Lancashire walk - Knott End on Sea
- Credit: Archant
Knott End is more than just a place to kill time waiting for the ferry, as John Lenehan discovers.
Knott End-on-Sea is unfairly thought of by trippers as just being somewhere to have a wander between ferry rides to and from Fleetwood. It probably has something to do with the fact that from Fleetwood it is a 24-mile round trip via Shard Bridge to get here.
For this reason, there will be some who give Knott End a miss.That would be a mistake as it is a beautiful village with a panoramic view of the Lakes from its quiet promenade. As a bonus, there is some really nice walking to be had in the surrounding countryside.
1. Leave the promenade with the sea on your left, following the sea wall path until it reaches a large caravan park on the right. The OS map shows the park further along the coast than it actually is. Keep on the sea wall path and go past the large caravan park and the smaller one next to it.
Note: The views to the Lakes from the sea wall are stunning except the bit blocked by the nuclear power station. It is also possible to see Ingleborough, the second highest mountain in the Yorkshire Dales.
2. At the end of the smaller caravan park there are some steps on the right that leads to a path that goes straight ahead with the caravan park on the right and stream on the left with an open field behind that. Keep on the path until it reaches the road then cross the road and just to the left there is a driveway into Huckleberry’s Pre-School. Go up the drive and cross the stile next to the right of the main gate and keep on going up the drive, keeping to the right hand side of it.
3. Where the drive bends left with a sign saying ‘Car Park’, there is a wooden fence going straight on and to the right of this there is not very well maintained stile that leads to a path that goes behind the fence. Cross the stile and go straight on with the fence on the left.
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Note: This is where the path is overgrown with a lot of nettles and brambles and the reason not to be wearing shorts.
Follow the path until it reaches a stile and cross this into an open field then with the hedgerow on the right and a wire fence keep straight on following stream of Wheel Foot Watercourse that is on the other side of the wire fence. Cross two stiles and keep straight on. Do not be tempted to cross the footbridge that appears on the right but cross the footbridge straight ahead and keep following the wire fence and stream on the right. Eventually after crossing two stiles to the right of metal gates and crossing a final stile by a metal gate, enter a narrow tarmac road and turn left then right and follow the road as it passes some beautiful houses on the right. The road forks but keep right and follow the now wider road to the main road and turn right by Preesall Garage and follow the main road.
Note: It is hard to believe looking at such beautiful countryside that over towards the River Wyre was a huge salt mine and a railway that ran from Garstang to Preesall and on to Knott End. The engines were nicknamed Pilling Pigs and one stands at the entrance to Fold House Holiday Centre in Pilling. Of course, the lines are long gone.
4. About 100 metres along the main road on the opposite side there is a gate stile. Go through this and follow the path that leads through a field towards a hill and enters a copse of trees and cross a stile and the path then bears right towards a main road by some new houses. Join the road and turn right and follow it as it crosses Ford Stones Bridge. There is Crown Green club on the opposite side of the road just before the bridge.
5. Once over the bridge on the opposite side of the road there is a stile and a footpath sign. Cross the stile and go down some steep steps to a path then simply keep on the path and follow this. It eventually passes a track on the left that leads up to Curwens Hill Farm and then becomes a track. Follow the track until it reaches a crossroads of tracks.
6. Turn left and follow the track shown on the map as Whinny Lane. There is a fork in the track and at this point keep right and keep following Whinny Lane. Eventually the track reaches the buildings of a big derelict farm that is part of Hackensall Hall and goes behind this and past some green sheds on the left and then crosses one of the fairways of Knott End Golf Club and reaches the bank of the River Wyre.
Turn right and with the river on your left follow the path as it goes past a golf green and flag and drops down through some bushes and enters a track that goes to the right and behind a white house.
Note: The present Hackensall Hall was built in 1656 by Richard and Anne Fleetwood but there was a previous hall on the site that dates back to around 1200. The name Hackensall comes from the Norse name Haakon, a Viking who chose to settle in the area. In 1926 a leather bag with about 500 Roman coins was found in the hall grounds. It was thought there were two ghosts in the hall and an exorcism was carried out to remove them.
7. Just after the white house there is a path that goes left towards the river.
Follow this and turn right and follow the metalled track that follows the river back to Knott End eventually reaching the top of the ferry jetty. Turn right and follow the road that leads back to the promenade.
Start and Finish: The promenade Knott End on Sea
Distance: 4.25 Miles/ 6.8 Km
Time: 2.5 Hours
Terrain: Really easy walking with no hills on mostly good paths and tracks. In summer I would avoid wearing shorts as one small section is overgrown with quite a few nettles. Light boots or shoes should be fine.
Map: OS Explorer 296 Lancaster, Morecambe and Fleetwood.
Facilities: There are some public toilets in the village.
Ramsay’s Ice Cream Shop
It was a warm day and I could not resist an ice cream from Ramsay’s, part of Knott End Café. They sell a full range of flavours made by the famous Wallings. I opted for stem ginger with a flake then sat on a wall watching the Isle of Man ferry sail into Heysham. It was really good ice cream.
Tel: 01253 811948
Kays Fish and Chips
I got talking to a local man who asked if I liked fish and chips. That is a bit like asking Dracula if he likes blood. He recommended Kays Fish and Chips that it just off the prom on Wyre View. I have got to admit they were fantastic.
Tel: 01253 810338