The June Ramble – Dalton Lees
This is our third walk in the pleasant Douglas valley and it is always a pleasure to return here.
Starting from Parbold, our party of seven and two dogs headed east along the Leeds and Liverpool canal, noting the spur where the builders decided not to take the canal direct to Walton Summit but to extend it to the Wigan coal field and on to Bridge No. 39, where we left the tow-path and passed between converted farm buildings and noted a plaque that marked the site of the old Douglas Chapel. Our route now took us across fields, through Prior’s Wood Farm and on to quiet lanes, starting a steady climb, turning on to a rough track and eventually entering fields again, reaching a height of 350 feet. On this stretch, magnificent views opened up to the north, across the valley.
We were now about half way round and the climbing was behind us. Next, it was down Lees Lane, followed by a rough overgrown track, a little muddy in places which terminated at a small farm. Here we had a stop to have a look at two very noisy donkeys.
The next leg of the walk was through beautiful woodland, carpeted in flowers and following a brook. This is where we stopped for a leisurely lunch, one of the dogs enjoying a cooling dip in the brook.
Following lunch, we emerged from the woods and crossed a large field, the path finally meeting the River Douglas. Interestingly, the last time we were here, this field was actually about five separate fields and had been turned into prairie and planted with sweetcorn. A consequence of rocketing food prices, perhaps?
We were now at Apply Bridge, where we re-joined the canal for a pleasant stroll back to Parbold.
An enjoyable seven(ish) mile walk with plenty of variety and blessed with good weather and mostly dry under foot.
Linda & Eddie Grange