A bit late posting this one. Sundays walk took us along a nice flat(ish) stretch of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Wheelton, near Chorley.
We parked up near the Malthouse Farm pub (lots of parking) off Moss Lane, Wheelton. A short walk down the lane led us to the canal towpath and we walked expectantly towards the locks of Johnsons Hillock, a placed that I've meant to visit for some time.
Unfortunately, as we appoached the bottom locks I noticed the builders fencing, blocking the towpath and our route forward. For now at least, our planned route forward up the towpath was on hold! Not to be deterred, we found a way on a path over the canal and on to Dark Lane. A footpathless walk led us up the hill and left back to rejoin the canal further up the flight of locks.
A very pleasant walk passed the top locks, the inviting Top Lock pub (must pay a trip sometime) and the many moored canal boats of Wheelton Boat Club. The towpath continues with views over the River Lostock and onwards past Withnell Fold nature reserve. The Reserve was close due to unstable trees after the recent storms but we made a mental note to return here.
On reaching the M65 we did an about turn and retraced our steps, through numerous hail storms, to the car. Despite the weather there were plenty of people about, including quite a few roving pike fisherman (we saw them catch one). The towpath past the boat club provides plenty of off-lead opportunities.
Click here for a Google map / image
Click here for some pictures of the area from the excellent geograph website
All in all, a nice walk and one we'll come back to many times I'm sure.
Doggy rating 7/10