Glasson Dock

Walk Leader: Andy Webster

Number on walk: 17

Distance: 11 miles

Weather: Strong wind and rain which cleared through the day 

17 hardy souls and 3 dogs assembled in the Condor Green carpark, after the group photograph, we set off, into the teeth of a freshening wind along the Lancashire Coastal Way towards Glasson Dock, through Glasson Dock and up the hill to Tithe Barn viewpoint then down to Old Glasson Farm. Here we temporarily left the Coastal way and walked along Dobs lane to Kendal Hill Farm, then across a number of very wet, muddy fields [a fore taste of what awaited us further into the walk] to pick up the Coastal Way at Condor Cottage. With driving rain coming straight off the Irish Sea, what ought to have been stunning views across Morecambe Bay were somewhat diminished, however we were treated to the sight of the Wilson Astakos battling against the elements into Glasson Dock.
For the curious the Wilson Astakos is a German registered General Cargo ship of 2451 tonnes and was en route from Gdansk Poland with either animal feed or fertiliser and probably accounted for a large proportion of the heavy goods wagons that thundered past us, when we stopped for lunch.
From Cook Cottage we followed the Coastal Way, all the while being buffeted by the wind, driving rain and spray from the high tide breaking against the sea defences, a very brief stop at Cockersands Abbey [not a day for exploring] and so onwards to our scheduled lunch stop at the stone table and bench at the junction of Hillam Lane, a large section of which was underwater as was the table and bench. So we pressed on to Cockerham for lunch cautiously through a small copse and along the embankment above the flooded lane to Patty’s farm. Here we said farewell to Morecambe Bay and the Coastal way and turned inland crossing yet more sodden, muddy fields, skirting the end of the Black Knights Parachute Centre aircraft runway and past Cockerham Parish Church.
After lunch, we followed the bridle way along Willey Lane crossing even more sodden, muddy fields, the walking had not been made any easier by the fields having being recently fertilised with slurry, the tractor tracks crisscrossing and churning up the ground, the slurry adding a particular rich bouquet. As we neared the fringes of the Ellel Grange the Lancaster, it was evident that everyone had had enough yomping across the energy sapping sodden, muddy and smelly quagmires masquerading as fields. I therefore suggested that we divert from the original planned route and follow the Glasson Branch of the Lancaster Canal, which was still quite muddy the walking was a lot pleasanter, we soon reached the main Cockerham to Lancaster road, which we followed back to the start, going past the now sadly burnt out shell of the Stork Inn.
Despite the elements and terrain, I think everyone enjoyed the walk, the walk was 11 miles in total, but I’m sure we all thought it felt near like 15 miles and I think it possibly takes the accolade of the muddiest walk.


Photos can be seen 'here'