Looking to get out some fresh air but follow guidelines? Need something to cheer you up and set you up for the day? To do just that, we have sought out a secluded panoramic nearby walk. We have carefully chosen and tested a walk that keeps you away from the crowds and roads. Conveniently it also brings you back to the same starting point.
Getting to the Walk
From Winstanley, head down the 2 mile stretch, through Orrell. Go past the Delph Tavern towards the Beacon Country Park and continue to the centre of Dalton. You cannot miss it, as you will see St Michaels church directly on your right. You can park on Elmer’s Green Lane or turn sharp left at the church onto Beacon Lane.
Start to Ashurst’s Beacon
Head down along Higher Lane with the church on your right. Take the first track on your right down a footpath, parallel to the entrance road to Ashurst Hall.
You will pass the grounds of the church on your right and Ashurst Hall on your left. The Hall has since been rebuilt. Only the original entrance way dating back to the 14th century castle edifice remains. It was the home of Sir William Ashurst who built the Beacon in 1798 that you will pass at the summit of your walk.
Continue past the restored Columbarium (dovecot) and fisherman’s pond on your right. Continue straight ahead to enter an ascending tree lined path in front of you until you reach the edge of the woods. Bear to the right and head up the hill. You will see the monument through the trees as you get closer.
From the beacon you will see panoramic views in all directions. It is 570ft above sea level and has a full 360 degree view. See the Lake District, Snowdonia, the Pennines, the Peak District and the Cheshire Plains as well as stunning views of Liverpool
The beacon built by Lord Skelmersdale (Sir William Ashurst) was part of a national chain erected to warn of any impending invasion from Napoleon. It was presented to Wigan Council in 1962 as a civic amenity.
Now you are at the top get your breath back. Take a look at the smaller Dalton memorial built in 1994 to spot some of the distant locations. Including Ormskirk church some 5.5 miles away and even as far as the Isle of Man 84 miles away on a clear day.
Ashurst’s Beacon to Atherton’s Farm
Having taken in the views time to move forward. Use the beacon and monument as a straight line behind you follow a north easterly direction down towards the woods. Roughly in the direction of Pendle Hill as shown on the monument. The trail leads to a walled corner where you need to go over a stile.
Head down the slope with the fence on your right (about 10 metres from you). Continue down the wooded field to a footbridge..
Follow a hedged brook on the left. The track bears right before you arrive at a small lane. Go straight over the road along the path with views of rolling tree lined fields towards Winter Hill on your left.
At the colourful signs on the telegraph pole head down the tarmac access path to Atherton’s Farm. Next, the footpath skirts around the right hand side of the farm yard. Hills going up to horse fields on your right. Open views over Wigan on your left.
From Atherton’s Farm, to Bangham’s Farm
Progress through two further stiles to arrive at a wooded brook. Then cross over the brook before you head back up.
From here, bear left down a wide track for a quarter of a mile. Look out for a narrow path in the dip that re-crosses the stream. Follow it. In Spring the dip is swathed in blue bells,
Once over the stream, go through the gate, then along the track towards Bangham’s Farm. Skirt the left side of the farmyard before you emerge on to Back Lane.
From Bangham’s Farm to Dalton Lees
Cross across the lane, with an interesting water curio on the left. No prizes for correctly guessing its purpose I’m afraid! Follow the track over three stiles and you will reach another wooded stream. On your right you will have stunning views of Parbold Hill. Look for the Wigan Tree.
Go down a zig zag path to cross the stream using the footbridge. Cross the open field to the far side. When you arrive at a footbridge and stile, do not cross it. Instead, amble along the path of the fence and you will reach another tree lined brook. Head right and follow its edge, over a stile. Follow the clear downhill path through Dalton Lees.
From Dalton Lees to the Finish of your Secluded Panoramic Nearby Walk
You will end up on Hillock Lan. Turn left, then immediately right on the tarmac drive to Rookery Cottage. Follow the path to the left and over a stile at the back of the cottage (or should that be secluded mansion!). Carry on along the edge of the field to cross your final stream. Go over the stile towards Rookery Farm. It will bring you out at Dungeon Lane.
From hear turn left and head back up to Dalton centre and the church. Please be considerate to any locals if you pass due to the current circumstances. One last chance to look out over the West Lancs coastline as you take off your muddy boots at the car. Don’t forget a change of footwear!
Final Thoughts on a Secluded Panoramic Nearby Walk
The walk is approximately 4 miles and ascends and descends 350 feet (107 metres). Due to the recent heavy rains and snow, I would strongly recommend waterproof walking boots or decent wellingtons at the moment. Previously I have done the walk in spring when training shoes would have been fine. I did the walk on a weekday at 11:30 am and only encountered two other walkers on the whole route.
The walk is also ideal for those wanting to take their dog. However walkers are requested to keep pets on a lad for a good portion of the walk due to farm livestock.
My only gripe? I wish the Delph Tavern, Copper Tap or Wayfarers had been open for a decent pint and meal after!
Next week we will bring you another local walk to keep things fresh.
Enjoy and please stay safe.