I read somewhere on the Internet that if Parbold Hill were a dog, it would be a Yorkshire Terrier, not big, but surprisingly tough. With that in mind we took a short trip down the M6 for this afternoon's walk through Fairy Glen and up Parbold Hill.
Our route began at the laybay on the A5209 between Wrightington and Parbod. After crossing the busy road with care the entrace to Fairy Glen was well signed, and we followed the woodland footpath beside Sprodley Brook. The Glen is designated as a Biological Heritage Site for its ancient woodland of oak, birch, ash and alder and the brook as carved quite impressive waterfalls and cliff faces through its length. The dog was happy enough to wander through the woods, taking the odd paddle in the brook, before the woodland path came to an end with steps leading to a dog friendly stile.
Our route became a little more difficult at that point. With the dog safely on the lead we crossed a muddy field where we met another dog walker who informed us that we'd be up to our knees in mud a little further on. She wasn't far wrong and some minor acrobatics were needed to avoid large muddy pools before our path climed steeply to the top of Parbold Hill opposite the Wiggin Tree.
Resisting the temptation to buy a Mr Whippy from the parked ice cream van we admired the views for a while instead, before following the road for a short distance back to our starting point.
Our route was a couple of miles, but there are lots of footpaths around to give a longer walk. Although it was muddy and rough in parts, the climb up Parbold Hill was soon over and not difficult. Once you've left Fairy Glen the walk is mainly on lead, but enjoyable all the same. Beware some high and unfenced cliffs and old loose coils of barbed wire on the path to the top of Parbold Hill.
Click here for West Lancashire District Council's site with a map of Fairy Glen.
Doggy rating 6/10