Lancashire Walk - Shevington Moor and Standish
PUBLISHED: 00:00 11 June 2014 | UPDATED: 20:20 04 March 2020
Keith Carter is grateful for his map-reading skills and GPS as he squelches through the muddy countryside around Shevington
This walk was published in June 2014, so the details of the route may no longer be accurate, we do advise these articles should only be used as a guideline for any potential route you take and you should double check an up to date map before you set off.
This month's walk is in that hinterland to the east of the M6 accessed from exit 27 signposted Standish and Wigan. The first place you come to on leaving the motorway is called Shevington Moor, a name deriving from a hill called Shevin although where that hill might be is a mystery. Perhaps they flattened it when they pushed the M6 through. Initially you wonder where the countryside is but once you leave the houses behind there's quite a nice chunk of agricultural country around Langtree Hall to the east of the A49.
We start from a modest picnic area with a fishing lake and a few tables, the car park not called anything and only big enough for a few cars at the end of a cul-de-sac called Brookfield Road off Old Pepper Lane. If Wigan Metropolitan Borough had anything left in the budget it wouldn't hurt to upgrade this site which seems neglected. The solitary litter bin had been torched and the hard-standing had deep puddles when I visited. The footpath round the lake was flooded and I nearly lost a boot, sucked down by the slutch. Hopefully this has now dried out. Once past the lake the going improves a bit although there's still an enclosed path that is only negotiable at the risk of muddy boots.
Keep to the left of the lake then walk along a field edge to the left of the hedge line, find the enclosed, muddy path and emerge at a meeting of ways. Keep forward and head for a group of restored farm buildings with elaborate security gates but keep left round some brick buttresses through some rough land to a line of housing along a main road, the A49.
Here our appearance attracted some attention and a local called out from the bus stop, eager to offer directions. 'Are you lost?' This always irritates me. Walkers equipped with map and compass, GPS and a cunning plan shouldn't be lost - they sometimes are, I grant you. I myself have been lost on occasion, dare I say it. This time we had some idea of where we were going and indeed where we had come from so 'are you lost' seemed a little insensitive.
Cross the A49 onto Langtree Lane and follow a surfaced lane, keeping left at a fork. Where the lane becomes unsurfaced, continue through fields, heading for a large farmstead with huge barns, Gorse Hall. The field we walked through was dotted with pipes sticking up out of the ground, presumably to vent underground gases from an old tip.
When you get to the barn, keep left round it to avoid going through the farmyard. Next, keep left towards a copse concealing a tip and piles of rubble. Farmers seem to like rubble, filling in gateways where the ground has become churned up. From the copse, keep left down to a stream and cross it by an earth bridge which has made a footbridge here redundant, the bridge now half in and half out of the stream.
From the stream a prominent path climbs up a brow. Don't head towards the railway but keep it on the right. Over the top of the brow we find ourselves at the stile leading into a nature reserve called Hic Bibi, once a brickworks and quarry now overgrown and populated by young trees and undergrowth. Go through the reserve, the path skirting the quarry edge and at a noticeboard you can catch up on how it all happened. Continuing through the reserve, take a stile on the left, cross some rough land and cross a stile to enter an enclosed path among blackthorn bushes.
This is not an area where you will see many waymarks. The farmer told us he didn't bother putting them up since he barely saw four walkers in a whole year so putting up waymarks seemed hardly a priority.
Hic Bibi is Latin for 'here drank I', the name taken from a well in the area, a freshwater spring from which Oliver Cromwell is said to have taken a drink.
After crossing a rough field, take a stile to enter an enclosed path and emerge onto Hic Bibi Lane once thought to be a Roman road. Cross over to a gate and follow a field path towards Bogburn Hall, the path diverted round to the left of the farm, coming back to meet the access lane. The farmhouse is dated 1663 and was once a Quaker Meeting House. Follow the lane to where it meets Coppull Moor Lane, turn left and walk down to Preston Road.
Here, if you want a pint, turn right to find the Alison Arms a few hundred yards along. If not, turn left and stay on the pavement until you see two restaurants on the left, the second one called Cinnamon. Directly opposite, an opening leads to Langtree Farm Shop with a double gated opening. Beyond the farmhouse, keep left along a field border and cross a footbridge to meet a gravel lane.
On the left they have left a footpath behind a line of wire and on meeting a newly laid access lane with kerbstones set in concrete, turn left and walk down to the main road. Cross straight over into Robin Hill Lane which leads to a footpath in turn coming to a meeting of ways, already visited on our outward route. Take an opening on the right, the muddy fenced path alongside a stream which we came along earlier then return by the way we came, passing to the right of the lake to reach the car again.
This has been a walk of contrasts but take care with the directions. The waymarks are few and far between so this may be where those map-reading skills become useful.
Area of walk: Shevington Moor
Distance: 5 miles
Time to allow: 3 hours
Map: OS Explorer 285 Southport and Chorley
Refreshments: Alison Arms, Coppull, The Silver Tally, Shevington Moor.
Not suitable for wheelchairs or push-chairs.