Short Beacon Bash West Lancashire 25th May

Walk Leader Neil Harwood

No on walk 15

Distance 12 miles

Weather Cloudy but dry all day



The walk began with a quick excursion around parts of Parbold including the wildflower meadow and then we headed north out of the village to our first view point at Hunter's Hill. The West Lancashire area has some outstanding views in all directions but this is probably my favourite. On a good day, but not today (!), you can see as far as the Lakes, the coastline of Lancashire with Blackpool Tower and the Bowland Fells. The next stop was Parbold Hill with its more well known viewpoint but this time SW towards Liverpool and again on a good day with the Welsh Hills behind. Then its a descent into the bottom of the Douglas valley to pick up the Leeds Liverpool canal and on to Appleby Bridge. Lunch was taken in the Community Meadow area with its abundant seating.

The second half of the day is another loop but this time to the south side of the Douglas valley. We made the gradual climb up Stone Hall, which is part of the original Beacon Bash route, but from there went straight up to Ashurst's Beacon - the site of a beacon to warn of potential French invasions during the Napoleonic Wars. The route takes in my second best viewpoint in the area, which gives a great panorama through 180 degrees to the east, with Winter Hill prominent. This, however, is on the climb up from just after Stone Hall, with its bank of bluebells rather from the Beacon itself. The latter, at the highest point in the area, should rightly be the highlight but trees now obscure much of the view. From the Beacon it was all downhill via Dalton, Newburgh and back on to the canal for a short walk back through the historic centre of Parbold.

The intention of the walk was to show off as much of the area by using parts of the original Challenge Walk called the Beacon Bash. Although our walk was nearly half that of the original Bash, hopefully it succeeded in this.