My local football team was playing an away match at Chorley today, so I thought it would be an opportune time to do one of my outsanding to do ‘used’ Ferry links. The only left in north of Devon was the walk around the Wyre Estuary between Knott End and Fleetwood which I had previously bypassed.
I drove to and parked at the large free car park in Knott End. The River Wyre was at low tide and I could see the ferry-boat on the Fleetwood side, marooned on a muddy bank. There is a huge tidal range here, some 8 metres plus! I set off walking along the river bank and am soon diverted inland across the golf course. I soon realise that this is not the route of The Wyre Way, which I am following for most of the todays walk. I soon get myself back on the correct path. I arrive at Barnaby’s Sands, a salt marsh, and walk along the top of a levee, built to keep flood tides out of the surrounding land. I then enter Burrows marsh, another salt marsh, this time walking below the levee. I continue along Burrows Lane, through the small hamlet of Staynall and along Wardleys Lane into the village of Hambleton. I walk around Wardleys Creek, a small inlet of The Wyre. There is marina, of sorts here, most of the yachts have seen better days and are moored in what are described as “Mud Berths”. The low tide has left just a trickle of water in these creeks. The river course continues to make a series of turns and I can see the tide is still well out. I follow a path of sorts over the flood plain. I had decided to wear my walking shoes, knowing that I may get my feet wet along this section. Although I avoided many of the wet patches I arrived at The Shard Bridge, which crosses The Wyre, with wet feet.
I crossed over the bridge and almost immediately began following another wet trail on the opposite side of the river. I arrived at Skipool Marsh and headed inland slightly to join a busy roundabout and soon turned to walk along a tidal road around Skipool Marsh. I passed a series of raised wooden jetty’s, most in a dilapidated state, setting out from the road and path. For about a mile I passed many moored boats in a varied state of repair. The walking underfoot was good, with a firm hardcore path to walk along. I emerged onto an even wider path that came from the Wyre Country Park, which I soon passed through. I passed many walkers, mainly with dogs. I walk alongside the site of the old ICI Chemical works at Hillhouse, mostly used for the making of Chlorine. The works closed in 1992 and had its own power station (now demolished). Most of the works seem to have been taken over by an assortment of other businesses. A large palisade fence keeps the old site and shoreline path separate. To avoid lagoons, marsh, sewage works and docks I head inland onto a busy road. I pass at least 3 holiday parks on the way. At the roundabout I walk along a busy road until I come to Copse Road, which takes me through the suburbs of Fleetwood. I pass many commercial and industrial units along the way, including the Fisherman’s Friends (menthol and eucalyptus lozenge) factory, which are still made in Fleetwood. I walk along the high street and decide it would be nice to have some fish and chips. I don’t think much fish is landed at Fleetwood these days. I arrive at the ferry landing stage. The River has undergone a transformation, with very choppy conditions on a now full Wyre estuary. I pay £2 to cross over on the ferry to my car parked at Knott End.
Distance today = 15 miles
Total distance = 3,172 miles