Walk: Bretherton


Here is another walk in our series of walking to great viewpoints. However this walk is flat where sightlines over the flatlands of West Lancashire are unimpeded. Here the hills of the West Pennine Moors can be easily picked out – helped by the tall mast on Winter Hill.

From opposite the parish church walk along South Road towards the Methodist chapel (on the right) to the war memorial.

Here turn left into Back Lane and then at the next junction right into Eyes Lane.

This soon bends to the left in front of the entrance to Bank Hall.

Keep on it as the lane leads through a “Lancashire Life” property zone and into a stretch of woodland before emerging into open arable land marked on the OS map as Bretherton Eyes.

A cursory Google search could not locate the meaning of “Eyes” in this context. Could it because you can see a considerable distance as soon as you clear the trees?

Keep on the lane to reach Red Bridge which crosses the River Douglas. The most obvious feature about Red Bridge is that it is painted green. Clearly the work of a colour blind painter!

Just before it, turn left over a stile onto an embankment with the river to your right.

Keep on the embankment until you reach the B5247 at Lostock Bridge.

Almost with out noticing it you follow the courses of three rivers – the Douglas for a short distance, then its tributary the Yarrow which has its source in the West Pennine Moors close to Winter Hill now clearly visible to the west, and finally its tributary the River Lostock which meanders its way from Withnell.

At the road turn left and then left again into Back Lane. After 350yds turn right into Sarah Lane which leads back to the village centre. Points of Interest.

Look out for two pieces of sculpture by local artist Thompson Dagnall, both commemorative stones.

The first is inscribed with the village name and its local nickname “Th’edge o’ Leet”. This harks back to the times when shrimpers from Hesketh Bank on their way to Wigan market had to reach Bretherton before sunrise if they had any chance of selling their goods. It was literally on the edge of the light.

Tom’s other piece is opposite the war memorial and commemorates Jeremiah Horrocks, who lived nearby and who’s astronomical prediction of the transit of Venus was a breakthrough in the 17th century.

This event occurs when the planet Venus passes directly between the sun and Earth. It is a rare event usually coming in pairs eight years apart. The stone celebrates the 2004 transit which was observed on June 8th of that year. The last transit of the 21st century took place June 5th/6th June 2012. Missed it? Don’t worry there will be another in December 2117. Make a note on the calendar!

Where to eat and drink: The Old Corn Mill. A place long beloved of the cycling fraternity. The tea room is set in an antiques shop on the corner of Marl Cop – a fascinating place to enjoy a brew and light snack.

The Blue Anchor. (Tel: 01772 600270) In the summer the walking group Lancashire Dotcom Walkers held its annual bowling contest nearby. This pub’s hot buffet – “all you can eat” at an unbelievable £4.99 per head earned very high approval ratings.

There was a wide variety of dishes to choose from. Add to this well­kept real ale, friendly service and pleasant surroundings.