Visiting Cuerden Valley Park usually means a trip in the car but today we decided to leave the (unreliable) car behind and follow the old railway lines from Preston Junction.
Our route started near the Old Tram Road at Factory Lane, where we followed the tree lined disused railway lines past the Lostock Hall Gas Works,crossing Todd Lane North, towards Brownedge Road. The field near the gas cylinders gave a chance for our usual game of fetch but today the dog was on the lead along the old railway line. The dog was disappointed not to be able to paddle in the frozen ponds near Todd Lane, but enthusiastically pulled endlessly on his lead until we reached the end of the line at Brownedge Road.
Crossing Brownedge Road, through the underpass and right beside Bamber Bridge Football Club we rejoined the cycle track for a short but grim stretch of path next to reclamation yards and depots. Razor wire, graffiti and litter were in abundance and at one point we both jumped as a huge Rottweiler guard dog lept snarling to the fence. Undeterred, and thankful of the solidity of the fence, we continued past Matalan and followed the path alongside the River Lostock before emerging near the lovely thatched Ye Olde Hob Inn at Bamber Bridge.
A short walk along the road and over the busy A6 junction led us to the entrance to Cuerden Valley Park, where the dog played contentedly with his ball for half an hour or so before we retraced our steps to home.
Our route was about five miles. A round trip from Avenham would be about six, plus whatever distance you clock up in Cuerden Valley Park itself.
Other than one short stetch, of no more than a few hundred yards, this is a pleasant walk and worth the effort if you want to keep your carbon footprint low for a day.
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Doggy rating 7/10