Midge Walkers

Walk  No. 118

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Barton/Bilsborrow Walk

The prevailing good weather, with a temperature of 22 degrees, was the encouragement that 12 of our regular members needed to meet at St Lawrence’s Ave adjacent to the A6 at Barton. Setting off at 13.50 we followed the main road south, to reach the drive of 737 Garstang Rd and turned along it between two houses, to pass over a stile leading to a bridge over the main West Coast rail line. Crossing 3 gated fields, brought us to the canal and Hankinson Bridge and house.

Following the lane past a somewhat smelly farmyard, we followed through a gate ahead to enter another field, where after taking a stile to the right, followed a hedge line over two further stiles in various states of disrepair, across 3 fields and a footbridge, to emerge on to a road adjacent to Cross House Farm. Views of Parlick and the Calder Fells formed a beautiful backdrop to the clear scenery ahead.

Prior to entering the drive of Fence Foot Farm, we took a left turn through a gate and followed the route around the perimeter of the buildings. Taking a path to the right lead us to a further gate and crossing the field diagonally, a footbridge exited us on to a rough path which continued around the edge of a field, ultimately crossing a brook via a plank into a newly sown corn field.

With the distinctive masts of H.M.S. Inskip visible to our left, and after beating down an encroaching nettle patch, another stile and field gave us access to Moss Lane. Turning to the left and following a drive to the outer edge of Lee Farm, the pre-walk checkers had spied a suitable picnic trestle table, which formed a more than adequate stopping point for our coffee break.

Resuming the walk through the farmyard, a quartet of pups yapped at the top of their range causing the farmer’s wife to investigate what was occurring. Crossing three further fields interlinked by stiles, one of which needed the aid of a step stool to negotiate, which fortunately we just happened to have with us, ultimately allowed us to re-join Moss Lane, where we turned right.

Branching left we soon descended to the canal bank where we turned right and continued along the tow path to the next bridge situated on White Horse Lane. Here we re-joined the road and continuing to the A6, turning right back to our starting point.

Following the initial debate as to the quantifying of the word tad, in the context of the walk being a tad over 4.5miles, seemed to suggest that the scientific measuring implements at our disposal placed it squarely at 1 mile, and scattering, in the context of stiles equated to 11. Notwithstanding any of these jibes, we all agreed it had been a pleasant walk in good company and we were once again thankful to the organisers for their planning and encouragement in arranging such events for our mutual enjoyment.