fbpx

Leave the Car at Home Day

leave the car at home day copy Copy

LEAVE THE CAR AT HOME DAY!

There is some great walking and running here on our doorstep in Lancaster. We are lucky to have so much traffic free walking and cycling so accessible and these walks (or runs if you’re feeling fit) really make of the most of it.

leave the car at home day copy NFD 3-1-5

All start from the 315 Health Club but could easily be started from right in the centre of the city.

Though you’re only minutes from a busy city centre, these routes include some mixed terrain, meaning mud, rocks and uneven surfaces. Be sure your footwear and clothing are up to it and be sure to not exceed your abilities on rough ground.

Walk 1: Lancaster Canal & Williamson Park

Distance: 10km/6mi / Ascent: 141m/463ft / Terrain: Tow path/Gravel/Tarmac

From 315 Health Club we head over to the Lune cycle path (currently closed) and head towards town. We join the canal at the Lune Aqueduct, just after McDonalds. From here we instantly gain an elevated position above the road and town, with a nice diversion to the aqueduct for views along the Lune towards the Dales one way and the city the other.

Now we follow the canal, still heading towards town, on a good towpath. And stick along here for 2km/1.25mi, until we leave the canal onto Moor Lane and head left, up the hill. Here we’ll pass The Gregson Centre and the Britannia Pub, both excellent stops for refreshments!

Now we follow Moor Gate up the Hill, crossing a junction to continue along Wyrsedale Road. Here you gain the majority of the route’s height as you head towards Williamson Park and Lancaster’s highest point.

Soon you will find one of the many entrances to the park, shortly after the grammar school, on the left.

Here you are free to explore the many paths and hidden corners of the park and rejoin us back at the Ashton Memorial at the very top of the park.

From outside the café and butterfly house we drop into Fenham Carr Woods and head northeast to the junction of Parkgate Drive and Quernmore Road. Out of the park, we briefly  follow Quernmore Road away from town, to the east until we take a left onto Stone Row Head, a small road that leads us to the start of Moor Lane, which is in fact a gravelly track that runs alongside the M6 and Lancaster Farms. We stick to this until a junction beside a bridge over the motorway and great views across the city to the bay and the fells. Crossing the bridge and taking a left, we leave the motorway behind and follow Grimshaw lane for the long descent back down to the Lune at Halton.

The track is good but prone to puddles and plenty of loose gravel, so watch your footing on the flowing descent, before reaching the busy Caton road that needs to be crossed with caution. Once safely across, we carry on down Denny Beck Lane until we reach the Lune Cycle path once again and, taking a left, follow it back towards Lancaster, leaving it at the Holiday Inn to head back over the road to the 315 Health Club.

Walk 2: River Lune & Halton

Distance: 5.8km/3.6mi / Ascent: 56m/184ft / Terrain: Cycle Path/Mud/Grassy path

From 315 Health Club we head over to the Lune cycle path (currently closed) and head away from town, toward Halton. Glimpses of the river through the trees on our left let us know we’re going the right way. It is also possible to get closer to the river along smaller singletrack path parallel to the cyclepath but this is often overgrown and muddy.

We follow the cycle path until we reach Halton Bridge and the old station turned rowing club. We take a left over the bridge, watching for herons, swans, cormorants and even otters as we do. Once on the north bank, we take another left past the Greyhound pub and along Low Road, taking care where the pavement briefly disappears. Once we reach the mini roundabout before Halton Road we cross carefully to head up hill on Foundry Lane.

Following Foundry Lane uphill for a little way, we soon reach a small left turn that takes us past the Scout Hut and on to the top end of the cemetery. Branching off left we join a grassy path between the bypass and fields to drop back down shortly to Halton Lane. Once here we cross the road and turn right to go under the bridge and reach the entrance to Halton Camp. We turn into the entrance and drop back towards the Lune on a wide gravel track.

Once along the river, we stick to it, keeping it on our left a we pass through the camp (all on public rights of way, don’t worry!) until we reach the far end where the concrete parade ground gives way to grass and often mud, beside the river. Dodge puddles and mud patches through reeds and grass to reach a better path of wooden boardwalk and concrete that will eventually lead us to pass beneath the Lune Aqueduct.

Here it is possible to carry on towards town for a longer loop or else, for today’s walk, re-join the canal by heading up and right to the tow path on the Aqueduct. If we turn left we can continue along the canal towards Slyne or else, turn right over the river. Great views from the centre of the aqueduct; left towards the Dales and right toward the city. Once over the other side, we drop down the stairs on our right back to the cycle path (currently closed) and carry on along the cycle path away from town and back toward the 315 Health Club, leaving the cycle path at the Holiday Inn.

Walk 3: Aldcliffe, Fairfield Nature Reserve, Castle & Priory

Distance: 15.6km/9.7mi / Ascent: 150m/490ft / Terrain: Cycle Path/Mud/Grassy path/Gravel/Tarmac

From 315 Health Club we head over to the Lune cycle path (currently closed) and head towards town. We join the canal at the Lune Aqueduct, just after McDonalds. From here we instantly gain an elevated position above the road and town, with a nice diversion to the aqueduct for views along the Lune towards the Dales one way and the city the other.

Now we follow the canal, still heading towards town, on a good towpath for around 1.2km or 0.8mi until we can leave the canal via a cut through to join Coniston Road, down Mardale Road, across a grassy area and down some steps to Caton Road. Here we turn left toward town until we are able to access the cycle path and continue towards town along this.

Sticking to the cycle path we pass through St George’s Quay, along with great pubs and views of the river. We stay along here until we eventually reach the end of the road and carry on along the Lancashire Coastal Way, sticking as close to the river (and now almost estuary) as possible. This takes us past Freeman’s Woods and pools and along Aldcliffe Marsh, all on an elevated levee above the low lying and often flooded ground.

Eventually a junction with Aldcliffe Hall Lane is reached, we turn left here or if conditions are dry, continue a little further (400m/0.25mi) until a path off left is reached to take you to Aldcliffe through fields. We then pass through Aldcliffe, back toward the city on Aldcliffe Lane until the entrance to Fairfield Nature Reserve is reached. Here we take a left into the reserve along a well maintained gravel path with lovely views towards the city and of the reserve itself. Take time to loop around the reserve, there are a few paths to choose from but it’s hard to get lost as they all join together again!

We eventually pop out on Sunnyside Lane and turn right towards Sylvester Street on a tarmac and cobble walkway.  Eventually we reach the railway and turn left, still on a tarmac path, behind houses until popping out at the train station, in the main carpark. Here we cross the road to Station Road and on towards the recreation ground. Stopping short of which, we turn right and up West Road and over the railway. We soon turn a corner to be confronted by the high walls of Lancaster Castle. Here we can take our time looping around the castle grounds and up to the priory for great views to the bay and the fells beyond. From the Priory, we take a descending path down, past the site of Roman baths, to the Quays once again. Here we take a right, briefly, until it is possible to use the Millennium Bridge to cross the Lune.

We follow the cycle path to the left a short way until it possible to cross Morecambe Road into Rylands Park. Here we turn right and skirt the park’s edge until we reach Owen Road and head towards Skerton Bridge. We stop short of the bridge and instead take a left through the park, keeping the river on our right. We follow the path through trees and grass past Skerton and briefly join Halton Road, though almost immediately we turn right back down to the water’s edge, past the rowing club.

We stick to the river path now all the way back to the Aqueduct. The path heads up and down steps and over footbridges but always returning to the river’s edge. Once we reach the Aqueduct, we take a left up onto it and turn right to cross it.

If we turn left we can continue along the canal towards Slyne and on to Carnforth or else, turn right over the river. Great views from the centre of the aqueduct; left towards the Dales and right toward the city. Once over the other side, we drop down the stairs on our right back to the cycle path (currently closed) and carry on along the cycle path away from town and back toward the 315 Health Club, leaving the cycle path at the Holiday Inn.

Here’s a route map to help you on the walks!

So leave your car at home and get out and enjoy the beauty on our doorstep as part of the

Great British Week of Sport!

GBWoS Logo

JOIN NOW

We also very proudly partnered up with Fit4access a new online platform to help provide greater safety and reassurance to everyone in our centre throughout these uncertain times. Screening will take place upon entry for the safety of all our visitors and members alike.

#fitnessunitesus #fitnessday #gbwos