Manchester Weekend Walkers' logo

Manchester Weekend Walkers Group

Manchester Weekend Walkers lead public transport walks into fantastic countryside all year round.

Join the Ramblers and enjoy

  • unlimited free access to 50,000 Ramblers group walks
  • a library jam-packed with thousands of tried-and-tested routes
  • a welcome pack teeming with top tips plus our quarterly Walk magazine
  • exclusive discounts from our partners
  • knowing your support is opening up more places to walk and helping more people discover the joy of walking

Overview

Train & bus-based walk

Leader: Matthew B

Transport to Walk Start: V1 bus at 09:48 from Manchester St Peter's Square to Leigh.

Meet Point:  Meet at the bus stop in St Peter's Square. Alternatively, meet on the bus or at the walk start at Leigh bus station. Drivers please note that the start and end points of this walk are on different transport routes.

Suggested Ticket:  System One 1 day AnyBus & Train Adult (Off-Peak) £8.90. This is available from manned railway stations or bus drivers.

Walk Start: Leigh Bus Station (outside George & Dragon) at 10:40

Waypoints: Leeds & Liverpool Canal (southern side) – Pennington Flash Country Park – then back on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal (southern side) at Plank Lane Lift Bridge (near Pennington Wharf) – cross the canal to follow it along the northern side when it crosses the A58 – cross back again to the southern side at Scotsman’s Flash – leave the canal at Poolstock – Wigan Town Centre – Water Hayes – Bottling Wood – Haigh Upper Plantations – Bridleway past Holly Nook – Haigh village – Toddington Farm – Freezeland Farm – Vicarage Road – B5048 – Path adjacent to Blackrod Cemetery – Station Road.

Return Services:  From Blackrod: x:42 until 17:42 (if walk has finished by that time). Also x:10 from 17:10 until 23:10. Last train at 23:55

Extra: 

No toilets on the bus. Toilets at walk start (30p cash fee). 

Lunch will be somewhere in Wigan town centre where you have the option of buying the local delicacy (a pie)!

If you choose to visit a pub in Wigan town centre at lunchtime, then toilet opportunities will occur there, but otherwise your only realistic options en route are the wooded areas between Water Hayes and Holly Nook. 

The pub stop at the end will be the Heroes Bar in Blackrod.

Saturday, 9 March 2024
Start time:
10:40 am
Estimated finish time:
6:00 pm
Difficulty:
Strenuous
Distance:
23.3km / 14.5mi
Ascent:
250m / 820ft
Type:
linear

Starting from Leigh Bus Station, we head out on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal towards Wigan, detouring to the south for a bit get a better view of Pennington Flash. This canal walk gives us extensive views of the countryside across Lancashire, until we get to the Wigan Flashes, when the landscape takes a watery turn, and birdwatchers will have plenty to see. After passing through Wigan town centre, where we should be able to find a pie and a pint, we pass through a long wooded plantation area before reaching the village of Haigh, where the view opens out spectacularly to Winter Hill. We then follow footpaths via Freezeland Farm to get us back to the town of Blackrod, where we pass the Heroes Bar on the route about 10 minutes before Blackrod Railway Station.

Possible bail out option in Wigan, where you can shorten the walk by getting a train to Manchester.

Please bring a torch as the walk may finish after sunset if we are delayed during the day.

If you wish to take a dog on this walk, please contact the walk leader by e-mail at matthew.ball673@ntlworld.com to confirm suitability for the conditions and terrain. Please do not bring a dog unless you are known to the group.

Please also note that the route of this walk may be amended, or the walk cut short, in the event that weather conditions make it unsafe to carry it out as initially planned.

Features

  • Refreshments available (Pub/cafe)
  • Toilets available
  • Accessible by public transport
  • No car needed

Starting point

Grid reference:
SD 65618 00094
Nearest postcode:
WN7 4LP
what3words:
clapper.honestly.coarser
Start time:
10:40 am

Starts at Leigh Bus Station (George & Dragon pub)

Finishing point

Grid reference:
SD 62368 10642
Nearest postcode:
BL6 5JF
what3words:
unlucky.novelists.confining
Estimated finish time:
6:00 pm

Join the Ramblers and enjoy

  • unlimited free access to 50,000 Ramblers group walks
  • a library jam-packed with thousands of tried-and-tested routes
  • a welcome pack teeming with top tips plus our quarterly Walk magazine
  • exclusive discounts from our partners
  • knowing your support is opening up more places to walk and helping more people discover the joy of walking