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
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!