Midge Walkers

Walk No.  138

Burscough/Lathom 20-10-19

On the day following what was intended to be the final resolving of the Brexit situation, surprise surprise, the further continuation of the chaos continues. Notwithstanding, our cheerful band of 13 adults and young Thomas with his new go-faster boots, met at the Bull and Dog on the A59 just south of Burscough, ready for the off at 1.45 pm. Thomas’s Mum Vicky was joining us for the first time, and 5 year-old Thomas, would no doubt look after her.

Crossing the main road and following the sign towards the recycle centre, soon brought us to an unmanned rail crossing. We were told that looking to the left, were it not for the trees, would have revealed the ancient site of Burscough Priory, which had been founded in 1190 and dissolved in 1536, with some of the ruins still existing. Continuing along Abbey Lane past Abbeyfield Caravan Park led us to turn left into Blythe Lane, which we followed until reaching the Lathom boundary sign, where we branched right around the perimeter of a field leading us along the drive of Shakelady Hey, a somewhat strange looking breeze block built house, and left on to Sandy Lane.  Turning left into Cranes Lane, we soon passed Ormskirk Golf Club and continued to its junction with Hall Lane, which we crossed arriving at a memorial stone to 330,000 horses and mules which were imported during the First World War from South America for the haulage of heavy artillery and stabled in the area.

Further along the lane, the ancient Chapel of St John the Devine, dating back to 1758 was where we chose to have our coffee break. Attached to this picturesque well-kept site are a series of Alms houses and our route passed the front of these, channelling into a path and over a foot bridge, ultimately emerging back onto Hall Lane, where we turned right until arriving at a right-hand bend in the road, we turned left to skirt the perimeter of Watkinson’s Farm and cross another footbridge. Passing a series of fields with crops of potatoes and kale, brought us to Lady Alice’s Drive adjacent to Needless Inn Farm, where we turned right and followed the lane to its junction with Blythe Lane.

Crossing the road to the right, we took the drive to Warmrow Farm and followed a route down the side of a wall to the left, emerging into a wooded area (Mill Dam Woods) with a somewhat slippery path, which brought at least one of our members to their knees. The solitary stile on the route gave access to a field culminating in a kissing gate and leading to a cobbled drive. Crossing a rail bridge led us into Platt’s Lane at the top of which Liverpool Rd South, where on turning left, we returned to our starting point.

This had been a brilliant walk well researched by our leader of the day, Garry, to whom we are very grateful. Whilst being a little cool, the weather had been kind to us and we had all enjoyed the fresh air and exercise that the 5 mile distance had given.

Ray Lamb

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