Lydiate and Haskayne
Last updated 30th January 2007
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This walk of about 9½ miles (15½ km) over the South-West Lancashire Mosses is on the long side by the standards of this site, but it is almost entirely in flat open country and largely on the good firm surfaces provided by the Cheshire Lines Path, country lanes and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal towpath. Nevertheless, the distance involved means that you will have to pay attention to what you wear on your feet. There is a fine canal pub, the Ship Inn, about two thirds of the way round, where you will find quality refreshments (a welcome respite), as well as the historic Scotch Piper near the end. So, strike up a brisk pace and enjoy the peace and quiet of the open spaces and big skies!

The relevant Ordnance Survey 1:25000 Explorer map is No. 285. For further information on the locations visited, click on the images.

Detailed mapping and satellite photography for this walk courtesy of Bing Maps
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Start at the car park at Lydiate Parish Hall [1] and walk north along Southport Road. On the left a short way along is the old Scotch Piper inn [2]. It's too soon for a drink, so go a little further on and take a short detour to the left to have a look at the atmospheric ruins of St. Catherine's Chapel [3]. Double back and continue along Southport Road a little way until you see a footpath leading off on the left.

Follow the footpath to a clump of trees ahead. Go left at the trees and then right, following their perimeter. Now look for a gap on the right into the trees and enter the grounds of Lydiate Hall. This is a pleasant area laid out with paths. There is also an old well. The ruins of the hall [4] soon appear. Follow the path alongside the right of the hall to emerge in the yard of Lydiate Hall Farm [5], where you'll find a duck pond, a farm shop and a caf?. Follow the broad track out of the back of the farm and over the open fields. Turn right at Acres Lane and shortly left along a track leading to the Cheshire Lines Path.

Go right along the Cheshire Lines Path and keep walking until you pass a water treatment works [6] on the left and pass under Wood Lane Bridge. Keep on ahead under the next bridge [7]. (The public footpath shown on the map heading north-east from this bridge suggests a short-cut to Haskayne via Owen's Lane, but the farmer had helpfully blocked this with an electric fence when I was last there.) Keep on along the path. You next come to Barton Spur woodland conservation area [8], where the route of the eponymous railway line [9] can be seen curving off to the right over private land. You eventually leave the Cheshire Lines Path at the extremely ugly Moss Lane Bridge [10] (you'll see what I mean!). Follow the lane off to the left here before doubling back over the bridge.

You are now on Moss Lane, a single track road as far as Barton Spur Bridge [11]. From the bridge, you may be able to see Winter Hill ahead and slightly to the right; it was prettily snow clad when I was last there. Keep following the lane where it becomes Old Lane and then turn left at School Lane. Turn right into the car park at Haskayne Village Hall [12] to join the Leeds and Liverpool Canal towpath. Turn left along the towpath and go under the bridge at the Scarisbrick Arms [13].

You soon come now to the attractive back garden of the Ship Inn [14] situated on the canal-side by the old bridge on Rosemary Lane. You'll be ready for a break and this is the ideal place.

Double back along the towpath past the Scarisbrick Arms to reach the Downholland swing bridge [15]. A little way along on the right is Downholland Hall [16] (no public access). Follow the towpath past the King's Arms [17], Rimmer's Bridge [18] and Jackson's Bridge [19].

Keep along the towpath until you pass under Lydiate Hill Bridge [20]. Soon after, look out for a footpath going off obliquely to the right. Follow this back to Lydiate Parish Hall and your starting point. You are now permitted to visit the caf? at Lydiate Hall Farm or the Scotch Piper, where you can rest your weary feet.