Wednesday, 3rd March 2010




Walk: Bank Top, Gathurst, Leeds Liverpool Canal, Apply Bridge, Stone Hall, Roby Mill
Start Point: The Fox, Roby Mill Grid Reference: SD 518 071
Distance: 6 miles Ascent: 800 feet
Time: 3 hours    
Weather: Dry, cool a little sunshine
Comments: On a cool but bright morning twenty-five people left The Fox at Roby Mill to follow one of the group's more mature leaders. Leaving the main road he headed in the general direction of Gathurst. On the way he took us past some Christmas Trees towards Bank Top and then via Ayrefield House and across the River Douglas to Gathurst Railway Station approach. On the way down to the river three deer with white rear ends could be seen scampering across the fields. There were also signs of the remains of a stone paved path. Was this an old pack horse track or was it a path that was used in days of old by working men to reach their place of work? On reaching the canal on Gathurst Road our leader headed towards Liverpool on the tow path of the Leeds to Liverpool canal. At Gathurst there are three types of transport in evidence. First the canal, second the Wigan to Southport railway and third the M6 motorway which crosses both the canal and railway, and also the River Douglas which wends its way to the River Ribble at Much Hoole. A break was taken at Dean Lock, which is beneath the M6 Gathurst Viaduct. Replete, the group continued along the towpath to Apply Bridge and back into Lancashire from Greater Manchester. The leader then took the group by way of Halliwell Farm before ascending a steady incline to Stone Hall. Descending through Chisnall’s Farm and along Farley Lane the party arrived back at “The Fox” where food of ample portions was served. A good walk, good company and good leader!

Scroll down to see photos of the walk

Start of the walk and dining place at the end


Christmas trees


Are these the remains of a packhorse trail?


More remains?


Down to Gathurst


Deer were seen in this area


Joan gesticulates over the River Douglas


Road, Rail and Canal at Gathurst


Coffee break at Dean Lock, Gathurst . . .


below the M6 Gathurst viaduct


Lock Gate Lodgers


Four little maids from school


Lock keepers cottage, Gathurst


'Going round the bend' on the Leeds Liverpool canal


From Greater Manchester into Lancashire


On the right track in Dalton


Stone Hall

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