Gregson Lane Ramble

On a day described as West is best, 13 of our regular members and 1 new one, (Darren), met at the car park beside the playground on Gregson Lane and set off at 13.55. With the sun shining, the weather was perfect for what we were assured would be a basically flat walk, across fields and pathways, with occasional stiles. Our route started alongside the playground, turning right at a row of cottages, to pass Arrowsmith House dating from 1628. History informs us that it was here that the Roman Catholic priest, St Edmund Arrowsmith celebrated mass, which as a result ultimately cost him his life and resulted in his martyrdom.

Turning at the main road and then right at the Black Horse pub, brought us into Bourne’s Row, at the top of which a factory gate caused us to turn to skirt behind the industrial site and continue towards the railway line where we took a left to cross a stile into a field. Views of Preston and North Ends football ground could be clearly seen, along with the Bowland Moors in the distance.

Continuing with the rail line on our right, over two more stiles we took a diagonal route to arrive at a metal kissing gate opposite a farmhouse, and turned down the side of the buildings, to pass through two metal gates, along a grassy track, to a further stile. A cemetery on the right preceded a stream and a further stile brought us to the front of St Joseph’s Catholic Church built in 1721.

Turning left and through a wooden kissing gate, we crossed a tarmac drive, which led to Brindle Lodge. Pausing for a photograph amid a field of bright yellow buttercups. Resuming, the pathway and turning over a stile towards a stone farmhouse we were joined by two very tame sheep, who seemed anxious to continue with us. A further stile and drive allowed us to emerge on to the main Hoghton Lane.

Crossing and passing between two houses, over two further stiles, a diagonal course across the field, allowed us to exit by way of a collapsed fence. Climbing a banking and again taking a diagonal route, brought us to a fairly well concealed footbridge over a stream and following the hedge line to our left, brought us to a stile at the side of another stone house, bringing us on to Quaker Brook Lane. Turning left and passing the entrance to Beeston Manor led us to Roach Road and taking advantage of a low wall, we sat for our coffee break. It was whilst here that the whirring of helicopter blades allowed us to view how the more discerning among us travel, as it descended to the Manor.

Suitably refreshed and taking a left course, gave views of the extensive Samlesbury Brewery complex in the distance. After about 0.5miles, turning left to cross through the hedge via a stile, and over a couple of fields, we arriving at a large pine tree. Here we turned left to aim for a marker at the edge of a wood opposite.

Following a stepped path down and crossing a footbridge, we continued to the right to emerge into a recently ploughed field. Taking a route down to another footbridge, a path to the left allowed us to scramble to the top of a banking and continuing to a stile. This gave access to a farm lane where we turned left for about 100 yards and then right by way of a footbridge to skirt a kennels complex and subsequently pass through a gate into another field, keeping the hedge to our right.

Another stile through the hedge gave us access to a field and by similar means exited back across Hoghton Lane to turn to pass a gatehouse and enter a drive.

After a short distance and angling to the right towards woodland, a path and footbridge led us to a stepped route, at the top of which, following the hedge towards the houses, a kissing gate allowed us to return to our starting point.

Fortunately, everybody seemed to have lost count of the number of stiles, as the weather had undoubtedly been the saving grace, coupled with the picturesque scenery. Discussion regarding the distance brought a variety of suggestions, but agreement that the published, understated figure, derived from supposed reputable sources, left a little to be desired, but had not detracted from the overall enjoyment.

Midge Walkers

Walk  No. 117

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