Philip Walsh, Chairman of Friends of Real Lancashire, has set off on his one man walk around the Palatine of Lancashire’s boundary at total of 417 miles. He will be joined by members of FORL at various stages along the route so if you see him give him a wave or better still support his charity (North West Air Ambulance charity). Philip began his walk from Blackpool Tower on 30th May. Before setting off he said: “Make no mistake about this, our county is huge! The boundary alone at over 400 miles is double the Lancashire administration area boundary, so it is a tremendous challenge for me. The longest walk I have ever done is the 73 mile Ribble Way over 4 days.”
Philip will walk the route in an anti-clockwise direction, i.e. the Ribble and Southport coast towards Liverpool. The walk borders the towns of Warrington, Denton, Ashton-under-Lyne, Oldham, Littleborough, Burnley, Colne, Clitheroe, takes in the moorland of the Forest of Bowland and Leck Fell. The Lake District section follows paths close to the River Winster towards Windermere, then the River Brathay towards Elterwater, the River Duddon and back down the west coast of Furness. The walk will then continue through Silverdale, Carnforth, Morecambe and Lancaster and back towards Blackpool via Fleetwood. One of the most interesting towns on route is the border town of Todmorden where the border is the River Calder and Walsden Water which runs under the Town Hall!
Philip said: “The object of the walk is to raise awareness of Lancashire’s true boundaries, practically establish the route and publish it as a recognised long distance walk. Of course I’ve got to make my efforts worthwhile, so I’m hoping to raise at least £5,000 for the NW Air Ambulance. It will help towards the £8 million a year the charity needs to stay operational.”
The long term aim to establish a recognised Lancashire Boundary Walk is hoped be the first of many such county border walks. To walk each county border could become a goal among walkers, much as having visited each “county top” already is.
You can support Philip’s charity at Just Giving.