The dissolution of the monasteries by Henry the Eighth was the first privatisation and Brexit rolled into one. Between 1536 and 1541 his agents broke up some 900 monasteries, priories and convents, disposed of their assets and appropriated their income. The buildings themselves soon fell into disrepair and then ruin. This was the fate of Burscough Priory even though its patron The Earl of Derby tried to save the church where many of his ancestors were buried. King Henry was not given to U turns!

Start. Burscough. Platts Lane. L40 7TE As this is a linear walk some attention needs to be paid to logistics. My recommendation is to park in Ormskirk and take the 2A service to Preston alighting at Platts Lane (There is also a train service between Ormskirk and Burscough Junction)
Finish: Ormskirk Town centre
Distance: 4 miles 6k

Time: 1 ½ - 2 ½ hours

Grade: Easy

Map: OS Explorer 285 Southport & Ormskirk


 Walk by kind permission of Johnston Press


1. From Liverpool Road turn into Platts Lane


a mix of commercial and residential buildings. Keep ahead over the railway


and join a track through a green kissing gate next to a metal one. Continue along a fenced track with fields left and right. 200yds after the railway turn right through a wooden kissing gate


and cross the field to a wooden stile


leading into a strip of woodland. Cross the strip into a large field. Follow the path to a kissing gate on the farm track leading down to Mill Dam Farm to the left. Turn left onto the track and then soon after pass a barn on the right turn right onto a footpath


leading back into fields. The path leads alongside Abbey Brook and then crosses it


to reach a large grassy area with a forbidding sign about keeping to the path. This leads left and then right alongside Abbey Farm


to a drive on its far side. On this stretch you may have already caught a glimpse of all that remains of Burscough Priory - two impressive piers that once supported the roof. Better access can be achieved by turning immediately left on the drive of a private house and following it to the enclosure containing the ruins.


Returning to the walk follow he drive through the caravan park


to join a lane. Turn left noting the site of the ancient priory cross on the left


and walk along the lane to reach Abbey Bridge.


On the far side turn right on a footpath that follows Sefton Brook to the right.


Keep ahead when the path makes an obvious turn to the right and continue to a stile


leading to a path crossing woodland to another and the grounds of a large house. Keep to the right of the tennis court


and aim for a corner where the drive ends with a pair of large gates. Here a fenced path


to the right of the drive will allow you to circumvent this barrier. Once beyond it cross a bridge and soon after join Sandy Lane at its junction with Lathom Lane.


Turn right into Lathom Lane.

2. From this point onwards the route becomes easier to navigate. After 200yds turn right onto a broad farm track.


This is named "Lady's Walk" on the OS map. When the track turns left to the farm keep ahead alongside a hedge


crossing the line of a disused railway and recent pipeline operation and continue to Cross Hall Farm.


When you reach it follow its drive to Wigan Road (A577).


Cross the road to join a path slightly to the right and follow this to reach Ruff Wood.


Sign boards will help you orientate yourself as you go through the trees


to arrive on Ruff Lane. Turn right for Ormskirk.


POI Ruff Lane is a conservation area and a pleasantly leafy suburb of Ormskirk. After passing through the area of Edge Hill University look out for a small park at the junction with St Helen's Road. Here the war memorial lists one Sergeant Major Nunnerley who took part and survived the Charge of the Light Brigade.


The parish church of Ormskirk is unusual in that it has a steeple and a tower. The tower was added during the 16th century to accommodate a set of eight bells taken from…Burscough Priory.