If you want to see anything of rural Preston you’d better move quickly. Much of the land to the north of the city has been given over to development. Obviously given the housing shortage the country needs new housing but shouldn’t there be rather more starter and affordable homes in amongst the luxury four bedroom estates that are springing up? The walk described below takes you into rural Fulwood in an area not designated for development (so far). 

Start. Longsands Lane PR2 9PS: Roadside parking

Distance: 3.6 miles 5.5k

Time: 1½ - 2 hours

Grade: Easy

Map: OS Explorer 286 Blackpool & Preston


 Map by kind permission of Johnston Press


1. From Longsands Lane turn left into Fernyhalgh Lane.


Keep ahead on this as it crosses the Guild Wheel and drops beneath the M6 motorway.


Just after the M6 cross Fernyhalgh Bridge and then bear left pass a metal gate


onto a wooded track


leading up a slope to Ladyewell House.


Now back on tarmac keep ahead to the next junction.


Turn right. After 150 yards turn right again onto a farm track leading down to Shepherds Hill Farm.


On entering the yard bear left to a side gate


that puts you on a narrow path leading to a drive on the far side of the farm. Turn left and walk downhill to reach the gates of Haighton House on your left.


2. The drive leading towards Haighton House is a public right of way between this set of outer gates and the next set of gates taking you through most attractive woodland with Savick Brook to your right. Squire Anderton's Woods are particularly lovely at this time of year. When you arrive at the next set of gates bear right onto a footpath that leads to a footbridge.


Cross the bridge and keep to the path as it skirts the woods and then enters fields.


Keep ahead until you reach a lane close to Londonderry Bridge.


There is probably a story on how this bridge got its name but not one revealed by an internet search. Turn right. Keep on the lane passing a property called Jymaka Gardens


on the right. Keep ahead at the junction and continue to where the lane turns sharp left towards Cow Hill Farm.

3. Turn right onto a footpath


that after passing through a wooded corner takes you across three large fields.


In the last of these as you approach Clock House Farm


turn right over a stile to join a track taking you pass the farmhouse


onto Fulwood Row. Keep on this as it swings left


and dips down under the M6. On the far side turn right onto the Guild Wheel


the cycleway that encircles Preston. This takes you through wooded parkland


to Fernyhalgh Lane.


Turn left for the start.

POI Ladyewell. The Shrine of Our Lady of Fernyhalgh has been a place of devotion since the 11th century. The traditional story of its creation has it that a merchant saved from a watery grave in the Irish Sea made a vow to undertake a thanksgiving work of piety. A miraculous voice instructed him to seek out Fernyhalgh where he would find a crab apple tree with a spring and there build a chapel. On his journeys he came to Preston and on discovering Fernyhalgh was nearby he set out for the settlement, found a statute of the Blessed Virgin close to the crab apple tree and spring which led to the spring being called Our lady's Well.
Today the Shrine is a thriving centre of Christian ministry as well as welcoming church groups and pilgrims also provides learning spaces for local schools. Though close to the M6 motorway it retains an atmosphere of calm and peace much needed in our busy world.
The Guild Wheel the 21 mile multi-use greenway has been developed as an enduring legacy for the 2012 Preston Guild celebrations. The Guild Wheel is a bold, imaginative and far sighted project. In essence it is a cycleway that circles the city in the main following the green belt. Like a bicycle wheel it has been designed with "spokes" providing links with the city centre along established routes of the National Cycle Network. Thus local people have the opportunity to use sustainable transport for employment, education, leisure, health and access.