Sunday 22nd January saw our second walk of the New Year, with 16 adults and 3 children meeting at the car park of the Hand and Dagger at Salwick, situated on the bank of the Lancaster canal. With the temperature at about 4 degrees we set off at 1.50 p.m. crossing over the canal bridge and continuing along Treales Rd to a small area of housing signed Bolton’s Croft, where we turned left and continued to a T junction with Roseacre Rd. Here we should have crossed a bridge and stile to take a route through a field, but due to the bridge being blocked, it necessitated taking in a detour around the roads to regain our planned course.
Turning right at the junction we passed Pepper Hill Farm and continued to join Blackleach Lane, passing an old farm on our right with one of the brightest pink front doors, posed the question “who would pick a colour like that”.
Crossing over a bridge spanning the M55, we descended some steps and over a stile to enter a somewhat boggy field, which we crossed bringing us to a gate which on passing through we were forced to negotiate an exceedingly muddy area. Those wearing wellies fared better than those with boots as in a couple of cases the mud encompassed the boots and seeped into the socks.
Exiting the field through another gate adjacent to Swillbrook Lodge we used the farm lane to regain the road, emerging opposite the Free Methodist Church on the Catforth road. Turning left soon brought us to the canal bridge (No 32) the site of the former Jolly Roger Café and Marina, where we joined the tow path and utilising some convenient benches stopped for our coffee break.
The route from here was via the footpath on the side of the canal, albeit negotiating several very muddy areas on route, which for us all were obstacles to be overcome. One of the children was heard to say “this is fun”. I am not sure how many agreed.
Continuing along the path, under several bridges, ultimately brought us back to our starting point where an analysis of our activities found that we had covered a little over 5 miles, burnt several hundred calories, but above all had benefited from the exercise and fellowship of each other’s company.