688 Appley Bridge to Ashurst Beacon

It is rather faded now, but approaching Ashurst Beacon a Lancashire footpath notice warns of a bridge with a missing handrail. "BARE LEFT" its says. Fortunately the bridge still retains one solid handrail and presents no problem, whether or not you remain properly dressed. Then you arrive at Ashurst Beacon, one of a chain built in 1798 to warn of any French invasion. The view stretches across six counties to the Isle of Man. Napoleon never came, but now the Douglas Valley has an Indian intruder, for Himalayan balsam covers the hillsides. This walk is particularly attractive in autumn when you walk for much of the way beneath an orange canopy and, to our surprise, we encountered only half a dozen other people. That is until we reached the Leeds Liverpool Canal where, every fifty yards, a fisherman sat hunched over his rod. And though often the rod stretched right across the path, each fisherman, with a cheerful grin, moved his rod for us or a passing narrowboat.

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LOCATION: 4 miles north west of Wigan
START: Appley Bridge Station, roadside parking near station
Grid ref: SD524093 Postcode: WN6 9AY
DISTANCE: 8 miles
GRADE: Moderate
TIME: 4 hours
MAP: Explorer OL - Southport & Chorley Landranger 108
EN ROUTE: River Douglas, Leeds Liverpool Canal, Roby Mill, Walthew Green, Dean Wood, Dean Locks

This walk was originally published by
The Manchester Evening News

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