I’m going home today, but have planned a shortish, circular walk for this morning. My lunchtime destination? The pub on the other side of the river – the one I saw yesterday.
First I want to explore Lancaster, and so I walk up the hill behind my hotel, through an area called Quay Meadows. On the way I have a tremendous view of the priory and castle, looming above me – but sadly am unable to take photographs because of poor light conditions and my temperamental camera.
The town centre is mainly traffic free and I have a delightful meander. Lancaster reminds me of my home town of Stamford, although much larger. It’s got the same historic feel, and the older houses are built from a similar warm-looking stone.
I walk back down to the river and stand on a footbridge to take a photo looking back at St George’s Quay.
It’s another dull morning. From Marsh Lane I rejoin the Lancashire Coastal Way and walk through low-lying fields, full of sheep, past Pattys Farm (nice name) towards Bank End. The path curves around what might have once been a beach.
When I arrive at Knott End-on-Sea, the tide is low and the ferry over to Fleetwood isn’t running yet. I could just set off walking from here, but I want to take the ferry to Fleetwood and back, in order to keep the circuit of my walk complete.
After a frustrating diversion around a building site, I finally reach the promenade at Cleveleys.
And there is my daughter, Ella, walking to meet me, along with her beautiful springer spaniel, Lottie. She looks happy to see me – the dog, I mean.
I’m now both very hot and very thirsty. Continue reading
I’m back in Blackpool and staying near a place called Gynn Square. In the morning I set off to catch the tram, and one of the things I notice is a wonderful memorial to honour the emergency service people who lose their lives while helping others.
But the main thing I notice is… Daleks! Continue reading
I’ve reached the southern end of Blackpool. Well, I hadn’t expected so much empty sand! Where’s the sea?
Back in Warton, I walk along a narrow path beside a ditch to regain the Lancashire Coastal Way. Through a gate I can see where the footpath ended yesterday. It’s only 50 yards away and, despite the crudely painted ‘PRIVATE’ signs on the gate, I can see others have ignored the warnings and simply walked straight across the gap.
I’ve reached the beginning of the Lancashire Coastal Way and, after checking my map, I’m anticipating an easy stroll along a river bank following a proper waymarked footpath.
Unfortunately, the Way gets off to a bad start as I end up in a ramshackle marina, where I see plenty of ‘Private’, ‘NO ENTRY’, ‘Please Keep to the Path’, and ‘Beware of the Dog’ signs. But where’s the footpath gone?
I am worried about today’s walk from Preston to Freckleton. The obvious route – along a major A road – looks unpleasant and potentially dangerous. So I have mapped out a tortuous inland route, involving footpaths that might not exist in reality, and minor roads that may turn out to be not-so-minor.
My walk begins, however, as a pleasant stroll through parkland.
I leave my car in Tarleton and start road-walking to join the busy A59 and reach the first crossing point over the River Asland (or River Douglas – you have a choice of names!). Thank goodness there is a footpath.
A short time later a signpost tells me I’m entering West Lancashire. It seems an important transition. I’m definitely ‘oop north’ now. Continue reading