One of my favourite walks from my front door that has helped to keep me sane over this last year of Hokey Covid takes me through the bottom of the Plantations and along a couple of lanes that run parrallel to each other running west to east to the north of the Haigh Woodland Park. There are several ways to vary the route, but whichever way I go takes me through a variety of terrain and landscape with, on a clear day, views of “blue remembered hills”.
Last Tuesday started off grey, cold and claggy, but by midday the clag had cleared and it had developed into a fine early Spring afternoon so I decided to take a break from sitting at the computer in my home office and get out for some fresh air.
At the bottom of our street I’m soon into the woodland on the path that runs along the Dougie
and which takes me into Haigh Woodland Park
I climbed onto the higher path that runs parrallel to the river – the lower path is always flooded and extremely muddy these days since they built the dam further down the river as a flood prevention measure
then I climbed up the steps, leaving the woods, up to the old Georgian Alms houses
Known as the Receptacle, they were built in 1772 and are now a listed building. They’ve been converted into threee very desirable residences. This photo in the Wigan Council archive shows the residents who lived in the receptacle in 1889.
I turned on to Hall Lane, passing Rose Cottage
and then turned onto Wingates Road. At the start of the lane, looking down to the left, I could see the remains of Haigh Foundry which used to produce steam engines and other iron castings. It closed in 1884 but there are a number of business located on part of the site, included a small iron foundry.
I carried down the quiet lane
reaching this gated community of posh modern houses. They’re built on the site of Brock Mill which I rember as the location of the printing works for the local paper. Previously it was the site of an forge which had been the subject of some industrial espionage by a Sweedish metalugist back in the mid 18th Century.
Across the road there’s a much more interesting building – the Brock Mill cottages, another listed building, constructed in 1821
Just past the cottages I turned right to head up Sennicar Lane
After passing a small group of houses the lane took me past farmland
I crossed the canal
and carried on uphill along the lane, passing the group of white cottages
At the top of the lane, I turned left and walked a short distance along School Lane.
The daffodils were out – a sure sign of the strat of Spring
I turned left and started to head down Pendlebury Lane. I stopped to look across the fields. On a clear day you can see the Lakeland fells on the horizon – Black Comb, the Coniston fells and the Langdales. Not today, alas. However, something moving on the ground caught my eye – it was a lapwing. I stopped to watch it and was then treated to the sight of a second bird swooping a dancing low in the sky above the field crying out, making it’s characteristic “pee wit” call. It was a joy to watchand lifted my spirits. A definite sign of Spring.
Yesterday I was back walking a variation of this route and again was treated to the sight of lapwings from the other side of the same field.
I carried on down the lane
passing the old converted barns and farmhouse. Expensive houses today but what a great place to live – in the countryside but only 3 miles or so from teh town centre.
Reaching the canal I took a snap back up to the old farmhouse
I crossed the canal just as a barge was emerging from under the bridge
I carried on down the Lane. On Saturday as I walked down here I could hear the distinctive bubbling cry of a curlew. Soon it came closer and two curlews flew over the lane just ahead of me. Another treat!
I walked past the small stables and collection of houses and carried on along the tree lined lane
After a while I was back at the Brock Mill Cottages
I turned right passing the posh house, crossing the Dougie and climbed up the partially cobbled old Brock Mill Lane.
I emerged on the main A49 road. I crossed over and then made my way through the pleasant residential areas of Whitley and Swinley back towards home.