Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Burscough to Maghull (April 2017)


A very early start for our penultimate walk from Burscough to Maghull on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.   We picked up where we left off last time at Burscough Bridge.  It was a bit chilly out on the canal at the beginning but we got warm walking.

Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Burscough

This stretch is predominantly rural with a scattering of small villages nearby including Halsall, Haskayne and from Lydiate it was built up as we were nearing Maghull,  It was certainly quiet but peaceful and we didn't see that many people on the tow path until the final mile or so to Maghull.  It was nice to see a few boats cruising on the canal.

Leeds and Liverpool Canal, between Burscough and Scarisbrick


We stopped at the lovely tearoom at Scarisbrick Marina for refreshments.  The marina is big and we saw a lot of narrow boats moored up.  We passed a few pubs at the beginning of the walk but it was morning when we passed and obviously not opened yet. 

Coffee stop at Scarisbrick Marina


A mile or so from the marina we reached Halsall Warehouse Bridge  and we stopped there for lunch.  There were a couple of sculptures including a "navvie"; depicting the canal's history along with a information board.  It isn't far where the first digging happened for the Leeds and Liverpool Canal during the 18th Century.   The site is known as Halsall Cutting.

Halsall Cutting, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

We soon stopped for a drink at the Ship Bridge Inn.  We chose to stop earlier than later because of the lack of pubs from there to the outskirts of Maghull.  The pub is pleasant with its "resident goose" looking inside the window!  The pub was busy with horse racing fans following on TV/personal devices the Grand National's Ladies Day races at Aintree - not far from here.

"Resident Goose" at the Ship Bridge Inn

We were concious about the time so we pushed on passing more flat open countryside until we reached Lydiate...the landscape became urban all of a sudden and reaching Maghull via its town centre including its pretty St Andrew's Church and we reached the station with very little time to spare for our train to Ormskirk.  It only took several minutes to reach Ormskirk and our connecting train to Burscough Junction was just 4 minutes!


Leeds and Liverpool Canal, near Lydiate

It was bizarre to see a single railway track at Ormskirk station with one half (platform one) for the Merseryrail trains and the other half for its Northern equivalents.   We felt that we were crossing an international border! I don't think many trains run regularly from Preston to Ormskirk, which is a contrast to the Maghull ones, however it served as a useful link for us to return to Burscough for our eventual train home which took longer with delays and a missed connection at Manchester Piccadilly. 


Approaching Maghull, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

We walked approximately 12.5 miles and my feet were killing me!  It was worth it for its rural scenery and peacefulness and Dad was particularly impressed for its rich variety of birds.  What stood out were the water reeds at the sides of the canal which blended in the surrounding landscape.  


Now we have just got our "Final Fling" to do plus a visit soon to Springs Branch in Skipton. 

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