Wigan Pier Loop

23rd January 2021

With another nice day forecast I took Brad & Holly out from a door step local dog walk which turned out better than expected so I decided to add it to the website. There was only an hour and a half daylight left and instead of heading for Scotmans Flash I walked in the opposite direction creating a two mile loop which included walking along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and a tour of Wigan Pier.

I've walked and ran this route hundreds of times but I never thought about adding it to the website until today. This walk certainly doesn't include any crags nor hills for that matter but it's on my doorstep and steeped in local history.


Ascent: N/A
Wainwrights: N/A
Weather: A Bright Start Turning Overcast With Spots of Rain In The Air. Highs of 7°C Lows of 7°C
Parking: N/A
Area: Wigan
Miles: 2
Walking With: Brad & Holly
Ordnance Survey: Explorer 276
Time Taken: Hours Minutes
Route: Leeds & Liverpool Canal - Trencherfield Mill - Wigan Pier - Leeds & Liverpool Canal

Map and Photo Gallery

The Leeds & Liverpool Canal 15:00pm 7°C
I guess I'm very lucky having views like this just two minutes from my door step. With the lock down full under way I've noticed how busy the tow path has been and this afternoon doesn't seem any different. I'm heading straight ahead for now but will leave the canal before the bend up ahead and head for Trencherfield Mill via local streets which will turn the walk into a loop.

Looking back on Top Lock.
I'm sure top lock is numbered but it's known locally as Top Lock, Bottom Lock is found just around the bend closer to home.

Leeds & Liverpool canal.
The tow path is a little busy so I let the crowds take off creating a space so Brad & Holly arent pulling on their leads trying to get a whiff of the dogs up ahead!

Apartments and buinesses from Trencherfield Mill.
After walking through the streets for a short while I pick up the Leeds & Liverpool canal at Trencherfield Mill (out of shot) up ahead on the left are the new (ish) apartments while on the right is Wigan Investment centre. The building with the railings is Wigan Dry Dock.

Wigan Dry Dock.
It's a rarity seeing the dock with no barge or canal boat being repaired. First the dock is flooded by the lock seen ahead before the boat sails over the metal girders then the dock is drained.

Crossing the footbridge over the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.
At lock 87

The Mill at the Pier built in 1907
Now a theatre but once a thriving cotton spinning mill at the height of cotton and coal industry. The building to the right is home to the worlds largest working steam engine named Rina and Helena.

The face of Wigan sculptured by Andy Hazel.
Found on Trencherfield Mill.

Wigan Pier Number 1 Terminal Warehouse dating back to 1777
Now home to two pleasure cruisers the Terminal building was once used for the loading and unloading of sugar, spices and dried fruit.

Wigan Pier Number 1 Terminal Warehouse taken around 1957 Photo courtsey of © Wigan World
The barge is delivering flour and is registered at nearby Parbold.

Wigan Pier.
Currently under full renovation for the second time in my lifetime, the last time was during 1984 when my older brother Andrew worked here as a joiners apprentice.

Coal laiden barges at Wigan Pier - Photo courtesy of © Wigan World.

Wigan Pier.
But where is Wigan Pier?


Trencherfield Mill from Wigan Pier.
This is it, that's Wigan Pier - formally a coal tippler the original pier was removed for scrap in 1929 and replaced with the one seen today. One of the main reasons George Orwell visited Wigan back in 1936 was to see the pier, sadly he was too late it had been scrapped years earlier later writing the famous book The Road to Wigan Pier where he described amongst many things how much he liked the people of Wigan but not the brutality of how we lived during the height of the Coal and Cotton revolution.

SS Thomas pleasure cruiser from yesteryear - Photo courtsey of © Wigan World.
Trencherfield Mill can be seen in the back ground.

Old and new brickwork.
When I was a kid our school took us around Wigan Pier to see the old remnants of Wigan's Coal industry. I remember seeing miles of the wall seen here on the left (not just at Wigan Pier but locally to where I lived) and distinctly remember where the canal would bend the tow ropes would groove through the sand stone brick, sadly most of those walls have been demolished because they were unsafe but it's still nice to see parts of the wall here and there.

Pottery Road bridge.
Complete with cobbles Pottery Road bridge dates back to 1816 and was built purely as a Roving Bridge when horses pulling a canal barge could cross from one tow path to the other without de-coupling the rope between the horse and the barge.

Old work shed and offices, Wigan Pier.
Note the large arched doorways now bricked up.

Back at Wigan Investment Centre.
Which Paula and I both know well after Paula worked there for a few years during the mid to late 90's.

Looking back on local businesses and Wigan Investment Centre.
From the Leeds & Liverpool canal.


Heading home as the sun goes down.

St James Church, Wigan.
Look at that, it's 4.20pm and it's still light. I know it's not Lakeland, todays walk wasn't even in the countryside but it's a route us three know well. I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.


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