Keep safe!

Keep safe!
You are responsible for your own safety and that of your dog. The walks listed in this blog are not detailed guides. Plan your route! Click the landrover image for safety advice from Bowland Pennine MRT.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Longton Marshes and the Ribble

Flat but potentially very muddy walking with three 4ft stiles which you'll need to lift your dog over. Loads of off lead opportunities but watch for livestock, wildlife, potentially harmful litter and men with guns! Walk until you've had enough and retrace your steps. It takes about 1.5-2 hours to reach a spot opposite Preston docks so I'd guess about 2.5 hours would see you in central Preston.

Link to map and Longton details

Inspired by the abortive attempt to cycle from Penwortham to the Dolphin at Longton listed in the Save the Ribble Blogspot by Reigh Belisama, todays walkies was a trip from the Dolphin, up towards Penwortham and back again.

Start at the Dolphin pub in Longton (lots of parking on the road in winter but I bet it gets busy in summer) and head off down the lane to a stile with a dog friendly gate. Once you're up on the Levy you get a great view of the marshes and you can let your four legged chum off for a good run round.

When you're ready to move on, go over the stile by the gate on the left (smaller dogs can get under it) and walk on top of or below the Levy. Apart from the huge amount of litter washed up here it's quite pleasant but watch your dog closely to make sure he/she doesn't pick up any undesirable objects.

At the end of the Levy turn right (inland) and over a couple of very very muddy stiles. If it's wet you'll very covered in mud and slurry and wondering if you'll ever see the Ribble by this stage but it does get better!

Follow the path across a field with inquisitive sheep (I thought they were supposed to be afraid of dogs) and on to the main Levy which runs alongside the Ribble all the way up to Penwortham. This is pleasant walking with a good view of the river and surrounding countryside. Again, there's a lot of rubbish at the bottom of the Levy which slightly spoilt the walk and meant that we stayed on top rather than on a wet looking path beside the river.

After an hour and a half or so we reached a spot opposite the Millennium Ribble link and had views of Preston docks. We weren't inspired to carry on all the way (one for a sunny day) so retraced our steps. I'd love to see a narrowboat try to navigate the Ribble in summer.

Dog and Dogs Dad have rarely been so dirty after a walk. Be warned!

Doggy rating 5/10 (would have been more but you've got to watch like a hawk because of all the litter by the river)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Worden Park, Leyland

Gentle walking through a mix of open fields and woodland paths. Loads of off-lead opportunities in this dog friendly park which was rated by dog wardens as one of the top 10 favourite places for dog walks in the UK.

Park in the main car park and give your dog a good run in the large field on the left as you face the park. This area is well away from kids play areas and football pitches so is dog friendly even on the busiest days.

Walk towards the miniture railway tracks (watch for trains!) and bear left beside the tracks to a path above the woodlands and then go down to the riverside path through the trees. Follow the track past numerous follies and bridges for half a mile or so and eventually you'll come out of the woods into open space near the football pitches.

Worden park has loads of football pitches so if matches are on best to keep your dog on the lead. It goes without saying that you should not allow you dog to foul the pitches! If there are no matches you can walk right round the edge of the park, past an excellent fenced off childrens play area, and back onto another area of great open space near the car park.

If the weather is nice, rest a while to watch the steam trains and enjoy the atmosphere. There's lots to see.

There is a doggy shower by the car park but at the time of writing this it was a bit grotty and to be honest I wouldn't bother!

Overall, a good place to spend an hour or two but to be honest it wouldn't be in my top ten of places to go.

Map and further information

Doggy rating 6/10

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Photographs of The River Ribble from Save the Ribble Campaign

The Save the Ribble campaign is an interesting and worthy blog, well worth a visit.

Save The Ribble: Photographs of The River Ribble - Greenbelt Under Threat.

The Tramway and River Ribble

A great walk amazingly close to Preston City Centre. Some off lead opportunities but watch for livestock and cycles. Lots of routes to choose from. Easy access to many parts.

This suggested route takes about 2 hours but you can make it shorter.

Our walk started near Leyland Road and down the footpath next to the Railway track at Skew Bridge (where Leyland road crosses the railway line). Decend through a very muddy (after rain) field and past the farmyard (yes there is a farm within a mile or so of the city centre) and right onto Factory Lane. Follow the road to the Tramway and at the junction look for the steep steps leading down through the trees on the right.

Cross the stile (medium size dogs will go under no problem) and follow a footpath leading past the water treatment works and onwards to the access road. Turn left before you cross the bridge over the Ribble tributary (river Calder) and follow the riverside path to the footbridge which leads accross the Ribble to Avenham park.

A trip over the bridge to Avenham park gives a good off-lead opportunity and a rest for you!

Retrace your steps over the bridge and follow the hard surfaced old tramway back to the junction with factory lane. Rather than return via Factory Lane, if you still feel energetic, you can carry on up the tramway to Wateringpool Lane (bear off left and under the bridge) and cut through St Cuthberts Road and Marina Grove back to Leyland Road.

One thing to bear in mind is that this whole landscape could change if Preston City Council and South Ribble Borough Council go ahead with proposals to develop the area, building a marina on the Ribble itself.

Lots of information and photos on the great Save the Ribble blog

Doggy rating 7/10

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Cuerden Valley Park

A great place for dogs and walkers. Lots of off lead opportunities but watch out for livestock in the fields and cyclists on the cycle track that runs through the park.

Start at the Barn visitors centre and walk through the Pinetum to the sundial. Follow a fenced path to the river and spend a while in the open space that seems to act as a doggy meeting place for dogs of all ages and sizes. Once your dog has run themselves ragged walk up the steps to the lake and onwards to a gate leading to fields and green wood. Follow the path through Green Wood and eventually back accross the field to Gravel Hole Woods. Walk back along the river (swimming and paddling opportunities - beware if you don't want a wet dog!) and retrace your steps to the car park.

Very close to the M6 and ideal for a stop-off if you're travelling.

Map and website

Doggie rating 8/10

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A stroll round the lanes off Leyland Road

About 40 minutes gentle stroll. Flat lane walking. Maybe some traffic so keep your dog on a lead.

Today was just a gentle post op walk. Start on Leyland Road, walk down Flag lane over the railway bridge and past the stables. Turn right down Lords lane and right again at the end of the road to take you to Bee Lane. This brings you back to Leyland Road.

A very gentle walk in a semi-rural location.

Doggie rating 5/10

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A quick stroll down Bee Lane

About 20 minutes. Flat lane walking. Some traffic so lead advised.

Start at the roundabout on the junction of Leyland Road, The Causey (leading to the new estates by the gas works) and Bee Lane.

A pleasant stroll up Bee Lane, in a semi rural environment, amazingly close to the Centre of Preston and some large housing estates. Poo bin is provided at the crossroads about half a mile down the lane.

Doggy rating 4/10