Last week I managed to take a day away from the computer when the weather forecast looked reasonable. Time to get out for a walk! I’m still restricting myself to local walks from the doorstep, mainly up through the Plantations or nearby lanes. I fancied a longer route so had a think about where I might go and decided to head up to Worthington Lakes, a chain of small reservoirs. It’s always good to include an amble beside a stretch of water during a walk.
It stayed dry throughout the walk, with some sunny spells, but it was largely a grey day and the light was very flat and not so good for photos. Still,it was good to get out for a long stretch of the old legs.
The first part of my route took me along the Dougie and then through the Lower Plantations
I took the steps up to the Alms Houses
across the field
down Hall Lane and on to Wingates Road
before walking up Sennicar Lane towards the canal – it was starting to cloud over now.
Reaching the canal, I decided to carry up the track
as far School Lane
and then walk back down Pendlebury Lane towards the canal. On a fine day, looking over the fields, you can see as far as the Lake District Fells, but not today.
Just before the canal I truned right and took the path towards Red Rock. I crossed the road and then took the track heading north beside the old house
It’s dated 1734, but has clearly been extended a few times.
Following the narrow Lane I reached an isolated terrace of old cottages
where I stopped for a brief chat with one of the residents – making sure we kept our distance, of course. The small houses were originally miners cottages and, although there’s no evidence of it now in what is a very pleasnt rural area, there were a number of mines around here in the past.
I took a narrow path beside the end cottage and, after a short distance, reached the canal where there was a quay where coal from the nearby pits was loaded onto barges
The path carried on along the canal, crossing a bridge over the disused Whelley Loop Line (now a cyle path) and on through pleasant woodland
I crossed over Arley Bridge
Which took me to Wigan Golf Club – a path crosses the course over to Arley Woods, passing the moated Gothic Revival style house which is now the Clubhouse
Despite a plaque above the elaborate doorway proclaiming a date of 1367, the present house is mainly a Victorian reconstruction. But there has been a house on the site since the 14th Century and the site, with it’s moat, has been designated as a Scheduled Monument.
There were ducks and Black Swans swimming on the water – I took a snap but it didn’t come out that good as I was zooming in with my phone camera
Black Swans are native to South West Australia not South West Lancashire, so they’re clearly not native. But they’ve had Black Swans here for as long as I can remember.
I crossed the course – no need to worry about getting hit with a flying golf ball as it’s closed due to the Lockdown – and entered Arley Wood.
The path down the hill to the Dougie was steep and slippery but I managed to keep my feet
I crossed over the bridge on to the other side of the Dougie, and then it was a short walk up a muddy path to the Reservoirs
The string of three small reservoirs are known as Worthington Lakes and the area is a Country Park. They were constructed between 1860 and 1867 to provide drinking water for Wigan. the water is taken from the River Douglas, although the river itself runs underneath the reservoirs through a tunnel.
I set off and circumnavigated the reservoirs along the lakeside path.
The sun even emerged for a while
The top end of the top lake has been designated as a Nature Reserve, so access is restricted.
have done a full circuit of the lakes I went back into Arley Wood
and then took the path up to the path heading north through fields
with a view over to Rivington Pike, Winter Hill and Anglezarke
After passing a renovated farmhouse and a group of expensive houses, I turned down a path that wound back down to the Dougie
I crossed over the bridge and then took a steep, muddy and slippery path up to the canal
I took the towpath back to Arley bridge and then decided to get off the muddy path and take a diversion down the tarmaced road through the Golf Course
passing Arley Hall again
I followed the road through the course and eventually emerged by the canal at Red Rock. I rejoined the towpath, walking past the boats and narrowboats moored up on the canal bank.
At the end of the moorings I carried on along the towpath which was extremely muddy, so I left the canal bank at the next bridge and headed down Pendlebury Lane.
Joining Wingates Road, I passed Brockmill Cottages which were built in 1821 and are Listed Buildings
Just after the cottages I turned right and crossed over the Dougie (yet again!) and took the path up Brock Mill Lane. I reckon this old, partially cobbled path would have been used by workers walking to and from the forge at Brock Mill and Haigh Foundry that used to be located further down Wingates Road.
At the top of the Lane I reached the main road. I walked along past the Cherry Gardens
and then on to the Entrance to the old Haigh Hall estate (now Haigh Woodland Park)
down the drive
and then on along the path above the Dougie through the woods back towards home.
It had been a fair walk – 15 miles in total – through pleasant countryside and with some local industrial history.