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Midge Walkers

Walk  No. 114

Walton-le-Dale and Fishwick Bottoms

Due to the recent very wet weather we tried to select a route that was hopefully good under foot! 9 of our regulars set of in what remained fine but cold weather on paved footpaths from the car park of the Capital Centre at Walton le Dale. Crossing to the River side of the road, we turned right passing the Yew Tree and past a memorial erected to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee on June 1st 1887. Immediately next to this is the old Police Station, now a private residence. A plaque on the opposite side of the road records the home of Joseph Livesey, a notable name and founder of the Temperance Movement. We passed what was once a Methodist Church and School, we also were able to see the River Ribble and be amazed at how the river can become high enough to breach it banks and flood the local area so regularly.

Continuing to Church Brow and passing St Leonards Church with its bell tower housing a ring of 8 bells. The graveyard was somewhat unique housing both Protestant and Catholic burials. It was also interesting to see a grape vine that had found its way through the wall and growing strongly in the vestibule of a nearby house.

A little further along, a path took us down towards the River, passing through Ribble Side Farm to follow a route along the bank. At this point the mud and water became challenging, but undeterred we waded through ‘the stuff’ taking in the view towards Preston which clearly outlined the former Horrocks’s Mill and other tall features of the town.

Crossing a series of (muddy) fields, interlinked with stiles, we eventually emerged on to a stony drive leading us to Cuerdale Hall Farm, where we  returned towards the River bank with views of the Tickled Trout ahead. A further couple of fields and stiles found us emerging on to the side of the A59 to cross Brockholes Bridge on to the opposite side of the Ribble.Here we stopped for a welcome coffee break.

Resuming our route along the Guild Wheel, past Fishwick Golf Course on our right, we caught sight, on the opposite bank, of a site pinpointed by a marker where a vast treasure trove had been discovered in years gone by and named as the Cuerdale Hord, and consisted of Gold, Silver and Jewellery. Remains of the Hord can be seen in the Harris Library/Museum.

Our return route, thankfully no mud, followed the tarmac pathway and cycle route of the Guild Wheel. It was interesting to hear recollections of Sue’s childhood days from when her family lived in the area. Another plus was clean standing water which cleaned our boots as we walked along before emerging back on to London Rd at the side of the Bridge Inn which soon brought us back to our starting position, thankfully everyone had forgotten about the mud.