Report and pictures by Raymond Lamb
Tram Rd & Walton-le Dale 2nd October - ‘22
Following the period of mourning surrounding the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest reigning Sovereign, this is the first walk undertaken, and whilst some of it may be familiar, I’m sure other parts will be new and interesting.
Starting from the car park at the Capitol Centre, Walton-le-Dale on a typical Autumn day and following several days of rain, the contingent of 10 + young Jack, left via Winery Lane at 2.00 p.m. Passing behind some of the units on the left, soon brought us to a bridge crossing the River Darwen, beyond which at a cross road intersection we turned right and continued along the somewhat muddy path flanked on each side with fields of corn, to the River Ribble bank and subsequently, the now somewhat derelict Tram Bridge. Branching left onto Tram Road we proceeded along the stately tree lined route, to arrive at a fingerpost sign pointing to Lostock Hall / Bamber Bridge. Here a small downhill series of steps led us through a short wooded area to join a path following the perimeter of a field to the left and emerging at the side of a water treatment plant on the right and back onto Winery Lane.
Moving forward brought us back to the cross road where we now turned right following a sign towards Hennel Lane/Walton Green/Bamber Bridge and kept the Darwen River on our left. Passing under a bridge which supported the A6 London Way, brought us to Walton Hall Farm, which held an almost hidden secret of a “Walling’s Ice Cream Kiosk”, which certain members of the group just could not resist. In view of the fact that there were seating facilities it was decided that this would constitute our refreshment stop.
Continuing onwards we passed over a small watercourse, Hennel Brook, joining the river and passed St Leonard’s Primary School and other properties lining Walton Green to its outlet onto Chorley Road where we turned right. Crossing the road at an opportune moment, we continued up Cinnamon Hill to the 2nd turning on the left, The Vineyard, where we passed through the gated cul-de-sac to join a track and descend through a tree lined route to arrive at the river bank and view a weir slightly to the left and noted what was clearly a fish ladder on the far bank.
Our route now took us up a path into Holland House Wood and continuing to emerge into a recently harvested field where we turned left around the perimeter, following the Darwen River on our left to arrive at a blue bridge. Crossing this, led us along a narrow path to attain Higher Walton Road, where we again turned left and progressed to a zebra crossing in front of St Patrick’s Primary School, which after crossing, we took a narrow path up between the church dating back to 1855 and the school skirting the graveyard. At the top of the slope we entered the grounds of St Leonards Church, parts of which date from the 16th Century, and here took the opportunity of viewing the grounds.
Passing through the ornamental gates at the front of the church and moving to the left corner of the car park revealed a series of steps which gave way to a path leading downhill back to Higher Walton Road where we turned right and proceeded to the junction with Chorley Road
where we turned left. Proceeding to its Junction with Walton Green, we turned right and retraced our steps to the crossroad junction on Winery Lane which we had encountered twice earlier. This time we turned right and made our way back to our starting point.
As I started by saying, parts of this walk had indeed been familiar, but other sectors were new. Everyone was in agreement that we had been fortunate with the weather and the 5.25 miles had been both varied and interesting, with the background research which Rodney so often conveys regarding historic details, adding to the knowledge acquired from these walks.
Take a look back on previous walks - click on this link - www.midgewalkers.co.uk