Day 124: Hutton to Blackpool
Distance: 22.99 miles
Ascent: 1133 feet
Weather: Sunny all Day
Accommodation: The Wells Household
When I woke up this morning the sun was already shining, but it was a dewy, hazy morning meaning that the tent itself was actually very wet. Once out of the tent it was a beautiful morning and I packed up quickly and was on my way. I really enjoyed the first couple of miles along the River Ribble and I was soon on the edge of Preston.
After crossing the river I joined the Preston Guild Wheel route, which took me nicely along the river, and at Bull Nose it crossed over the lock gates at the entrance to Riversway Docklands. Shortly after this the route became far less scenic when I had to follow the side of the dual carriageway for almost 5 miles, it really wasn’t the best bit of walking.
My phone was running out of data, so when I got to Freckleton I stopped for breakfast at The Plough and used the Wi-fi to write up yesterdays diary. I popped to the toilet before leaving and when I returned there were two rounds of sandwiches on the table, I had forgotten about the poster on my backpack and the manager had seen it and kindly made me sandwiches to take for lunch. This on top of a couple of donations sent me on my way in a good mood.
After Freckleton the path improved and after skirting along the back of some houses and across a field it dropped down onto the edge of the mud flats. I really enjoyed this part as the path headed along the flats and skirted around Warton Aerodrome. Just before getting to Warton Bank I came upon my nemesis, a field of bullocks. I decided just to head in but unfortunately they were all stood near the gate out of the field. I slowly crossed the field hoping they may move out of the way, fortunately they didn’t charge over but as I got within about 10m one came slowly over towards me and started gently nudging me and then others started coming so I slowly backed of and headed back to the corner I had come from. I do not think they were being aggressive at all, but I didn’t think I could safely pass them. I managed to find another route around the field though this did add about 15 minutes on.
From here the path followed embankments till just shy of Lytham, where after walking around a couple of small rivers I reached the promenade. At Lytham Windmill I met Kathryn and Lloyd (Hannah’s parents) who were joining for the walk today and are also kindly putting me up for my rest day. On top of this they also treated me to a nice lunch.
Lytham was busy as it was very sunny and also a bank holiday. We followed a mixture of promenade and beach, passing Fairhaven Lake, before after spotting some eclectically clad donkeys we headed under St Anne’s Pier. Soon after this Kathryn & Lloyd left me but not before I had decided to stay at there’s tonight as well, my original plan was to camp in the dunes between St Anne’s & Blackpool but with it being a sunny bank holiday there were too many people around for this to be feasible and as they only lived a few kilometres from my finish point today as well as tomorrow I did not take much persuading to accept their kind offer.
I continued on alone along in front of the dunes until finally reaching Blackpool promenade, I had definitely made the right decision accepting the offer as the dunes had been rammed with people. Blackpool was even more rammed than Lytham. The promenade through Blackpool is a good mix of tacky and arty, with the tacky amusements and sweet shops, not far from the nicely detailed promenade with it’s quite interesting selection of sculptures. Though from this side the most prominent feature was definitely the Big One rollercoaster which impressively domiantes the skyline. I finished my day near the South Pier, and was very grateful for the kind offer of the room and bbq that evening.
So another sunny day, in fact I applied sun cream 3 times today, and good progress was made and nice to have company on the walk.