Arley & Adlington 15-03-20
With the number of walks the group have completed over the years, it becomes increasingly difficult to find new and exciting routes to explore. Today’s starting point centred on the old Red Rock Station car park, on the outskirts of Standish, a new place for us all. Leaving along the signed path and passing a private residence, formerly the Railway building, this former 1869 structure has been tastefully restored and the 11 adults and Jack, followed the route of the former old Lancashire Union Joint Line. Just before a bridge crossing our way, a set of steps on the right brought us onto Arley Lane, where we turned left, following through between the greens of Wigan Golf Club, until arriving at the car park of Arley Hall on the right. This particular area had been included in one of our previous walks back in 2018.
Continuing down a track, we entered woodland and descended a muddy gully to cross a footbridge over the River Douglas in the valley below. Climbing a brick strewn path to the right on the opposite side brought us to open fields, and crossing a boggy grass course towards Crawshaw Hall Farm buildings, gave views of Winter Hill in the distance.
Skirting the perimeter of the buildings, led us to a concrete drive, which ultimately gave way to a conventional road called Common End and subsequently The Common, until we arrived at Old School Lane where we turned right, continuing until reaching the old-school house building on the corner. An inscribed stone on its facia states “This School for pious and useful learning was built by voluntary subscription in the Year of our Lord 1815 R.P.B.”
At this point we branched right through a kissing gate, following a route down to the river bank, which was entered by a stile and picking our way along the marshy vegetation, arrived at another stile giving us access to firmer ground through the trees, albeit still somewhat slippy. The route along the river at a better time of the year would have been beautiful, but alas today was not one of those days, so we had to be content with a vivid imagination.
Leaving the babbling river and branching right, we climbed to emerge on to Stoney Lane and turned left to arrive at a ford and foot bridge, where we stopped for our coffee break.
Resuming, crossing the footbridge and following the road, at the top of the hill, we angled left through onto the canal towpath and turned right to pass under Bridge 65. Taking a path through to cross over the bridge via Blundell Lane, soon brought us to an old railway track-bed, now used as a multi-purpose path (Cycle Route 55). Following this to the second bridge along its route, we climbed the steps to emerge on to Arley Lane, where we turned to the right. This soon led us back to the canal at Bridge 64, where we regained the towpath and continued with the golf course on our right.
Road works are just about an everyday occurrence, but it’s not often you see a canal drained and work being undertaken on the base, but that’s exactly what we saw taking place on a section of the Leeds Liverpool. With tarpaulin shutters created to simulate lock gates and heavy duty pumps employed to drain the water, it was surprising to see a major section of dry canal bed exposed for whatever purpose was being undertaken.
Continuing along the towpath, at a suitable point we dodged through the hedge on to Arley Lane and proceeded to its junction with Red Rock Lane where we turned right and followed the road back to our starting point.
We had been fortunate with the weather, and pleased to welcome 2 new walkers among us, who were friends of Marilyn. As promised we had enjoyed some great views and the peace and tranquillity of the rural extremities of some of the neighbouring Lancashire areas. It was agreed that a distance of 4.5 miles had been covered, which wasn’t arrived at just to pacify our leader’s apparent preference for that figure, but rather a genuine measure of the distance.
Take a look back on previous walks - click on this link - www.midgewalkers.co.uk