Thursday, 19th April 2012

Walk: Ring o’ Bells, Lathom, The Ruff (wood) and Ormskirk
Start Point: Burscough Junction Railway Station ending at Ormskirk Railway Station Grid Reference: SD 444 115  ending at  SD 417 084
Distance: 7.5 mls Ascent: 300 ft
Time: 4 hrs    
Weather: Rain at the start but fine and sunny in the afternoon
Comments: This was a linear walk using the train to take the strain. It started at Burscough Junction station as opposed to Burscough Bridge. Joining the Leeds to Liverpool Canal at Burscough Wharf (adjacent to the A59) the foursome headed to a bridge just beyond the Ring o’Bells PH to use field paths and tracks through Lathom to arrive at Ormskirk via Ruff Lane. Along the canal a swan was seen sitting on a nest with a water-hen chick nearby. The area is mainly agricultural with the growing of vegetables, wheat, and rape seed and at one point a tree nursery. On the way the foursome were serenaded by a finch and two skylarks with a lone swallow making an appearance (not all at the same time). The path was reasonably easy to follow. It crossed Alice’s Plantation and then Lady Alice’s Drive before continuing along Lady’s Walk to The Ruff. The Ruff is a wooded area on the outskirts of Ormskirk. Using Ruff Lane, which is an area of interesting properties and the rear of Edge Hill College, the group entered Ormskirk and found a café where they sampled beverages and cakes. Using Senior/Disabled Rail Cards the journey from Preston to Ormskirk cost £3.95 each with the journey time being about a half hour each way.

Scroll down to see photos of the walk

Burscough Wharf


On guard on the Leeds to Liverpool Canal


A former dry dock at the Rufford branch junction


Canal miles


The Rufford branch of the Leeds to Liverpool canal


A camouflaged electricity pole


A painting on a barge


Serenaded by a finch


A lawn turf cutting machine


Rows of winter wheat


Rape - future cooking oil and margarine


The living and the dead


Blue, pink and white bells

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