Nicky Nook is one of the most popular destinations for walkers in Lancashire and it’s easy to see why. It offers a reasonable challenge, the views from the top are spectacular and there are plenty of good places to eat and drink.

It is a steep sided hill about four miles from Garstang and stands at 214 metres/702ft. The views from the top take in a vast area of Lancashire and, on a clear day, the Lake District fells, seem to be within touching distance.

Great British Life: High Street, Garstang. High Street, Garstang. (Image: Kirsty Thompson)

This walk starts and finishes in the ancient market town of Garstang which is a delightful place to visit with its quaint shops, pubs, and restaurants and cafes. My favourite café is the Cobbler and my friend, and I call in every time we walk or cycle in the area for a pre-journey fry up.

The town sits on the banks of the river Wyre that rises in the nearby Bowland fells as two tributaries, the Tarnbrook Wyre and the Marshaw Wyre. The Lancaster Canal passes through the town and there is a marina that has over 270 moorings for boats.

Great British Life: The River Wyre, Garstang.The River Wyre, Garstang. (Image: Kirsty Thompson)

1. Leave the car park and turn left and follow the main street through the town centre and then, after the bridge over the Wyre, turn left into Castle Lane. The lane derives its name from Greenhalgh Castle, the remains of which can be seen on the left. It was built by Thomas Stanley in 1490 and it was pretty much destroyed by Oliver Cromwell’s army after an almost two year siege to take it.

The lane forks but keep left and carry on, reaching some houses when it forks again, keep left. Just before a sign that says ‘Private Land Strictly No HGVs’, turn right following a path between two houses then cross a stile beside a gate and follow the path with a wire fence on the left. Ignore the gate on the left and keep on to a stile on the left, cross this and, bearing diagonally left, reach and cross another stile then drop down some steep steps into a valley. This is the route of an old railway line that ran from a junction on the main West Coast Line through Garstang and then on to Knott End.

Great British Life: What remains of Greenhalgh Castle. What remains of Greenhalgh Castle. (Image: John Lenehan)

Climb the steps up the other side and cross a stile into a field and bear diagonally right to reach the edge of Castle Wood. With this on the left, cross the bridge over the main railway line and then the bridge over the M6 motorway. This is a very unusual bridge as it carries an open stream as well as a footway.

Cross a stile and pass a house on the left but do not cross the footbridge on the left leading into the driveway of the house. Keep straight on and pass a green shed on the left and a house on the right and go through a stile.

Carry straight on up the lane and turn left at a footpath sign to the right of the entrance to Clarksons Farm and cross a stile. Follow the path between two wire fences then cross a series of stiles and keep on the path as it passes the side of a church and down some stone steps to enter a lane. Turn right and pass the front of the church, following the lane. Reach the main road and turn immediate left onto Eidsforth Lane and keep on this.

2. The lane eventually turns left with Burns Farm on the right. Keep on the now concrete road and cross a stile by a gate and keep on to reach some buildings. Turn right and then left and cross a stile and follow the path behind a building. The route goes downhill and to a footbridge.

Once across this, climb uphill then keep left to a stile and cross this then bear slightly diagonally left and cross the field to reach a stile leading into a wood. The path drops very steeply downhill to reach a rather rickety stile. Cross this and turn left and follow the steep steps down into Grize Dale then cross another footbridge. Turn right and go through a metal gate into the valley of Grize Dale and follow the track until it reaches and passes part of the reservoir on the right.

Great British Life: Walkers Lisa and Serena on the path up Nicky Nook. Walkers Lisa and Serena on the path up Nicky Nook. (Image: John Lenehan)

3. There is a stile and a sign saying ‘Nicky Nook’, cross the stile and start the steep climb that is stepped in places to reach the Triangulation Pillar on the summit. From here there are views to the Bowland Fells, the Lake District, Morecambe Bay and the Fylde Coast.

4. Leave the summit and follow the path over to a stone cairn marking the Jubilee of Queen Victoria then reverse the route and, as the path forks, bear left and follow the path as it bends left and descends steeply downhill crossing a stile and passing a small pond on the left. The path becomes stepped, walk down these to eventually join the road.

Great British Life: Our man at the summit of Nicky Nook. Our man at the summit of Nicky Nook. (Image: John Lenehan)

5. Turn left and follow the road Higher Lane, do not take the road going right at the junction. Keep on Higher Lane all the way to the T-junction and turn right into Keepers Lane.

6. Just before reaching Slack Farm there is a stile on the right. Cross this, then the next one and then keep the hedgerow on the right and keep on to cross the bridge over the M6 then the metal bridge over the railway line.

Then, with the fence on the right, cross the field and a stile into Hazlehead Lane and turn left. As the lane bends sharp left, turn right into a track Lingart Lane there is a footpath sign pointing down it.

Follow the lane as it turns right and at the end of the lane follow the path to and then cross the footbridge over the Wyre then follow the lane to a gate and stile on the left with a sign saying ‘Millennium Green’. Cross the stile and take the right hand path going straight on and follow this passing the very impressive flood defence barrier all the way back to the car park.