December Ramble – The Preston Guild Wheel
The Guild Wheel was a project to commemorate the 2012 Preston Guild and the object of the exercise was to join together a collection of pathways to provide a twenty one mile circular route of a good standard, for walkers and cyclists around Preston.
For our walk, we decided to concentrate on the best part of the route, taking in a length of the River Ribble. We started by catching the ‘bus from Longridge to the Crematorium from where we started the walk, along the pretty driveway from which a path led off into Red Scar Woods , followed by a steep descent into the river valley. From here, we entered the Lancashire Wildlife Reserve at Brockholes where squirrels were running around and a solitary buzzard soared overhead. The path now wandered through a series of small lakes, popular with fishermen and we later decided to stop to have a look at a new hide. Apparently, the original was soon demolished by local vandals, so it was replaced by this hefty steel structure that would have survived WW3.
We now arrived at the river and a vote was taken as to whether we lunched at the centre or continue on to Avenham Park. As our performance had been quite brisk up to now, we decided to go straight to the park, along a wide pathway which passed under the M6, the A59 at Brockholes Brow and later crossed the busy A6 via a pedestrian crossing. Along this section, we encountered a small cart, pulled by a Shetland Pony and further along the path, we were passed by a group of cyclists from behind. During the walk, the cyclists were quite courteous, despite recent reports in the local press, but these were a little different, the first one rode a Victorian “Sit up and beg”, closely followed by a Penny-Farthing!
We were now entering Preston, along the Boulevard and were soon in Avenham Park and on to Miller Park for our scenic lunch stop. The Bolton group were genuinely impressed with the parks and two of us recounted our experiences of the park displays during the 1952 Guild.
All we had to do now was to cross the town to the ‘bus station and home, but on the way we gave a history tour to the ‘‘Foreigners.”
This was our first experience of the Guild Wheel and we were all quite impressed with it. The paths were in good shape and easy to follow, thanks to good signage. Now, how about doing the whole 21 miles on our bikes!
Linda & Eddie Grange