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, May 12, 2007

Haslam Park, Preston

Haslam Park is easily accessed from Blackpool Road, near to the Lane Ends Pub in Ashton. Parking is available off Bristow Avenue. A nice alternative is to walk up to the park via the Lancaster Canal from the Ashton basin near Stocks Road.

Haslam park is a large Victorian influenced park which includes sports facilities, a huge open mown field, a lake, stream and wildflower meadows. The park is adjacent to the Lancaster Canal, providing an opportunity to extend your walk towards the Aston basin or towards Salwick if you wanted.

Much of the main area of the park is "open" in aspect which does make it slightly less interesting than the mix of wooded areas and fields provided by Hurst Grange or Avenham parks for example. Some areas of the park, the stream running through the park for example, looked as if they needed little more tender loving care but in general this is a nice well maintained park and worth a visit. The park gained "green flag" status in 2006/7.

Click here for a link to the Preston City Council pages on Haslam Park

Click here for a Google map / image

Doggy rating 6/10

Friday, May 11, 2007

Turton and Entwistle Reservoir

About half an hours drive from Preston just off the Darwen to Bolton Road lies Turton and Entwistle Reservoir. This is a fantastic place for a walk with woods, water, excellent paths and no stiles.

We've visited Turton and Entwistle Reservoir a few times. Each time we've parked on the Batridge Road Car park, well signposted as you descend towards Chapeltown. There are plenty of options for long and short walks from here. The "classic" walk follows an excellent path, suitable for buggies, round the edge of the reservoir. Much of the route provides direct access to woods`and water, with plenty of resting places along the way. It can get busy on a sunny day, as it was the first time we visited, but provides an almost completely off-lead walk for those dogs who you trust not to jump at fellow walkers when completed soaked from playing in the water. The trip round takes about an hour and a half.

Our last visit was on a wet and windy week day. This time we followed the various woodland trails to make a longer route round the reservoir, coming very close to Blackburn Road at our furthest point. This walk provide about three hours of off lead walking with only a few other people around for company.

Turton and Entwistle Reservoir is well worth a visit. You could combine with a trip to the nearby Strawberry Duck for lunch if you manage to find a seat!

Click here for Google map / image

Please note the signs asking you not to throw your poo bags over fences etc!

Doggy rating 8/10

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Hardcastle Crags, West Yorkshire

This walk lies about about an hours drive from Preston, near Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire, and is great when combined with a trip to Hebden Bridge and Haworth. Parking at the National Trust car park is currently £2.50 for three hours which isn't bad value. Free for Members of course.

The Hardcastle Crags National Trust estate has deep rocky ravines, tumbling streams and oak, beech and pine woods. Our walk began at the main car park and we walked up the gravelled road through the woods to Gibson Mill. The Bluebells put on a spectacular display so now (early May) is a great time to vist if you get chance.

At the mill we stopped for a while to enjoy cofee and excellent fudge and carrot cake in the sunshine and also had the chance to watch some glassblowing.

There are a number of options to extend the walk from the mill. The circular walk to the crags themselves is about two miles. Once back at the mill you can take the pleasant riverside woodland path back to the car park.

After a couple of hours at Hardcastle Crags we parked up in Hebden Bridge and gave the dog his first ever town shopping trip! He waited patiently outside most of the shops visited by Dogs Mum and then, after a trip to the Menagerie Pet and Garden Shop (on West End just off the main A646 by the river - a really friendly shop where dogs are welcome and treated to a variety of doggy goodies by the owners!) enjoyed watching us eat fish and chips on the park.

Our day was completed with a quick trip to Bronte Village at Haworth, which once again gave the dog a chance to practice his social skills walking through the lovely narrow streets near the Bronte Parsonage Museum before visiting the nearby Central Park.

The dog is now shattered and in his bed! A good time was had by all.

Click here for directions and information on Hardcastle Crags

Doggy rating 6/10. (8/10 for Dogs Mum and Dad!)

Friday, May 04, 2007

Moss Side Recreation Centre, Leyland

A network of cycle tracks, footpaths, fields and easy parking make this a good spot for a gentle stroll and a good off-lead run. The sports pitches on part of the site seem to be in very regular use so obviously bear that in mind if your dog loves a good game of football or rugby and as ever, clean up after your dog. Even if games are going on there are plenty of places to walk.

Moss Side Recreation Centre is tucked away a minute or so from Shleswig Way near the Dunkirk Hall pub. The Recreation Centre is well signed from Slater Lane.

Areas of grassland and establishing woodland next to the sports pitches make this a nice place for a run around. The network of good footpaths mean you can extend your walk in the local area if you choose to take in woodlands over towards Schleswig Way or walk along a wooded path to Ulnes Walton Lane in the other direction.

Click here for google map/image.

Doggy rating 5/10