After the Walk October 2022

Sunday October 23rd. Ruff 'n' Wharf. 21 miles. Leader: Steve Martin.


This 21 Mile walk combined lanes, tracks, paths and fields, muddy in places especially during the winter months. The walk started at 9am, 23/10/22 at Beacon Country Park golf clubhouse where toilets, café and public bar are available to the public.

There were six members, one guest, the leader and two dogs. Although it was mild, we started in full waterproofs as heavy rain began just prior to the walk starting. We set off alongside Beacon golf course to ascend Ashurst Beacon (1).  Views used to be fantastic from here but trees have all but obscured these.

From here we took a steep path descending down to the Dove Cot at Ashurst Hall and around to the front of St Michael’s Church before further descending to Tawd Valley Country Park.  We then followed the River Tawd upstream before traversing through the grounds of Lathom High School and winding our way along good tree lined pathways through Stanley Industrial Area.  Soon we were out into the countryside passing a fishing lake and a paint ball adventure park. We took a tea stop once we reached the old Skelmersdale to Ormskirk railway line were newly installed benches in a wooded area can be found.

From here we headed out along Hollands Lane and Half Pennies Lane (both tracks), crossing Lyelake Lane at Wiswall’s Farm (take care crossing here) and along Whiteleys Lane to Ruff Wood (8.5 mile).  Here, we stopped for a snack, a look at the old quarry where stone was taken to build houses in Ormskirk and to look at the wooded tree carvings. On leaving the wood we headed across the field to Lady’s Walk, then onto Blythes Lane and Abbey Lane, through Abbey Farm Caravan site. 

Once through the caravan site we took an immediate right heading towards Mill Dam Farm.  After about 50m and to your right through the trees are the remains on Burscough Priory (2).  Further along you can also see Blythe Hall and the gallops where race horses are trained. 

Once over the railway line we crossed the busy A59 and onto a public footpath to Higgins Lane crossing what was once an airfield during the WWII.  Then across a further field to Crabtree Lane and onto the Leeds Liverpool Canal (3) at the Slipway Public House.  A short walk along the canal onto Burscough Wharf (13.5 mile), where we took a half hour break for lunch (plenty of eateries here).  Here one member and two dogs retired.  Rained stopped and waterproofs were removed.

After lunch an easy 3.5 mile walk along the canal to Newburgh crossing under the canal to walk on the other side at Deans Lane before the final 4 mile ascent.  Up the centre of the field and across the A5209 soon found us amongst a field of Christmas trees.  Once through we headed up a narrow wooded valley traversing a fallen tree before a left turn to Higher Lane. Heading straight across the footpath took us to Hillock Lane before a steep ascent up an old brick lined quarry road, heading over further fields to Long Heys Lane.  These fields are prime for deer spotting but none seen today.   Once on Long Heys Lane we walked straight up, steep in places, back to the Beacon Golf Course and returning to the cars for 17.15hrs.


1. Ashurst Beacon Built 1798 - Early warning of a French invasion. It replaced an earlier Beacon from Anglo Spanish war of 1585.

1920 - Easter and Whitsun drew large crowds. Middleton and Woods (a bus company) brought people up in ‘Charabancs’ terminating at the Prince William every 40 mins.  At 05.30hrs 29th June 1927 two thousand people ascended the Beacon to witness the total eclipse of the sun.

2. Burscough Priory founded in 1190. Two hundred years later was passed to the Stanley family where many of them were buried.  It was also a Leper hospital.  After the dissolution of the Priory in 1536 many of the bodies were moved to Ormskirk  church -St Peter and St Pauls church which has been the burial place of the Stanley’s ever since. Eight bells were moved to Ormskirk church where the steeple wasn’t big enough to house them so a tower was built.  Ormskirk church is one of only three churches in England to have both a tower and spire, and the only one to have them both at the same end of the church.  The remaining bells where moved to Croston church.

3.Leeds and Liverpool canal. Liverpool to Newburgh opened in 1771 – Newburgh to Gathurst 1774 then took River Douglas to Wigan.

‘Flying Boat’ from Liverpool to Wigan 8am to 5pm.

Cost from Liverpool to Parbold 3s 6d Front cabin, 2s 4d Rear cabin.





Wednesday October 19th. Over to the Tower and Back 12 miles. Leaders: Christine Cocks and Isobel Graham. 

The group consisting of fourteen walkers and one dog, Freddie, assembled alongside Brinscall Swimming Baths. 

At 10.10am we set off in a southerly direction along Lodge Bank then headed west for approximately one mile passing Brinscall Hall and Farm. We were rewarded with really good views of the surrounding area along this section which led us to a minor but busy road. After a short distance along the road we headed north crossing several fields to reach Higher Wheelton.

From here the group joined the Leeds and Liverpool canal as far as Ollerton Bridge No. 2. For the next few miles the route took us through undulating farmland before arriving at The Holy Trinity Church on the A6061 at Hoghton where we had our lunch break on seating in the Church grounds. 

From here we proceeded along the driveway of Hoghton Tower. Built in 1565 the tower stands proudly on the highest point in the area and remains open to the public, offering an array of events throughout the year. Our route turned off left along a good footpath before the Tower entrance and led us over the rail track to the River Darwen.

Although we only walked a short distance along the river it was a particularly nice stretch of the walk which led the group back to the A6061 near Riley Green.

For the final few miles we headed south along a number of minor roads and fields arriving back in Brinscall at 3.30pm. 

The weather was very kind to us. Although windy it remained dry throughout the walk

A big thank you to everyone for joining us. We hope that you all enjoyed the day.

Christine and Isobel



Sunday October 16th. Boots and Brews. A Whalley Whippet Wander. 10 miles. Leader: Caroline Tennant and Alf. 


14 walkers, along with Alf and Mia, met at Springwood Car Park on the edge of Whalley.  Lots of new faces among the group.

We set off towards Whalley and turned off to go past the weir on the River Calder.  The best view of the walk, even though it was a touch cloudy when we passed.  We climbed up through Nab Wood to catch some views over the hills through the trees.

Only one minor blip on the route as I missed a sign and lead the group down the side of someone's house.  The owner sent us on the correct path and thankfully wasn't too cross about it!  As we continued on our way, we had the one shower of the day.  It would probably have stopped sooner, but I was too lazy to get my jacket out of my bag.  It did give us a couple of rainbows though, so not all bad.  On to Dean Clough Reservoir which we skirted before climbing slightly to take a path above the reservoir which had great views.  We stopped for a break overlooking the reservoir.  A handy wall stopped us having to fight over the one bench.

After our lunch we continued through fields, supervised by the sheep and then alpaca.  We encountered a few interesting stiles, most seemed to have been designed for people much taller than me, but we all made it over without incident.  As Whalley Viaduct came into view, we descended into Whalley and then walked under and along the viaduct, to cross the River Calder again.  We then went back into Whalley, passing through the Abbey Gate House and heading for the Abbey.  Here we stopped for brews and cake.  The weather remained pleasant after the shower in the morning and was warm enough that we all sat outside to enjoy our drinks and more chatter, before the last mile that took us back to the cars.


Thank you to everyone that came along, I hope everyone enjoyed the walk and that it gave all our first timers a taste of what the group has to offer.  Hopefully we will see you all again on a walk soon.  


Caroline and Alf x


🐾Thank you to Nick for supervising Alf and everyone that helped getting the pups over the stiles 🐾




Wednesday October 12th. A Loaf and Five Fishes. 15 miles. Leader: Neil Smith.


8 walkers and 1 dog, Poppy,set off from the Car park in Settle a little after 10am due to possible late arrivals because of traffic problem on the A59.

We used the back streets to pick up the Ribble Way following the river to Stackhouses from where we left it to start a steady climb up and over to


Due to the drizzly conditions advantage was taken of Elaines cafe there for a hot drink and for some a large piece of cake! Now feeling refreshed

we left there on the walled track (Hale lane) continuing to Wood lane which took us all around the outskirts of Oxenber and Wharfe wood.

The next path took us South easterly passing the North side of Smearset Scar to then pick up the minor road into Little Stainforth and our lunch stop by the river.

Some of the group were fortunate enough to see the odd Salmon leaping but not me for some reason? A toilet stop was used at Stainforth before

half the group used the stepping stones and the rest an alternate path leading to the steep climb up Goat scar lane to Catrigg force. We turned in a

Southerly direction with the drizzle getting more noticeable now.

From Upper Winskill we followed a tarmac track to grassy paths taking us to a stony track past Victoria cave and then a short afternoon break before the last section passing Sugar Loaf hill, Lambert lane and the old reservoir into Upper Settle.

Thanks to everybody for coming including Jaques from Chorley. 




Sunday October 9th. Phillips Park (not me) Circular. 21 miles. Leader: Phil Chapman.

On a bright autumn morning 12 walkers and 1 dog gathered at Moses Gate. Circuiting swan lake and off to the Meccano Bridge at Nob End. Along the canal to Ladyshore and over to Bradley Fold. A quick coffee stop on a  track and over fields and tracks to Radcliffe past Elton reservoir. 

Lunch was taken on handy benches in Radcliffe and then we made our way via the Outwood trail over to Phillips park.

A sweetie stop in the gardens there and then back on part of the Kingfisher trail. Under the 13 arches bridge, staying on the right hand side of the river to pass Giants Seat nursery and Ringley. Back to the base of Nob End and a few ups and downs on the left side of the river to arrive back at Moses Gate for 4.15pm. A good time was had by all.



Wednesday October 5th. Around (some of) the hills. 13 miles. Leader: Heather Massie.

Despite a diabolical weather forecast 4 walkers assembled to begin the walk, and apologies were received from 4 more who were stuck in a gridlock in Farnworth.

We set off in light rain by taking the route of the annual 18 mile Round the Hills walk through Rawtenstall centre and up to the ski slope where we followed quiet roads and tracks to the bottom of Cribden Hill. On the way we viewed the scene of the Pike Law Trespass which predated the Winter Hill Trespass by 24 years, but is less well known perhaps because only 2 men took part. Nevertheless they were fined 6d each which they refused to pay and spent 7 days in Preston Jail. On their return to Rawtenstall station they were met by a brass band and taken in a carriage and pair to the Co-operative Hall where they were presented with inscribed writing desks.

We skirted the bottom of Cribden Hill, spotting a barn owl out hunting on the way, then climbed up to Goodshaw Hill where we saw a deer. We walked along a very soggy ridge in thick cloud before climbing up to the weather station on Hambledon Hill. There was certainly plenty of weather about.

Descending to Clowbridge Reservoir the rain was slackening and we had lunch by the water before the final major climb of the day to Compston’s Cross. Here we left the 18 mile route and followed the Rossendale Way back along the sky-line to Meadow Head where we descended across Swinshaw Moor to begin our journey back to Marl Pits.

The rain had cleared away and we could see across the valley to the route of our morning walk. We walked and sometimes paddled below Bonfire Hill, past a 17th century Quaker Burial Ground and down through Waingate and the end of the walk. We didn’t see any more wild-life, but did spot a couple of unusual sculptures. As we left the car park the heavens opened so our timing was spot-on.

Thanks to those who came and commiserations to those who were stuck in traffic. We hope to do this again when the weather is a little better and we can enjoy the views.

Heather Massie