Length: 4 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Accessibility: Muddy in places with stiles to negotiate; some of which are a little wobbly. Some fields may contain livestock; if so please keep dogs on a lead.

It’s fair to say that most of us prefer walks under a blue sky and dappled sunshine peeking through a leafy canopy, but in winter, it simply isn’t always possible. Still, there’s something atmospheric about hiking on an overcast day, and with an air temperature of about 2 degrees, our walk on Runshaw Moor turned out to capture this perfectly – and made us appreciate our pub stop even more.

We begin at Worden Park (PR25 1DJ), a Leyland icon which was home to Worden Hall until 1941 when it was destroyed in a fire. Conservation work is still ongoing to the old conservatory, but all that remains of the hall itself are the outbuildings and the walled kitchen garden, the remaining historic buildings house an Arts and Crafts Centre – worth a visit at the end of the walk.

Leaving the car park we head straight for The Avenue and follow this west going out of the park and into Shaw Brook Road. About 200 metres after leaving the park you come to a bend in the road where you’ll find a public footpath off to your left. Take this path and keep to the right of the field.

Going into the next field, continue along the right hand side until you come to the path and little footbridge (well, a thick plank) on your right. Cross over this – carefully! – and then keep to the left until you reach the end of the hedgerow. From here continue straight across the field to the stile opposite. After crossing, continue to follow the right-hand side of the field over another stile. From here go straight across and along the hedgerow, over another stile and onto Altcar Lane. Take a right and then a left – this leads you onto what looks like a long, private driveway, but don’t worry, you’ll find a public footpath to the immediate left of the gates at the far end.

This path brings you onto a farm track – head right along and continue for about 40 metres to the public footpath on your left. Climb over the stile and head along the left side of the field.

Once you enter the next field, head diagonally across to the opposite corner and then straight across the next field to the far end. You’ll pick up a farm track that leads you past the side of the farm and out onto Runshaw Lane.

Head left at Runshaw Lane, passing the Plough Inn – or, if like us you’re hankering for a mid-walk snack and some warmth, take advantage of the friendly hospitality and stop off for a hearty pub lunch.

Continue along Runshaw Lane until you reach Tithe Barn Lane on your left. Follow this to its end, going over the stile at the gates to Altcar Farm and then straight on and over the next stile into the field.

Keep to the right and head into the next field, then just follow the valley. It’s worth a look back at the farmhouse to view the fancy gable wall of the farm house and barn. It was supposedly built like that to look pretty from Worden Hall. After you’ve crossed the ditch into the last field, watch out for the footbridge on the left which takes you back into Worden Park. This looked beautifully autumnal despite the winter weather during our walk, with fallen leaves surrounding the rushing stream.

Back in the park, turn left and make your way towards the hall. There’s a good opportunity to rest your legs in the courtyard cafe, explore the Walled Garden, or try your luck navigating the hedge maze. Worden Park is also home to the Leyland Society of Model Engineers, who will let you have a ride on their miniature trains if the weather’s clement.

Don’t forget to look out for the Cedar of Lebanon at the back of the courtyard – the tree was planted in 1887 to mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, and grows at a very strange angle indeed!
For more information about Worden Park, please visit www.southribble.gov.uk/wordenpark

Please ensure you wear appropriate clothing and footwear whilst walking. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the walk is accurate, neither the publisher or its editorial contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party to loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or other cause.

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