A walk to the beacon

Ashurst's Beacon

It’s the fifth of November, Bonfire Night. What better day than to go for a stroll in Beacon Country Park where centuries ago real bonfires were lit.

Ashurst’s Beacon is situated on a broad ridge on the western fringes of the Pennines close to  the village of Dalton near Skelmersdale. The beacon on top of Ashurst Hill once formed part of a chain of signalling beacons forming a communication chain stretching from Everton Brow in Liverpool to Lancaster Castle. The current structure dates from 1798 when Sir William Ashurst built a  permanent structure in preparation for the Napoleonic Wars.

We started our walk the car park adjacent to the golf club and walked through woodland and then across fields to Roby Mill. More field walking led us down to the Douglas Valley with the viaduct of the M6 straight ahead.


At Gathurst we passed under the viaduct and then crossed the River Douglas to join the towpath of the Leeds – Liverpool Canal. At the locks we found a bench where we sat and ate our lunch. It was quite peaceful. Peaceful that is if you could ignore the constant roar of the traffic hurtling along the M6 above us.

03. Picnic spot

It was interesting to contemplate the different forms of transport. The busy M6 carrying thousands of card each hour. The commuter trains crossing the railway bridge just beyond and the narrow boats on the canal.

04 Going nowhere

The next couple of miles were along the canal towards Appley Bridge. Here it was peaceful with just a couple of swans for company.

05 Along the canal

Leaving the canal we began our steady climb towards the beacon crossing several muddy fields and a short but steep section along a lane. We emerged from some woodland close to the Toposcope with Ashurst’s Beacon directly ahead of us. Ashurst Hill is only 570 feet (170m) in height but it offers wide ranging views. To the south lies Liverpool and further in the distance the Clwydian hills can be seen on a clear day. To the north-east I could see Winter Hill and Rivington Pike.

09 Toposcope08 Toposcope

11 Ashurst's Beacon

It was now downhill all the way, back to the road and then alongside the golf course back to the car. An easy 8 miles on a beautiful November day.

About crosbyman66

My aim is to create a photo diary of my walks and my travels. I have two main hobbies, walking and photography and these complement each other. I am a senior citizen, what used to be called an old age pensioner, but I don't feel old. Since retirement I have had more time to pursue my hobbies and the opportunity to travel more. My philosophy now is - Do what you can, while you can. My other interests are fine wines and keeping fit. These may not complement each other but keep me happy.
This entry was posted in Adventures with Les, Lancashire, Walks. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A walk to the beacon

  1. Marie says:

    What a lovely day, blue sky, pleasent scenery. The narrow boats interest me they have been on the canals for a long time. I know people who stayed on one in Amsterdam and loved it.

  2. Remember the last time we walked this – I poured half of the River Douglas out of my boots at the end. Went straight out and bought new Brashers; good move.
    This is a most lovely walk through a range of scenery and hidden hamlets.

  3. crosbyman66 says:

    Thanks Wendy. It was a much more pleasant walk on a dry and sunny day. I even managed to keep my feet dry crossing the stream.

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