Ashurst's Beacon




As we approach the Christmas season readers uninspired  by this column at other times of the year begin to turn their minds to the problem of the Christmas outing. Given that Yuletide has now become a two week binge fest of eating, drinking and shopping the novelty value of going for a walk acts as a rest cure from all the other usual activities. Here is a suggestion which has several positive features to make it an ideal family Christmas walk. Firstly it is close to the motorway network making it accessible in all but dire weather. On route there are two inns just in case you feel the need to top up on food and drink. Thirdly it is relatively short – just requiring a morning and afternoon. Finally the viewpoints at the start of the walk and from the Beacon itself are just about the best in the county.


Start: Beacon Country Park car park on Mill Lane, Upholland (known as Carr Lane car park) Post Code WN8 7RU GR SD 508065.

Note that the SAT NAV may direct you to the golf club car park which is by the visitors' centre. Carr Lane car park is a further 400yds to the south. 

Fact file: 

Distance 5 miles (8k)

Time: 2-3 hours

Grade: Easy with a very short, sharp ascent to Ashurst Beacon. The walk ends with a 25 minute walk along a lane which can be busy at weekends. Mud alert! On some sections of the walk mud will be encountered - especially after prolonged spells of wet weather.

Map Explorer 285 Southport and Chorley


Map by kind permission of Johnston Press 


1. From near the trig point

close to the car park there is a superb view towards Liverpool and the Clwydian Hills beyond. From the car park walk onto Mill Lane turning left and about 80yds on the opposite side of the road,

take the footpath sign indicated alongside the first house on the right.  The footpath takes you through meadows where you keep the field boundary on your left.  

Maintain this direction as you pass through woodland. After about 15 minutes gentle descent you will see a bungalow on the left, go through the stile on the left just after the bungalow, which leads you into a lane, turn right. 

2. A short distance ahead take the public footpath unusually indicated on the gate into an attractive property.  


The path leads to the left of the house and reaches open fields.


 After 300yds the path joins a track.  Follow the track as it skirts woodland,


then where the track turns pronouncedly left keep on it to just before the iron pole barrier (leading to shooting land).  


Here take the footpath on the right indicated by the waymarker. The footpath leads through trees into arable land beyond.  


When the footpath meets a track turn left. After 100yds turn right downwards through trees finding a waymarked path. Cross a stile


and continue into open fields.


Keep ahead  to the rear of a farm with a row of handsome poplars.  The path skirts to the left of the farm and leads out onto a lane.

3. Cross the lane onto a track that initially has the hedge on its right.  After crossing a stretch of open arable land, the route crosses a track, passes through a ribbon of woodland.  to reach another track.  Turn left and then continue 100yds to cross a footbridge and go through a kissing gate on the left.


 Begin a gentle ascent in the next pasture


passing below telephone wires to enter woodland at a stile. Turn right onto a brick track


leading to Hillock Lane.  


Turn left and after 400yds turn left again into Higher Lane.

4. About 700yds turn left at the primary school before the church towards Ashurst Hall.


 This path soon leads you up a sharp incline to Ashurst Beacon, one of the finest viewpoints in the county.  


From the folly turn southwards and descend on a broad grassy track dropping through trees into Beacon Lane.  Turn left and walk along the road firstly passing the Beacon Inn, closely followed by The Prince William public house, after 25 minutes arriving back at the car park.  


POI The original beacon formed a chain of signal fires at the time of the Spanish Armada (1588). During the Napoleonic Wars the landowner Sir William Ashurst set up this more permanent structure.

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