Date - 20th June 2020 Distance - 7.5 miles
Ascent -
Map - 285
Start point - Parbold village hall car park (SD 4900 1098)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Harrock Hill 515 157 SD 5155 1267



Allen and Tetley looking at the laptop, when Southey trotted in.

He could see pictures on the screen. "Are you looking at the photographs from the last walk?"

"Yes pal", replied Tetley. "They have come out well, so there will be a story, once Dad has time to type it up for us."

"The pictures of the grasses have come out OK too", said Allen. "A brief look on the Internet, showed there are thousands of different species."

"Let's hope that Bracken and Moss, our hug flora experts will be able to identify them", replied Southey.

"From what you said Allen, I would not blame them if they cannot", said Tetley.

"What's the weather like for the weekend?", asked Southey. "I was wondering if we might get out for a walk."

Allen grabbed the iPad, and quickly navigated to the Met Office app. Saturday is best. Dry but rather cloudy. If we come up with an idea, I'll go and ask Dad. That is after tea and cakes", he went on spotting Shaun with Little Eric riding on his back and Grizzly entering the room with cake tins and flasks.

"Great" cheered Southey, getting the plates and mugs.

"I'll help pour the tea", volunteered Tetley.

"Thanks pal", said Shaun.

"And what cake delights have we today?", asked Allen.

"Practical as ever, cake stuffer", laughed Grizzly.

Little Eric volunteered the information. So from Grizzly, there are fruit scones, with butter and raspberry jam and cream. From me there is blueberry slice."

So we all dived in. "The scones are scrumptious", called out Southey helping himself to a second.

"And the blueberry slice is delicious too", said Tetley, who by now was on his third piece.

"Whose the cake stuffer now", said Allen, laughing.

"Huh, that's rich", replied Tetley. "You've already had two pieces and a scone and I can see you eyeing another."

Shaun laughed. "I think we are all as bad as each other when in comes down to it."

Changing the subject, Southey said, "we need to come up with and idea for a walk."

"Let's look in the Lancashire book", suggested Tetley. "There are still lots we haven't done."

Shaun held it open as we scanned down the index. "We want one around 7 miles suggested Allen."

Grizzly pointed, "how about this from Parbold. We have never been to that area so it is guaranteed to be new ground."

"Hmm", said Little Eric. "It means a trek down the M6. Dad is going to Southport to see Uncle Keith on Friday, so that will be two longish journeys on consecutive days."

"Well there's only one way to find out", said Allen as he drained his mug and picked up the book. "I'll go and see what Dad thinks."

"You had better fill his mug up", said Grizzly to Shaun.

"You all seem to becoming tea bellies these days", replied Shaun. "Good job I made and extra flask."

Allen soon returned. "Thanks pal", he said to Shaun accepting the refilled mug. "Dad is happy to do the walk, even though he is going to see Uncle Keith the day before. It will give the car a good run, he said.

"That's super", cheered Southey.

"Roll on Saturday", called out Shaun.


The Walk

We made sure to be up early, as Dad had told us he planned to start the walk about 10:30, so that meant setting off about an hour before.

Tetley had assisted Grizzly and Little Eric getting the picnic ready, then calling to Allen, "can you stow it in your rucksack pal."


The route was down the M6 to junction 27, then along the A5209. This took us past Wrightington Hospital then on to Parbold Hill, descending steeply to take the first turn right after the B5246.

"We keep on past the station and shops, the village hall being on the left", said Shaun."

There's the sign", called out Little Eric.

The car large car park of the impressive building was empty.

"There's a sign that it is only for hall and surgery users", pointed Southey.

"Well the hall will be closed due to COVID-19, so I do not see any harm in parking here", replied Dad.

As Dad was getting ready another car pulled in and couple got out. Spotting that the lady was holding the Lancashire walks book, Dad said, "I think you are doing the same walk."

"Yes" she replied.

We set off first and despite us seeing them a bit behind us on Wood Lane, we did not see them again, and they had not returned by the time we set off for home.

So on a day that was to be predominantly cloudy with the odd light shower Dad strode out of the car park.

Shaun issued his instructions. "We go right, then left on Tan House Lane."

The road climbed gently, with large detached houses either side. "Plenty of money here in Parbold", commented Allen.

The road ended at a t-junction with Lancaster Lane. "Turn right", called out Shaun.

As Dad strolled along, Southey pointed right, "what is that large building?"

Seeing the sign, Grizzly replied, "the Convent of Notre Dame de Namur." Later when we got home he did some research and told us, "the sisters of Notre Dame de Namur were originally founded in 1804 in France by St Julie Billiart and Francoise Blin de Bourdon. In 1846 the first foundation was set up in the UK. From the early beginnings the work of the Sisters in Britain continued to spread with the opening of many centres including this in Parbold. Their work embraces Primary, Secondary and Higher education throughout England and Scotland and child guidance clinics in Glasgow, Liverpool and London."

Continuing, it really it was no surprise that we soon passed the Catholic church of Our Lady and All Saints. "So Grizzly what can you tell us about the church?", asked Little Eric.

"Well pals, it was built by Edmund Kirby between May 1878 and May 1884 at a cost of £12,000. It is constructed of sandstone rubble with slate roofs. It comprises a western Tower, 165 feet high, with Spire, Nave with Clerestory, north and south Aisles, south main Porch and minor Porch, lowered Chancel, north Chapel, south Chapel and south Vestry. There is an impressive Rose Window at the east end of the chancel."

This can be seen in this interior picture, that we freely acknowledge came from the church website.

Shortly we reached the A5209. "Look" pointed Little Eric, "a wall postbox. It dates from the reign of King George VI. Please take a picture for the story Dad."

"OK", said Shaun. "We cross the road right then immediately it is left along Wood Lane."

Once past the houses we reached a farm our way being onwards from this stone sign.

"The stile should have been our method of progress, had the sign on the open gate been adhered to", commented Southey.

"Well the country code states if a gate is open, we leave it as such", said Tetley. "So despite the sign we must leave well alone."

So Dad strode on with fields on either side.

"Those cows are certainly taking their ease", called out Grizzly.

Opposite Little Eric pointed, "aww, look at that little pony.

"Better than sheep", said Allen. "Maybe I will be lucky and can avoid Dad taking any sheep pictures."

Passing a house we entered woodland. "How lovely", said Southey. "Just so quiet and peaceful with only the sound of the birds singing."

Just a little further we espied this little pond beside the lane. "Take a picture please Dad", said Tetley.

Reaching Gillibrand House we passed through two kissing gates and join a narrow path between hedges, where thankfully we did not meet anyone as social distancing would have been difficult.

Dad was in shorts and Little Eric pointed, "there are nettles. Careful Dad we don't want you to get stung."

This was not the only path where such care was necessary, but Dad avoided any stings.

The clearly waymarked route led onwards through more woodland, Dad pausing to take this of the trees...

...to then follow the waymarks right across pastures to a stile and steps down into woods.

"We're in the Fairy Glen", whispered Allen. "I wonder if we will see any fairies."

The path climbed some steps then crossed a footbridge with steps beyond.

The main route runs down in the valley of Sprodley Brook through the magnificent woodland. However, as we were to see from the signs this had been closed by the police on 18th May, because when the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted there were too many people flocking here, making social distancing difficult.

So instead we had to follow a footpath that ran higher up the valley.

"That will make a lovely picture", pointed Little Eric, looking down to the valley path.

The path meandered on...

... to join the lower path, where there was a seat.

"We have just got to have our picture in the Fairy Glen", implored Southey.

The main path was straight ahead but was fenced off, so we took the path climbing left that took us out onto a lane, where going right we followed the line of proper path in view below and so reach the A5209 again.

"I thought we might get lost in there, due to the path closure, but your navigation was impeccable Dad", praised Grizzly.

"I'm disappointed not to see any fairies", moaned Allen.

"Keeping their distance I reckon due to COVID-19", laughed Tetley.

Shaun checked the instructions. "OK, we need to cross the road, then go right towards that layby. Towards its end it is left over the stile by the gate and follow the track beyond."

"Shortly we will come to a track divide where it is right towards Boars' Den Farm", said Shaun.

Well the track came to a gate, and there was no clear divide as written.

We looked about, Tetley saying, "Hmm, it must be over that stile in the fence."

"I agree", replied Shaun. "Just don't know why the author did not say that as it would have been clearer instructions."

So we angled across the pasture and up to a gate in the fence, and then skirting left of the buildings along a enclosed track. This turned left and led to gates through which we kept ahead along a track. This became narrow beside a wood, before opening out into pasture.

"Wow" pointed Allen. "Just look, the fields are carpeted with daisies."

The path soon brought us to High Moor Lane. "It's left", said Shaun.

"That's the High Moor Restaurant", said Dad, "Uncle Brian and I have been there a few times meeting Paul & Sheila. I look forward to the time we can meet up again for meals."

"Well hopefully these places will be allowed to open again next month", said Grizzly.

Dad pointed further along the road saying, "that cream coloured building at the corner is the Rigbye Arms that Uncle Brian and I have been to as well meeting Paul & Sheila. When I went last December they gave me a present for Christmas."

"It was our pal Rigbye", called out Little Eric. "So he was named after the pub."

"So what's our route now?", asked Little Eric.

"Along that wide drive just before the restaurant. It leads to Harrock Hall" replied Shaun.

We were not to see this as where the drive swung left towards the house, Shaun called out, "our way is along that waymarked footpath branching right."

The soil path that was narrow at times led through trees with fence/hedge enclosure, and climbed to a cross path

"The walk now goes left, but if we go right by this mesh fence beside Harrock reservoir, we will come to the highest point of Harrock Hill", said Shaun

Grizzly said, "I looked it up on the Hill Bagging site, and indeed it is considered a summit, but as you will see the trig point is behind this tall fence."

Arriving Tetley said, "that fence is definitely not climbable and the gates are securely locked to prevent access to the reservoir so we cannot get to the trig point. And Dad do not even think of making any attempt to get over."

"You can be assured I will not", replied Dad.

"Well to be honest, the trig point is on top of an artificial rise that is part of the reservoir works", said Allen. "The actual proper ground level is the same as here by the fence. So I say we take this summit as climbed."

"I agree", said Little Eric. "So pals let's line up for our picture.

I am stopping here to have a bite to eat", said Dad.

"Great", cheered Allen rubbing his tummy in anticipation of the sandwiches and cake.

There was a brief shower here, but we did not get very wet.

On our way again Dad returned to the junction and kept ahead along a narrow and rather muddy path. Out of the woods, we followed the fenced path that rounded the woodland.

Reaching a facing wall and gate, Shaun said, "we follow round left, and then over the stile into woodland again."

Then Shaun said, "really we go left by the wall, but if we want to see the rather scant remains of Harrock Windmill, then I suggest we go straight on."

The ruin was soon reached. Looking at the circumference of the wall, Southey commented, "it must have been an impressive structure."

Peering over the railings, Grizzly commented, "half of the structure is below ground level. Rather odd don't you think. I could not find much information about it, but it probably dates from the mid 1600s."

The path past led us left to rejoin the main path, that led to a corner. Dad went right the path dropping down, but Shaun called out, "this wrong. We should have climbed the ladderstile over the wall to the left and then we keep on along the track."

This led us through more woodland then across pasture, passing converted farm buildings, and onto Jackson's Lane, that then going right took us to Bannister Lane.

"It's left" called out Shaun.

"Oh dear", said Little Eric, "seeing the steep climb facing Dad."

As Dad trudged along, he told us, "many years ago when I was young, if we wanted to get to the M6 from Southport we joined at junction 27, where we came off it today. I am sure that part of the route was up Bannister Lane. There is a quarry at the top, which I remember we could see from the road."

Not now however as it is obscured by trees.

As we reached the brow, Tetley called out, "what a fantastic view. I can see Blackpool Tower." [on the horizon in the centre of the picture]

As Dad was taking the shot a young couple with their dog had passed by and taken the footpath by the quarry.

"That's our route too", said Shaun.

We caught them up as they had stopped for a breather. Beau, their sheepdog, allowed Dad to fuss him. Then Dad chatted with them for a while. They told us that they had recently moved to Parbold. We got introduced too the lady commenting on Shaun.

We let them set off before us as they would be quicker. Their laughed reply was "Beau pulls us along."

So followed the path on and on, going right by some houses and then on in the same direction.

"We are looking for a footpath left, that I am not sure will be signed", advised Shaun.

Keeping out eyes peeled it was Tetley who called out, "there's the stile."

The path initially by a wall then led us over two pastures to Stony Lane.

"Turn right, and then in 100 yards take the footpath left", instructed Shaun.

This angled half right across the field to a stile by a gate.

"Those are two impressive oak trees", pointed Little Eric. "Nice to include a picture in the story.

Beyond the stile the clear path led across the next field, and rounded a corner. Shaun pointed, "we cross the footbridge then go left round the edge of the field."

A short lane then took us onto Lancaster Lane, where opposite was Tan House Lane that we followed to its end then right to the car park.

Allen pointed to the name of a road off Tan House Lane. "It is named after one of the Wainwright Fells."

"One of my outstanding summits too", replied Little Eric. "However that is not intended to pressure you Dad. I have said before I am not expecting you to climb them all again."

Dad got his boots off while we settled in the car.

What a super walk", said Allen.

"Lovely to explore new ground" went on Tetley. "Thank you as always Dad."

"You are welcome lads. Can't imagine not having you with me in the rucksack."


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