Midge Walkers

Walk  No. 121

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Worthington Lakes

Following the bout of good weather experienced over June and July, the weekend of 11th/12th August had returned to what we are more used to, with almost a full day’s rain on the Saturday and hints of the same threatened for the Sunday. The afternoon of our walk was overcast, but warm enough to enable us to move without the need of too much excess clothing. A similar walk around this area had been undertaken by the group way back in 2012.

Eleven adults assembled in the car park and after delaying our start to facilitate potential late comers, set off at 2.20pm. The route kept us to the left of the reservoirs, along a well-maintained path. Water from these lakes is used as a supply for Wigan, albeit levels were noted, not unsurprising to be considerably lower than normal. After passing the third of the three we crossed a stile and subsequently a metal footbridge to enter a woodland path which skirted us around the perimeter of the bottom lake.

Despite a couple of slight wrong turnings, the route through the woods took us, via a footbridge, over the River Douglas to emerge in due course on the bank of the Leeds Liverpool canal where we turned right along the tow path. Passing over a viaduct which carried the canal over a disused rail line, we continued until reaching a gap in the hedge brought us on to the road towards Wigan Golf Club (Arley Rd), which after following for a short distance, and yielding to cries to have a pause, we stopped in a sort of builder’s yard for our coffee break.

Resuming the walk, the route through the golf course, brought us to the club house, formerly Arley Hall built in 1898 and surrounded by a 12th century moat. Turning left, the path entered Arley Woods and descended to a footbridge where we again crossed the River Douglas and continued to regain the route around the opposite side of the lakes.

Crossing the banking at the end of the reservoir with the filtration beds and general works to our left, the path continued past an appropriately named house called Waterside, and returned us to our original starting point at 4.45p.m.

The weather had been kind to us and the walk had been punctuated with points of interest. The technical equipment at our disposal revealed a distance of just under 4 miles and all attendees expressed appreciation to the organiser for again providing a pleasant afternoon for the wider benefit of all.