We took an early morning trip to Fulwood today to explore some of the woodland close to 31a of the M6 at Fulwood. We managed to pull together a nice walk of about an hour, with a mix running off lead through the woods, public footpaths through farmland and the pretty driveway leading to Haighton House. There were a few stiles en-route but none that our spaniel couldn't negotiate or bypass thanks to his new found confidence following some agility training!
We began our walk on Fernyhalgh Lane near to the Anderton Arms, and walked through the first gate in to Hindley Hill Woods. A nice wide gravelled path led us through the woods, past fitness equipment, before forking right and down to a small footbridge over Savick Brook.
The path continued through the woods, and we kept straight on, until we came close to the M6 and headed left up the steep path adjacent to the Motorway. Of course it was noisy here, but the motorway itself is well fenced off. I did though put the dog back on the lead as a precaution.
After a few hundred yards we took the footbridge over the Motorway and down to a narrow grassy field. Our route here wasn't obvious but ahead and right of the stile took us to another stile and through open farmland to Ladyewell House. Within the grounds of the house lies an ancient sacred well of which I knew nothing before our walk. Thanks to "Virtuso" and her blog I now know some of the fascinating history of the well, and the plight of Fergus Maguire and his search for Fernyhalgh.
Our trail of discovery led us down past the Ladyewell and, emerging on to the lane leading to Haighton House, left along the lovely white fenced drive. Here, the motorway seemed a distant memory and it was hard to believe we were no more than five minutes walk from one of the busiest stretches of the M6 in the country.
Soon, the path forked right and over another small footbridge before we turned right towards Clock House Farm. A small and muddy path led us to the lane than runs past the farm, where turned right and then right again over another stile and across several fields back to Fernyhalgh Lane.
Overall, a good walk with plenty to keep you and your dog entertained. I'm sure we'll be back to explore some of the many other paths around here.
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Doggy rating 7/10