Date - 3rd June 2023 Distance - 6.25 miles
Ascent -
410 ft
Map - 296
Start point - Cockerham village hall (SD 4653 5202)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



Dad was visiting Uncle Keith in Southport, and after our walk yesterday, we were having a quiet restful time.

"It was most enjoyable having the company of Uncle Eric on the walk up the River Keer and along the canal", commented Southey.

"Quite", agreed Allen. "We have had so many enjoyable walks with him over the years. It must have been fate that brought them together at work."

For once it was Tetley who, rubbing his tummy, said, "I'm hungry."

"Like me", laughed Allen. "And a mug of tea would be welcome too."

As if like magic their prayers were answered as Shaun with Little Eric riding on his back and Grizzly arrived with the flasks and cake tins.

Shaun had overheard their conversation and said, "your wish is our command!"

Tetley got the plates and mugs then helped Shaun to pour the tea.

"Thanks pal", said Shaun. "It is Ramblears tea of course."

"Delicious", cried Allen after taking a sip.

Grizzly said, "Little Eric has made mincemeat slice, while I have done Chorley cakes."

We all dug in, and there was quiet for a while.

"The mincemeat slice is gorgeous", said Allen.

"Mmm", agreed Southey.

"So I gather", laughed Little Eric. "You are both on your third piece."

"Love the Chorley cakes", called out Shaun. "You truly are ace at making them. We do appreciate both of you doing the baking."

"Quite", stated Tetley. "Let it never be said that we take it for granted."

"We know", replied Grizzly. "Little Eric and I love baking. We find it so relaxing."

Changing the subject, Little Eric said. "I know we only walked yesterday, but Dad has a clear weekend according to the diary, so what are the chances of a walk?"

"Dad always seems to be busy with one thing and another, so he may want a rest", replied Tetley. "We can only ask when he gets home."

"We could come up with an idea just in case" suggested Allen. "Not to long a distance either."

"Well", said Shaun. "With that in mind I have been looking at the index of walks. There is one from Cockerham that Tetley and I did with Dad in April 2003. It is only 3 miles."

"I remember", replied Tetley. "Dad added a large extension that took it to over 11 miles. Of course we would only suggest the basic this time. I recall that there is a very large car park at the parish hall where we can park."

Then everyone looked at Allen. He shook his head, and sighed, "why is it always me who asks Dad?"

"Because you can always charm Dad to agree", replied Grizzly.

"Ok", agreed Allen, "I'll do it when Dad gets home. In the meantime please refill my mug, and I think another Chorley cake is in order."

We are pleased to say that Allen's entreaties were successful, so here is our account of the adventure.


The Walk

We made sure to be up and ready so as not to delay Dad. He got his gear loaded, and then called out, "right lads I'm ready."

"Ok" called back Shaun. "Come on pals let's get settled in the car."

"Have good time", called out Ralph, "and make sure Dad takes care."

"We will", called back Tetley.

Setting off, Southey asked, "how do we get to the start?"

"Through Lancaster, then at the Pointer roundabout take the road past the hospital."

"Dad went there many times with Uncle Brian for appointments. We miss him so much, and I can't believe that it is nearly 4 years since he died", commented Grizzly.

"I know", sniffed Allen. "How time flies by."

Shaun then continued, "We follow the road on and on all the way to Cockerham, taking the left fork in the village and after a short way come to the parish hall."

Dad parked over looking the fields, across which is St Michaels Church. "That will make a nice picture to start our story", suggested Little Eric.

Dad ready, and us safely tucked in the rucksack, Shaun gave directions. "Left out of the car park and back to the main road."

Dad's progress was halted after a short distance by Little Eric calling out, "look the post box. Please a take a picture for my collection. It dates from the reign of King George VI."

"The trees on the traffic island between the lanes of the main road will make a nice shot", suggested Tetley.

As Dad put the camera away, Shaun then instructed, "it's right along Willey Lane."

The lane took is past houses, at one Southey pointing, "those flowers are very pretty and colourful."

The lane led to the buildings of Up Town.

"Where now?, asked Allen.

"Through the gate right", pointed Shaun.

The track led to another gate into a huge field, Shaun saying, "the map shows we cross diagonally towards the pylon."

Seeing that crops had been planted, Grizzly replied, "we'll have to walk round the edge today."

Because of this Dad got a bit confused and walked on to the end of field and into a track. Shaun realised this was wrong, stating, "sorry Dad, I should have said that it was through the gate by the pylon into the next field."

The grass, which Dad ploughed through was above his knee, as he climbed to and through a gate in the opposite hedge.

From here we Shaun pointed out our route.

"Drop down and cross the footbridge...

...then straight across the field to the stile."

This will be a grand place to have our picture taken", stated Little Eric.

Over the stile, Shaun advised, "keep ahead to the next footbridge...

...and then left but drift across to come by the wood opposite and join a track."

There Grizzly commented, "the track has disappeared, but it is over 30 years since the walk was published."

We kept on by the wood, Shaun saying, "we ignore the signed path right, and walk to the top of the field.

Here there were two gates tied up but with a gap, and beyond a stout post with a waymark pointing the way.

Seeing the above picture there would seem to be no problem, but this was taken when we repeated the walk on 27th January 2024. We can assure readers that on the summers day, the track was totally overgrown and impassable.

"Hmm", mused Tetley. "That is not the best sight for you Dad, especially as you are in shorts as usual."

"No lad. There is no proper path and the long grass, swathes of nettles and thistles are a problem. I'll just pick my way as best I can."

Added to all this there were young trees with low branches that increased the difficulties.

Eventually we got to the far side and found another tied up gate into large field. "I'm glad that's done", said Dad with relief.

"And thankfully you managed not to get stung", went on Little Eric.

"Cross to the far side and then turn left by the hedge", said Shaun reading the instructions.

There, Allen said, "there is clearly no exit as that a tall hedge and ditch bar the way."

We stood looking back to the wood, as Shaun and Southey studied the map.

After a bit of discussion, Southey said, "we exited the wood in the wrong place and are in this field", pointing at the map.

"If we could get to the one on the left side and then through that gate we would be back on track."

"Ok" agreed Dad.

As we approached the boundary, Little Eric dispiritedly said, "oh dear.".

"Quite" agreed Dad, as he surveyed first the single strand of barbed wire on posts at an inconvenient height, and then the proper field boundary with two strands of barbed wire.

"I know you don't want to hear this Dad, but we will have to return through the wood."

"You're right lad, but there is no alternative."

Back in the wood Dad went on, "there is obviously another exit over to the left, but the nettles are a barrier that even if I was in long trousers I would not want to attempt getting through."

Shaun and Southey had been studying the map meanwhile not wanting us to be beaten. Southey said, "if we take that other path we saw, we can circle round and get onto the route again."

"Ok lads give me the directions", replied Dad.

This was initially through this gate.

Following the path took us into a field with cows. "What is that building to the right?", asked Allen.

"Ellel Grange", replied Grizzly. "It is a centre for training and learning for Christian ministry."

The path led to a gate at the top onto a track that we crossed to walk the fenced path, and into another field. "Keep on in the same direction" urged Southey.

This brought us to a stile where the path drifted left to eventually come to Double Bridge over the Lancaster Canal.

"Where now, down to and along the canal?", asked Grizzly.

"No pal, we need to head uphill at right angles to the canal", replied Shaun.

The route took us through a kissing gate and then straight on to another and out to a track.

"Go right", called out Southey.

This then brought us by the second lock on the Glasson Branch.

Looking west along the canal, Tetley said, "we walk along the towpath."

"Yes pal, as far as Third Lock Bridge", agreed Shaun.

There Southey advised, "we must cross the bridge and follow that wide clear track."

Allen was looking at the map, and after a little way he pointed left. "That is the route we should have come along had we been able to find the correct path out of that woodland."

So back on the original walk route, the track led through Cock Hall Woods and to Cock Hall Farm.

Pointing Shaun said, "we follow the direction of that sign."

This was through the large metal gate and and then immediately left through the small gate and along by the buildings and across the field a to footbridge and stile into the next pasture.

This was another planted field so we walked the edge to the bottom right corner, where Southey said, "right through the gate and along track to Batty Hill Farm, and then its access to the main road, and left to the start."

Passing the rectory, Little Eric pointed, "there's the war memorial seat we have seen before. A picture please Dad."

Soon we reached the village centre passing the Manor Inn, on the way to the car.

Checking the GPS, Tetley said, "the distance was 6.25 miles. Twice what was planned. We are sorry Dad."

"Never mind, the diversion added to the adventure" replied Dad.

Allen commented, "it would still be good to find the correct path through that wood. I wonder if we could in the winter when all the vegetation has died back."

"We could certainly try", agreed Dad. "I would make sure I was in long trousers and had my stick too."

"And if it was still not possible we now know the alternative route", went on Grizzly.

"Thank you Dad on behalf of us all for a lovely time as always", said Little Eric.


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