Walking and Cycling
Moss Eccles Tarn - A 9k/6m, 3-4 hour relatively low level circular walk on Claife Heights from the ferry terminal just south of Bowness on Windermere, it covers an extremely picturesque hillside pasture, moorland and forest landscape and on a clear sunny day offers stunning views of the Langdale Pikes, Bowfell, Crinkle Crags and Fairfield from vantage points at Moss Eccles and Wise Een Tarns (ideal spots for a picnic). An area of sharp contrasts the higher more remote parts are rugged moorland and a rich wildlife habitat sure to throw up some very interesting surprises to the keen observer.
Abbey Lakes to Coppull Moor on foot - A picturesque but challenging walk of just under twelve miles through the Douglas Valley and beyond. The description here starts and finishes in Wigan and uses public transport but may be adapted to suit individual travel requirements and preferences. OS Explorer Series Map 285 (Southport & Chorley, Wigan Formby, Ormskirk) 1:25000 refers.
The Chorley Ice Cream Walk - A 9.5 mile walk from Chorley to Wigan following mainly the Lancaster Canal navigation, with an optional diversion for ice cream. The walk begins in Chorley and uses public transport for the outward journey (in my case from Wigan bus station), road walking is minimal and limited to the beginning and end sections to and from the bus stations.
Douglas Valley Dawdle - A 6.8 mile triangular walk from Beacon Park Upholland descending 500 feet into the Douglas Valley returning via Appley Bridge. On a clear day it affords views of a spectacular and historic landscape and countryside comparable with more well known national treasures.
Three Counties Cycle Ride - Not as strenuous as the title suggests but nevertheless a thirty mile round trip through relatively flat countryside including the scenic Douglas Valley. Half of this journey is on rural tarmac roads and cycleways the other on canal banks and bridleways.
Haigh, Borsdane Wood Circular Walk - A nine mile three and a half hour walk through some of the greener parts of our urban landscape, an opportunity to appreciate features of the natural world at their best and available on our own doorstep.
A Lancashire Linear Walk - A walk of nearly ten miles from Eccleston near Chorley to Upholland via the Douglas Valley. Beware it's not flat there are three long gradients but it is very scenic and involves little road walking.
Blackrod or Bust - A circular walk of nearly eight miles from Wigan Lane to the outskirts of Blackrod returning via Haigh Village and Haigh Plantations. This walk is not strenuous but you do need strong boots and the agility to leap over the odd stile or two. On a clear day it affords fine panoramic views of the Lancashire countryside from Ashurst Beacon to Rivington Pike as you venture over the border into one of the scenic corners of Bolton.
Cycle the Sankey Valley - A very pleasant fifteen mile cycle ride suitable for weekend or summer evening. Although mainly off road through open countryside, it does involve some riding on public roads and so for safety reasons it's wise to choose the time of day carefully to avoid heavy traffic.
Cycle the Monsal Trail - A great day out in the wonderful Peak District National Park with a little invigorating exercise thrown in. Take your own bike or hire one locally you will not be disappointed, the landscape is beautiful and the views tremendous. Car parking (mainly pay and display) and refreshment facilities are conveniently situated at several points along the trail, but come early it is very popular and there may be queues.
Wigan Circular by Bike - A twenty one mile circuit of Wigan from the golf club gates at Ashton Cross on country tracks and roads with light traffic. A route more suited to the ATB, it takes us via Garswood and North Ashton to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Ince Moss, returning via Gathurst, Orrell Post and Windy Arbour. There two sets of steps requiring the bike to be carried but both have alternatives by way of a slight detour.
Walking on Liverpool Bay - A bracing walk of approximately 8.5 miles from Freshfield to Crosby and Anthony Gormley's artwork "Another Place". Mostly along the shoreline, through the sandhills and on well marked tracks, the route connects Freshfield and Hall Road railway stations on Merseyrail's northern line providing convenient transport for a return journey if required, it follows the Sefton Coastal Footpath and takes 3.5 to 4 hours.
Walking in the Irwell Valley - This ten mile linear walk from Bury to Rawtenstall follows the Sculpture Trail through the beautiful Irwell Valley with it's wonderful mix of pretty villages, terrific views and diverse wildlife, set amongst some interesting reminders of the area's rich industrial heritage. The return journey may be made using the East Lancs Railway or local bus services.
Irwell Valley Path, Bury to Salford - This eleven mile linear walk from Bury to Salford follows the Sculpture Trail and uses public transport to and from the start and finish points. Perhaps not quite as scenic as the path to Rawtenstall but nevertheless just as enjoyable.