Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Thursday 14 September 2023

Wednesday 13 September 2023 - Rufford and Mere Sands Wood

It has been a while since I ventured into Deepest Lancashire for one of Mark Sutcliffe's walks, and I've a long way to go to catch up with BC, who was here in March last year. (See here.) He offers more details than me.

A latte outside the Brasserie generated approval for parking outside for a couple of hours.

The walk starts past St Mary's Church. Given I only wanted a morning's walk, I didn't attempt to gain entry, nor did I visit the National Trust property, Rufford Old Hall, nearby. I saved that for when Sue can join me - she was at work today.

The Leeds & Liverpool Canal was looking very pretty in the bright sunshine, with good reflections.

After a while, weeds/lilies could be seen to be encroaching, but the canal is perfectly navigable. I left the towpath by crossing over swing bridge number 9 and heading to the main A59 road.

The canal heads north from here towards its terminus, from where a paddle boarder was approaching - can you spot them in the distance?

Soon a turn down Sandy Lane saw the route passing through fields of healthy looking crops.

... and a few weeds...

Prickly Sowthistle

In a corner of a field of lettuce a narrow footbridge led into Mere Sands Wood Nature Reserve.

There's a large pond and a viewing hide as you walk around the perimeter of the reserve to the Visitor Centre. No wildlife today as it was all disturbed by Rangers enjoying a bonfire of unwanted vegetation.

I found a large unidentified Shelf Fungus.

I could pretend that I saw all these 'Sightings', but I have to admit to missing a few of them...

I enjoyed a picnic outside the visitor centre, which is not the prettiest I've seen.

Mere Sands Wood is proud of its trees, and the ongoing walk around the perimeter of the reserve is very pleasant.

On leaving the reserve, my path followed a dyke past a pristine cricket pitch. I'd have paused here for a while had they been playing, but I had to rely on England's thrashing of New Zealand in the third ODI for today's dose of cricket.

The path switched to the right of the dyke and ran, partly on a springy boardwalk, all the way back to the A59 road.

A few metres along the road, and another swing bridge gave access to the canal towpath.

Finally, past the Marina and on to the road bridge and return to the Boathouse Brasserie to collect the car and set off on the hour's drive home.

Here's today's route - 10.5km, 30 metres ascent, taking a little over 2 hours. A fine little outing.


bowlandclimber said...

You picked a good day for that little round.
The nature reserve was a pleasant surprise.

AlanR said...

That’s a nice morning outing. So much wildlife on that board, incredible.

Phreerunner said...

One advantage of not planning in advance - I could choose the best day for a walk at very short notice. The disadvantage was that I was on my own, though at times that can be an advantage and allow for meandering diversions...