A Lancashire Linear Walk
A walk from Eccleston to Upholland through the Douglas Valley
This walk of nearly ten miles from the centre of Eccleston near Chorley to Hall Green Upholland assumes the use of public transport starting and finishing in Wigan. The the outward journey to the start is provided by Stagecoach/Lancashire County Council service 113 from Wigan bus station, hourly at ten minutes to the hour. The return journey at the end of the walk uses any of the regular Southport, Ormskirk or Skelmersdale services to Wigan, waiting time should not be more than twenty minutes.
Eccleston to Anderton's Mill
Take the 10:50 am bus to Eccleston and get off at the stop just before The Green where it arrives approximately 11:25am. Walk back a short distance SD52430 16400 and take the marked footpath on the right adjacent to the Windmill public house car park and before Grove Mill and By-gone Times. The path leads down into the valley and crosses a stream at the edge of the woods, do not go into the woods but look for the stile and follow the path along the edge of the fields. Strong boots are recommended the path can be quite muddy and when I did the walk a crop had been sown right up to the perimiter of the field. Continue along the path with open fields on the right and woods on the left past Heskin Hall just visible through the trees and over the stile onto the driveway to Heskin Hall Farm SD52540 15550. Ignore the stile and footpath sign in front of you, turn right and follow the farm driveway to Bannister lane SD52170 15400 and turn left. Continue along the road for a short distance to a footpath into a field on the right SD52080 15130, cross a footbridge and follow the footpath along the edge of a water filled quarry now being used as a diver training centre to emerge onto Halfpenny Lane SD51670 14950. The footpath continues more or less straight ahead through a farm yard, take care at this point the path is not very clear, look for the stiles taking you through and around the edge of several fields eventually emerging onto a wide track via a fresh water fishery (linger a while you may witness a large catch as I did). Turn left along the track to reach the main road at the red telephone box at Andertons Mill SD51130 14260.
Anderton's Mill to Upholland
Turn left along the road and look for Sanderson Lane SD51300 14200 a short distance along on the right. Turn into Sanderson Lane and continue up the hill, at the top turn right SD51580 13350 and follow the track to Harrock Hill SD51140 13190 (it should now be about 1pm and this is a good place to have lunch if like me you have a flask and sandwiches, sit on the wall and enjoy the view as you eat). From the top of Harrock Hill take the path going off to the left over the stile and continue through the fields eventually to emerge onto the main driveway from Harrock Hall SD51100 12400, continue to the end to its junction with High Moor Lane at the side of the High Moor restaurant and country club SD51100 11800. Turn right and walk along the road for a short distance and take the first road on the left SD50900 11820. At the bend at the bottom of the road follow the footpath through the fields keeping left at the first junction and right at subsequent ones to emerge onto Parbold Hill just on the Southport side of the restaurant at the top SD50720 10700. There's usually an ice cream van here, enjoy a vanilla cornet and sit and admire the view to Ashurst Beacon. When you are ready, take the footpath opposite the restaurant SD 50890 10700 down into the valley following the edge of the disused quarry, crossing the footpath to Wood Lane, the railway line, the Leeds and Liverpool canal and the river Douglas SD50780 09920 and follow the track through the fields to the junction with Lees Lane SD50550 09250. Turn left for approximately half a mile and take the footpath on the right, at a junction with another path SD50500 08600 go to the left cross a quarry access road and continue straight ahead along the path around Bangham's farm. When you emerge through the trees onto a path at right angles SD51110 08110 turn right and follow the track past the Stone Hall and continue to the junction with Farley Lane SD50900 07300. Continue up the hill to the next bend and take the footpath straight ahead through the ruined Belle View Farm and the fields beyond to Beacon Lane SD50750 06700. Turn left along Beacon Lane into Mill Lane to Hall Green and the bus stop at the Victoria Public House. You should arrive here by four o'clock in time for the bus to Wigan at 4:21pm.
Map Reference: Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 1:2500 285, Southport & Chorley (Wigan, Formby & Ormskirk) refers. [Note: Bus timetable subject to change]!
Palfreyman - May 2009