are interested check out the “SCRAMBLERS” page or speak to me at the next monthly meeting