Monday, 14 December 2015

Rufford - 13 December

Saturday was something of a write-off, cold and wet all day until just before dark. I managed out for a few miles on the road in the rain which wasn’t great but it was better than nowt.

Almost by accident I discovered the Leeds-Liverpool canal has a northern branch that starts at Burscough and goes north through Rufford to join the River Douglas at Tarleton. The Douglas, being a tributary of the River Ribble, effectively provides access to the open sea as well as Preston.  In theory the “Ribble Way” could provide a route that might be cycled from Much Hoole to Preston thus creating a big loop much of which would be off-road. With rain forecast for lunchtime I didn’t have time to get far beyond Rufford if I wanted home dry. The plan was to cycle to on the towpath to Rufford, take the road back to Parbold and then re-join the canal for home.

Everything went to plan apart from the rain arriving early, the very badly flooded roads between Rufford and Parbold, and the very soft towpath beyond Burscough. This towpath was just like a muddy field, badly rutted in places and with the occasional boulder to make it interesting. About a mile short of Rufford the rain came on and I by then I had had enough of the soft muddy towpath so I escaped to the road for Rufford and Parbold. Perhaps in the summer this towpath  might be worth another look but until then I’ll be staying away from it. 

After having to ride through several stretches of flooded road I just wanted to get home and had to choose between going up Parbold Hill or round it on the towpath. Up won and I headed for Standish and Red Rock to get back on the canal for the final stretch home.

Fishing near Haigh Hall

Near Parbold

Bridge Number One where the canal to Much Hoole starts

Looking north from Bridge Number One
Last look at the soft towpath just short of Rufford

1 comment:

  1. The weather has been so terrible in many parts of the UK ...

    Having watched a very interesting TV programme last night about Canals, which I love walking by, I read this post with interest. Your photo's are also so good to look at, Thank you.

    Wishing you a Happy and Healthy 2016.

    All the best Jan