What is the quickest way on foot or wheels out of the city and into the countryside? A fast pedal along Lancaster Canal? Across the Ribble, south to Bamber Bridge and beyond? Go West, cycling away from Penwortham and over to Longton Brickcroft?
The weekend before last my eight year old son wanted to escape the city’s bustle, so we drifted off to the park on our bikes. With the sun high in the sky we weaved our way through the crowds and cars clogging up the city centre, down the slope and into the city’s lungs, Avenham and Miller Park.
We decided to head East, skirting along the riverside and down the Boulevard, and cycle just four miles to Brockholes Nature Reserve. So on we went past Frenchwood Rec, across the pedestrian crossing on London Road and down by the side of The Shawes Arms. A few pedals later and silence descended as we were greeted by fields of cows and horses, rabbits ducking for cover and the sight of fishermen in waders stood fast in the centre of the Ribble. Fishwick Bottoms is one of my favourite parts of the Guild Wheel, it’s such a beautiful journey from Avenham Park to Brockholes you hardly feel like you are in a city.
On our way we spotted an army of geese slowly marching up the bank from the River Ribble, only to be greeted at the top by a field full curious cows. The feathered friends soon ran back down to the safety of the water.
It took little time to arrive at our destination where (after a play on the zip wire & adventure playground) we settled down outside the lakeside cafe with a brew and an ice cream. What bliss.
Why not join the Lancashire Cycle Challenge. It is running until 6th July 2014. Everyone can take part and there are some great prizes. Ride anywhere at anytime. Sign up at http://www.lovetoride.net/lancashire
Brockholes Nature Reserve, Junction 31, M6 Samlesbury, Preston, PR5 0AG Telephone 01772 872 000