Two short local walks miles apart

11th - 12th November 2016

Here's two short walks that wouldn't normal make it to the website. Walk one was a local dog walk from my home along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and through a section of Wigan Flashes Nature Reserve situated minutes away from my house, it's a route that I and my dogs Holly and Bradley regularly use after work although with the shorter evening light it's getting quite difficult to continue the route. I didn't set off to intentionally to record the walk but seeing as it was so nice I started to take some images from my mobile phone which didn't turn out too bad, well for a mobile camera anyway.

To bring an end to my short break on the Saturday I had arranged to stay at Davids not to fell walk (that would be tomorrow) but to catch up on some website stuff ready for next years project. After spending the morning both glued to our laptop screens we decided before it went dark to head out to St Bees Beach and maybe have a wonder around before the sun went down, we just didn't realise what a treat we were in for as the sun went down.




Area: Wigan Flashes / Leeds and Liverpool Canal - St Bees Beach
Miles: 1.5 - 1.5
Walking With: Holly and Bradly Dawgs - David Hall
Time Taken: 45 Minutes - 1 Hour

Map and Photo Gallery

Scotsmans Flash, Wigan 09:15 0°C

I'm quite lucky to have always lived within a short walking distance of all of this, this is Wigan Flashes Nature Reserve which was formed through the extraction of coal, which led to subsidence and extensive flooding. A series of collapsed mines filled in with waterand created what we know as Wigan Flashes Nature Reserve and Scotmans Flash is just one of eight shallow wetlands within 240 Hectares of open water wetland.

Westwood Flash seen over The Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

If you would have stood here back in early August 1989 you would have been looking at Westwood Power Station complete with two huge Cooling Towers which dominated the Wigan skyline. The Power Station was demolished later that month to the amusement of myself and my friends who watched the Cooling Towers come down in a matter of seconds. Prior to being demolished the Cooling Towers were part of our playground as kids and had we have been able to get into the Power Station that would have been too!

Here also once stood the foundations for a bridge which carried coal from Wigan Coal and Iron works by rail along the bank behind me, as kids we were told a railway line used to be here which was nicknamed 'the lines'

The Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

The Leeds and Liverpool Canal seen with Scotsmans Flash over on the right.
That's Bradley running ahead, Holly meanwhile is a Daddy's girl and likes to stay close to me.

Scotsmans Flash.

A lot of my friends back gardens opened out onto the Flash and as a result we would canoe or fish here during the Summer Holidays. Wigan Sailing Club is just to the right of the photo and through the height of Summer Scotsmans Flash gets very busy with Sailing Boats and Canadian Canoes who take School Parties out onto the Lake.

It's always fun when it's windy watching the Sail Boats topple over despite the rescue boat never being far away.


Morning mist can be seen rising from the waters surface.

A look back along the tow path.

My walk will see me pass through those trees a little later.

Looking back on Wigan Sailing Club.

Morning mist.
Despite it still being relatively early I've already passed around six people all walking their dogs, except for the gent who walks towards me who I see quite often and is regarded as an Unofficial Warden who's just exceptionally keen on the area as is my own Father, we pass with t'alreet lad, that's Wigan for good morning.

Approaching Moss Bridge.
I could cross Moss Bridge and double back along the other side of the tow path but I've got to get back to pick my son Owen up from an interview.

Moss Bridge.

It's time to leave the Canal now.

Reed beds flank both sides of the path as I walk back towards the estate.

Just minutes away from the car park and our local High School.

Well, that was a fantastic forty or so minutes and now it's time to head back into reality where my Wife my Son and Daughter went to High School along with about twenty other friends.

Me, I went to a Catholic School bloody miles away.

St Bees Beech

St Bees Beach 14:55pm
After starting at the Laptop screens all morning and well into the afternoon we decided to hit the beach.

St Bees Beach.
The light was very low and moody although everynow and again the sun would peak through the cloud.


That's Black Combe in the distance.
We could have headed up onto St Bees Head which was behind us but with less than an hours light left we took a stroll across the sands and made it up as we went along.

The skies start to clear.
One final show before the sun goes down, if we're lucky that is.

What a way to spend your afternoon.

St Bees Head from as we climb the cliffs for the walk back.

We left the beach behind after spotting someone walking along the cliff top and thought that would be a great way to return to the car by. Here there are notices every few yards warning walkers to stay away from the unstable cliff edge. I'm not sure how old those signs are but they're also too close for comfort to the edge now.

Best to take a wide berth.

St Bees Head.

The sunset begins.

And intensifies.

It might be cold and a little blustery.

But I wouldn't want to be anywhere else right now.

Almost back at the car as views open out to St Bees Head again.
How about we walk back along the beach past the breakers? aye why not.

It looks as though we are going to get treated to a wonderful sunset.


Who'd of thought it.
Half an hour ago the skies were dull and grey and now look!

The bright light captured on a caravan window next to the Cafe and of course along the beach and cliffs against a grey sky.

Just to think...

...We weren't supposed to be going to St Bees after all.

Dying embers of the day.

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