Preston to Longton 28-04-2017 – Leader Derek

Preston to Longton 28-04-2017 – Leader Derek

After parking at Longton, 9 of us caught the bus to Preston. We headed south out of Preston, past the internal and external markets with their interesting structures, weaving our way past many interesting buildings and points of historical interest. Derek explained that the Harris School of Art was named after Edmund Robert Harris, a Preston lawyer, who left £300,000 in his will, to establish a trust and support a public library, museum and art gallery. The Harris Institute and the Harris Technical School became the University of Central Lancashire.  The Harris orphanage buildings are now in private ownership.

We then went on to the impressive Avenham Park, going past the replicas of two 36lb Russian cannons, the original being presented to Preston in 1858 following the Crimean war in which the Preston Army Regiments fought.  The Top Walk, also known as the Ladies Walk, was purchased in 1697 for £15.  Avenham Tower, overlooking the park was built in 1850 and was, for a time, the home of Edwin Booth, creator of Booths Supermarkets.  The grade 2 listed Belvedere is an Italionate structure and cost £468 in 1865.  The old tram bridge going through the park straddles the river Ribble, and was originally wooden and used for the haulage of coal, cotton and wool between Lancaster and Leeds. We saw remaining evidence of local Easter events including yarn bombing and egg rolling down the hill.  The beautiful Japanese style gardens, which was originally a duck pond, were developed in the Victorian era including some specimen trees. This site is also important to the Mormons with this being the oldest continuous branch of the Mormon Church anywhere in the world, with baptisms first occurring in the river Ribble on 30.7.1837.  The lovely victorian fountain is also grade 2 listed with the 4 base elements depicting earth, fire, wind and water.  We reluctantly moved on, passing through Miller Park to have some coffee on some conveniently placed benches.

We then followed the river Ribble westwards on the Ribble Way, initially on a laid path but then across numerous fields, mostly full of sheep and their playful lambs.  Derek pointed out various docks and landing stages, shown in the background of some photos.  I won’t comment on the holding hands photo!  Lunch was taken overlooking the river with the estuary, Irish sea and Lytham St Annes all clearly visible.  After, we turned south, still on the Ribble Way across more farmland, mostly on a raised grassy dyke type path.  We arrived at the Dolphin Inn for another group photo, as this is the start/finish of the Ribble Way, with many of us having joined the other end on a previous walk.  From here we circumnavigated a large field with some difficult styles (Louise was convinced we were going around in a circle as we could still see the Dolphin Inn!) and some frisky horses, before heading eastwards into Longton.

Refreshments were taken at the Mad Hatter tearooms in Longton, which Derek had been told by a local he wouldn’t like because the decor was all in pink!

Many thanks to Derek for taking us to an area none of us had walked in before.  There was very little mud, but that we did encounter loved my boots as much as I do!

11.03 miles,   and  just 212 feet/65 metres of ascent.

Write up and pics – Judy

Slideshow below, but if you wish to see a static view of the pics all in one go, then click here.


  1. Yes, easy to agree with Derek, Judy. (I don’t often say that!)

    PS Once more, I first typed Derek as Drek; I am becoming quite fond of that name!

  2. Derek

    A great report and super photographs ~ thanks again Judy for agreeing to do it all. Your efforts are really appreciated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *