Pilling walk

Pilling walk

Pilling walk

First published in Walks Preston and Leyland Citizen: Photograph of the Author by

My walk around Pilling took me close to a windmill alongside a World War II defence system and I enjoyed the splendid coastal scenery.

For East Lancashire folk Pilling is, I think, overlooked but I do recommend a visit.

From the car park next to the Golden Ball follow School Lane towards the church.

This area is full of flowers almost throughout the year and always looks cared for as befits a village which has won several awards.

From the lane, turn right along the path to the modern church and follow it round the grounds to a wicket gate with a caravan site away in the background to the right. Here on display is an engine, one of a few which were called the Pilling Pig.

These engines operated between Garstang and Knott End and the name was given because of the whistling sound of the engines.

These sounded like a squealing pig. Pass through a field and through another gate. This leads to the cemetery and the old church.

After exploring the church pass through an avenue of trees to a gate.

The village’s two churches are both dedicated to St John The Baptist.

On the wall of the older church is a sundial memorial for the Rev G Holden. Thanks to the efforts of the churches’ conservation Trust, the old church is well maintained. In the door is a sign indicating where the key can be obtained.

Turn left and head towards the road through the village.

Cross the road and look out for a footpath signed Pinfold. Pass through trees to reach the old village sheepfold.

Stray sheep were once impounded there until owners identified them by examining their ear (known locally as the lug) This practice dates back to Anglo-Saxon times and only ceased in the late 19th century.

Continue along the track which can become overgrown during these times when growth of plants is at a maximum.

Approach some old farm buildings to the right and left.

Bear right and pass through a gate.

Turn right to reach a car park and toilet block close to the road through the village. Here on the left is the Old Carr Farm.

Cross the road to find a sign to the left. This leads over fields for about one mile to reach Pilling beach where there is another car park.

This area is always a popular place to visit whatever the state of the tide. There is excellent bird watching whatever the time of the year and on the day of my visit a skylark was in full song.

Along the sea defence wall there are the remnants of the old gun emplacements dating back to the second world war. It was thought that a force of invading Germans might arrive from southern Ireland.

Turn right at the sands and join the narrow road for just over one mile.

Pass Fluke Hall on the right and take advantage of the seats facing the fields and the sea. Return along School Lane to the start.

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