The January Ramble – Haskayne
Haskayne is a small village between Ormskirk and Southport located on the Leeds & Liverpool canal. Over the years, we have walked many miles along the towpaths of this canal but this is probably as far to the west as we have been, some fourteen miles from the centre of Liverpool.
Starting from the Ship Inn, our party of five and two dogs headed west along the canal. The dogs immediately spotted two ducks’ and gave chase. The ducks took flight and landed on the frozen canal with a very impressive skid. After a mile or so, we left the canal at the Scarisbrick Arms Hotel. This large and well-known pub is now closed and boarded up, like so many these days.
After a short road section, we entered the fields of Smithy Farm, followed by Tanpit Farm. The day was bitterly cold and frosty, but very pleasant for walking with clear views throughout. Leaving the fields behind, we started a steady climb along narrow, quiet lanes to reach the Gorse Hill Nature Reserve and our lunch stop at a convenient seat. This vantage point is about three hundred feet high, quite high for this part of the world and providing splendid views.
After a leisurely lunch, we descended the hill and entered prairie country. The fields around here are enormous and devoted to the growing of vegetables, particularly kale and other cabbage types. Thanks to numerous drainage dykes, this part of the walk was pleasantly mud free. Another road section, followed by more fields led us back to the canal and on to the Ship Hotel.
A pleasant walk in good weather and particularly suitable for the middle of what appears to be an unusually cold winter.
Linda & Eddie Grange