Lancashire Border Walk launched today

A grand Lancashire Day to thee! The Lancashire Border Walk, a walking route around the whole county palatine launches today.

Embracing the red rose county, the project is to define a path beginning at the Pier Head in Liverpool, running up the coast, north and south of the sands, round High Furness, and then all along the long Pennine border with Yorkshire to Mossley, where three shires meet, and then down the Tame and the Mersey to finish in Liverpool.

From the cities of the Industrial Revolution to the wide sands of the Holiday Coast, to the Lake District and the wild fells and moors of the Backbone of England, the route will prove an eye-opening experience to those hardy enough to take part in walking sections of it.

Much of the route has been worked out. The development of the remaining section, in particular the long Pennine section, are open for development, and the fellwalkers of Lancashire have set to, to trace a way through the hills.  The sections, proposals and suggestions will be displayed on this site on our page “Lancashire Border Walk”.

See also

Boots v Bike

There is nothing like planting your well-mudded boots in new turf, gazing ahead to yet unexplored vistas. Or is there?

There is nothing like the coursing of wind through your hair as you slip with ease past green fields and far cottages. Or is there?

Walking away, far from the oppressive bustle of life and the tyranny of the clock, with all modernity shut away in its own box and just you and the seasonable clothes on your back, and a bag with a rough hunk of bread and meat, as could have been carried by an ancestor who walked similarly equipped and talked on the way with Chaucer, or Caesar, and spending all the day immersed in new, energetic endeavours is not to be bettered in any age. Unless. . .

Stepping from the concrete and tarmac and the petrol fumes, from confinement in steel boxes and in regulations, a little frame of metal with two wheels awaits and no more power than your thighs can supply awaits, but what power those thighs can supply even unmetalled, out to the road where a subtle increase in the press of your feet set you at dazzling speed along the lane to new horizons.

On foot you are part of the land, connected intimately with creation in all its wonders, if not feeling every bump (not if you have good boots) then still rising and falling with each rise and fall of the breathing path, tempering your walk to whatever the ground provides in mud, rock, bog, heath, sand or water. Each moment is yours and you are challenging yourself alone. If you walk all day across twenty miles, you feel the richness of every yard as you are part of it. You feel alive because you have exercised the very essence of life and been once again a part of nature, in which you were born.

On a bicycle, twenty miles is nothing: I have zipped off to have lunch forty miles away. The speed shames the plodding feet, but it is all the same strength of the same legs, not faked by a machine, not burning choking oil into the good air but all from the force of your own muscles; you own every thrust, turn, bump and swerve. When you want to stop, you stop – you do not need to patrol around to find a car park and fiddle with change, but just haul your bicycle onto the verge and pull out a sandwich. Where even a bicycle cannot go, lift it onto your shoulder and carry it to the next bridleway or road (now just try doing that with a car). This is a machine of liberty: nothing but the clothes on your back and the light bike beneath you, and off you go.

So, bike or boots; wheels or walking? Make your own decision, but stop reading this and get out there and find out.

Reet Gradely Red Rose Ring

It’s a big place is Lancashire to walk all round, yet that is the plan local folk are devising – a walking route around the whole county – the Lancashire Border Walk.

While I have been walking the width of suburban Middlesex, and planning a route round the whole boundary of one of the smallest of Britain’s counties, the Friends of Real Lancashire have in prospect something many times more ambitious:  a border walk around the whole of one of the biggest counties in the land, of which the whole eastern stretch is through the fell country of the Pennines.  The project is being formally launched on Lancashire Day: Monday 27 November 2017, and development pages are hosted on WildþingUK.


From the banks of the River Mersey to the far Furness Fells, Lancashire is big and full of variety.  It has the mighty cities of the south and ugly industrial towns that drove the Industrial Revolution to make the whole kingdom wealthy; it has broad, fertile farmland, and many miles of coast devoted to holidaymaking, and the mountains that ring the north and the east of the county.  The Lancashire Border Walk will see all of these.

The route we know

Liverpool Pier Head

The current draft plan starts at the Pier Head in Liverpool and runs clockwise (although as a circular route it could be begun at any point and be walked in either direction).

From Liverpool it runs by the riverside a short way before looping round the Bootle docks, and joins the coast of the Irish Sea as soon as it can, following the existing coastal footpaths all the way north to Morecambe Bay.  There is also a coastal path around the part of the county north of the sands.   The sands can be crossed on a perilous path that needs an experienced guide, but is that the right way?

The trackless route

The next section, around High Furness, is easy to follow on a map but challenging, both for the walker and the planner.  At the end it will involve a stretch of a few miles through Westmorland (or a rail journey if purists will permit it).

Then the walk must head south through the Pennines to the three county point at Mossley, and this is tough walking country, and with few footpaths in the right place by the look of it.  In this part though, Howard May wrote a walk book called “A Lancashire Border Walk” back in 1988.  It will be studied in detail, though not followed slavishly.

From Mossley to Liverpool it is down the Tame then the Mersey, much of which can be followed on footpaths but these are largely urban rivers now.  The draft proposal already on WildþingUK follows the Mersey down from Warrington, but there is far more detail to work out.

Drop a note in the Comments sections, and let’s get to work!