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)