Garstang, Lancashire Sunday 8th January 2011

Today’s Walks

Strenuous Leader: Dennis Cookson   Distance: 11.5 – 12 miles

A linear walk starting from Brock. Crossing the railway line and the M6 the first two miles are in an easterly direction along the River Brock. At Walmsley Bridge we head in a northerly direction across farmland through Calder Vale passing Cobble Hey and Peacock Hill en route to our lunch-time stop, Grizedale Lea Reservoir. After lunch the footpath passes the radio masts at 218 metres, the highest point of our walk. From here we get good views of the Lancashire coastline. The gradual descent to Garstang takes us back across the railway and the motorway to the ruins of the castle on the edge of Garstang. Now only a short walk for a welcome cuppa.
On the recce it was very muddy in places!

Moderate Leader: Jackie Gudgeon   Distance: 9 miles

After a short walk along the River Wyre we join a lane, which merges into track and then footpath, and takes us over the railway and motorway, followed by a steady uphill climb through farmland, then down into Calder Vale. We will walk through this interesting mill village to emerge onto the road at Oakenclough. From here we pass the radio masts near to Barnacre Reservoir, following tracks and field paths to Burns Farm, from where we have lanes and tracks back to the River Wyre, which we will follow back into Garstang.
A fairly equal mix of quiet lanes and farmland (which will be very muddy!). There are one or two lane options we can take in the latter stages of the walk if the going underfoot has been particularly bad.

Leisurely Leader: Margaret Black & Steve Balenski   Distance: 7.5 miles

A short walk through the town will bring us to a disused railway track which crosses over the River Wye and leads to the pathway over the main railway line and M6. Then, with some intermittent level stretches, we continue with a very gradual walk uphill, across the farmland to the village of Calder Vale, stopping by the river for lunch. Retracing our way through the village, we descend back to Garstang with a mixture of farmland and some road walking, via the hamlet of Barnacre and, conditions permitting, Lady Hamiltons Well – it may be too wet. Expect plenty of wooden stiles, some mud and some very pleasant views along the way.
On the recce we found much of the farmland to feel quite spongy underfoot despite it appearing firm.

Easy Leader: Derek Lee   Distance: 5 miles

We start by following the riverside Millenium Green for the first mile before turning east and rising some 150 feet in over a mile up to the M6, almost all on firm surfaces. Then on footpaths shadowing the M6 south which could be noisy and muddy – if it’s very muddy we could use a road instead which would be half a mile longer. At Turner’s Farm we cross the M6 again and drop down to the canal on a mostly firm surface farm track before following the canal towpath back to town.