Haigh Hall Country Park

24th January 2021

I had planned to walk a much longer version of this route but any standing water had froze during the night then to top things off we had another dusting of snow this morning leaving conditions underfoot treacherous indeed. It was evident as soon as I left the car that I wouldn't be doing my planned mileage at a point when I wondered would I get around at all without falling on my backside, turns out I managed to stay upright but it took a lot of concentration in doing so which kinda picked away at the enjoyment I took from the walk.

It's such a shame that I couldn't have walked my planned route but hey ho there was nothing I could do so I came up with this little 3 miler starting from the same point as the longer walk only I didn't stay on the Leeds & Liverpool canal for as long, still, I managed to get my daily exercise albeit not as much as I liked.


Ascent: Feet - Metres
Wainwrights: N/A
Weather: Highs of °C Lows of °C
Parking: Crown Hotel Car Park, Wigan Road
Area: Haigh Country Park, Wigan
Miles: 3
Walking With: On My Own
Ordnance Survey: Explorer 276
Time Taken: 1 Hours 30 Minutes
Route: Leeds & Liverpool Canal - Haigh Upper Plantations - Haigh Hall - Copperas Lane - New Lane - Leeds & Liverpool Canal

Map and Photo Gallery


A semi frozen Leeds & Liverpool canal, Haigh.

I'm again joined by Brad & Holly on todays walk and just like the other day I had prepped everything that I needed before leaving the house and just like the other day Holly shook with excitement while Brad left snot trails on my passenger side window as he watched the world go by. Parking was easy and once I'd threw my jacket and bobble hat on I locked the car and joined the tow path.

It was within those first few steps that I realised todays walk was going to be a challenge. By now the temperature was increasing leaving a nasty mix of slippery ice and thawing mud, yuck, that said the trick was to take it easy.

Continuing along the tow path.
The canal bends right then left just up ahead after which we'll leave the tow path behind and enter Haigh Upper Plantations.

Canal Bridge, Haigh Upper Plantations.
To most Wigan'ers this canal bridge is about as familiar as their own front door, it's the main bridge which crosses the Leeds & Liverpool canal before heading through the plantations towards Haigh Hall.

Laid bare.

After nearly ending up on my backside I left the main path and forked left through the plantation. There was only me on the trail before an elderly couple came into view, the chap was using a stick he'd found as a walking stick but it wasn't enough, he slipped and fell right in front of me and was clearly shaken.

He was a decent size guy and there was no way his wife could lift him back to his feet alone so I ran over and told him to have a minute before getting back onto his feet and once he was ready I knelt down and put my left arm across his back while he put his right arm across my back and eased up slowly. He was more embarrassed than anything but the main thing was he was ok. Even with a mix of rock and leaves underfoot today the ice wasn't taking any prisoners.

Winter woodland.
Now that I was back on my feet I could start taking pictures again, it was here I realised I'd forgotten to charge my phone last night leaving just 20% battery left.

Frozen pond Haigh Upper Plantation.
My trail re-joined the main path where I mingled with the crowds all heading for Haigh Hall and perhaps the cafe to get a warm drink. Having not much battery left on my phone came as a blessing in disguise I guess, it was just too busy to start snapping away.

Haigh Hall appears.

From being knee high with my brothers and parents to bringing my own children here Haigh Hall feels like part of the family and aside a few new extra trails, a new cafe and childrens play area nothing much has changed.

Haigh Hall 1827 - 1840
Haigh Hall is a historic country house built from Parbold Stone between 1827 and 1840 for James Lindsay, 7th Earl of Balcarres, it replaced an ancient manor house and was a Lindsay family home until 1947 Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust are now the current owners of the hall.

A distant Billinge Hill from Haigh Hall.
Perched above Wigan Haigh Hall is visible from miles but trying to find my house from its grounds is proving difficult! That's the Golf Course in front of me.

Copperas Lane, Haigh Hall Country Park.
I left the crowds behind and decided to head back to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal via the road. This is Copperas Lane which will eventualy lead towards the village of Haigh.

Idyllic cottages, Copperas Lane, Haigh Hall Country Park.
Complete with white picket fencing.

A distant Haigh Windmill.
Built in 1845 the windmill was designed to pump water to the reservoir at Haigh Brewery coming to an end in the 1930's when the Brewery closed. The windmill has since been restored back in 2011 using Heritage Lottery Funds.

Brad leading the way.
...phone battery 8%

Last photo of the day.

With my phone battery failing me I took this last photo looking out to an area known as Holly Nook then put my phone away. I'm still a good mile from the car which I will return to via a short section of woodland and a hedged bridle way which finally brought me out back on the Leeds & Liverpool canal by which time the tow path was looking much busier but at least with more traffic and a slight rise in temperature the ice underfoot was staring to thaw.

All I need right now is a hot cup of coffee to warm me up but I guess it'll have to wait ten minutes until I get home, another cracking few miles even if it wasn't what was planned.


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