Today's walk took us to the small village of Bretherton where we enjoyed a lovely walk of about 4 miles in the afternoon sunshine. There are though a couple of awkward stiles en-route and, largely due to our poor navigation and route planning, we ended up with half a mile or so of walking along a rather bust road. The sites are unavoidable but with a little care, and a slightly longer route, you can certainly avoid the road section.
We began near the old Corn Mill on Marl Cop, taking a signed footpath leading east between houses. Here, we soon suffered our first error, turning right and skirting the edge of the cricket pitch before emerging back on to South Road. With more care you can carry on along the footpath, extending the route but avoiding any road walking but it wasn't to be for us, and with a cricket match in progress we didn't dare retrace our steps over the beautifully manicured outfield!
We subsequently endured a relatively short stretch of road walking (mainly but not all with pavement) to reach the bridge over the river Lostock at Bretherton Road. Happily, we climbed the stile on the right and then enjoyed a couple of miles of great riverside walking, all off lead, before reaching the "Red Bridge". Past walks have taken us here and yet again we were left wondering why the bridge is painted green.
Turning right on the quiet lane we joined another footpath which led over uncultivated fields, which seem to have been left fallow as a haven for wildlife. Not being a twitcher I couldn't tell you what birds we saw, but there were many, as well as one of the largest hares I've ever seen! There was no obvious path and without some kind of navigation aid (our trusty i8910 didn't let us down here) we'd never have found our way out of the field. We soon found a small footbridge though and headed towards woodlands near Eyes Lane.
The route was completed with a spell of walking along lovely quiet lanes and back through the village. Other than the botched start, a lovely walk and definitely one we'll do again.
Click here for google map
Doggy rating 6/10 (because of the awkward stiles, otherwise good)