5 great walks in Lancashire

Alice, archaeology student

One of the great things about living in Preston is it has a vast array of fantastic parks and walking routes, giving you the chance to get out in nature. The best part is you don’t have to travel far and there are walking routes for people of all abilities. I have been on all these walks and they have helped me to discover nature with some just a short walk away from the centre of campus. Keep on reading for my top places to visit…

My favourite walks as a student in Preston

Avenham and Miller Parks

Avenham Park is in Preston City Centre (just a few minutes’ walk away from the centre of campus) and is a large green space perfect for spending the day relaxing by yourself or with friends. Here you can see the River Ribble, the Japanese Rock Garden, large areas of cultivated flowers, a Basalt rock from Giant’s Causeway, a historic water fountain and you can visit the Pavilion Café for delicious food and hot/cold drinks.

For students with children: This park would be perfect for you, with a play area and large green spaces for games.

If you’re looking for a long walk: Simply cross the bridge to the other side of the River Ribble and follow the path and signs, this can lead you on circular walks between 2.5 and 6 miles. Walk in one direction and when you want to finish your adventure, follow the signs reading ‘Preston’ to head back to the park.

Guild Wheel

Want something even more challenging? Avenham Park is the official starting place of the Guild Wheel route. This 21-mile route allows you to take in the countryside of Lancashire with ancient woodlands and historic docks. Spot deer, hare, birds, and grey squirrels! Just follow the signs reading ‘Guild Wheel’.

Mason’s Wood

My personal favourite is Mason’s Wood located in the Fulwood area of Preston. It is a beautiful, quiet area perfect for a short walk and great for lower ability walkers. Here you can see mature trees including birch, oak and willow, beautiful spring flowers and blankets of bluebells. By far the most exciting sight are the deer and this wood is thought to have been a Royal Forest used to hunt deer and game.There are eight entrances to this woodland, the main of which can be found on Google Maps. Once in the woods, follow the main path through the middle until you reach the stream, here you can exit the wood or turn around and return to the entrance. This route offers great shade on very sunny days and is perfect for picnics with benches located throughout.

Moor Park

Located next to Preston North End’s Deepdale Stadium, Moor Park is a great walk for those with lower ability. This park offers 20-40-minute walks with flat tarmacked paths, vast areas of green, beautiful flower gardens with areas to sit and a small waterfall. The local wildlife such as ducks can be seen enjoying the large pond to the side of the park and you can even watch the squirrels as you use the gym equipment in the centre of the park. This is another place perfect for kids with a play area and a court for ball games.

Brockholes Nature Reserve

Brockholes Nature Reserve is a little further out of Preston but can be reached on foot (around an hour from Preston City Centre) or by bus. This idyllic nature reserve hosts local wildlife such as hares, otters, and birds and is the perfect spot for a day out with friends. Another great area to spot bluebells is the woodland that encompasses this reserve. The site is fully accessible and has routes in a range of lengths. The floating visitor centre can tell you more about the history and the wildlife of the site.

As we come into the winter months, don’t be put off from walking! All you need is a good coat and some waterproof shoes. If you can’t bear the cold, these idyllic sites will still be here in spring!

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