Coming soon: Autumn Green Belt walk, Preston

In light of recent updates to Covid guidance, we are working on a new date for our Green Belt walk around Preston, and are aiming for a date in late October or early November. We will update this page once things have been finalised. The walk details remain below, for information.

Join us for a leisurely 8-mile / 12.9-km walk through the green belt around Preston, starting directly from the city’s train station. This lovely circuit features Georgian architecture, one of the finest urban parks in the UK, the River Ribble, a pretty church and the River Darwen.

Green belt is the countryside on the doorstep for millions of city dwellers in the UK, and provides green space to escape from the city in order to run, cycle, walk dogs or just spend time with nature. However, the Green Belt is threatened by development and across the Northwest many community groups have come together to highlight threats to Green belt sites. CPRE Lancashire, Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester is currently offering a programme of walks to highlight the vital importance of the green belt and other spaces to residents of our region.

Walk description

Our meeting point will be at the northern entrance of Preston train station (on Fishergate) from 11.05 am to leave at 11.15 am. After signing in, we will walk east along Fishergate before turning south to pass Georgian houses around the historic Winkley Square.

We then use “Ladies Walk” to descend through the Grade II-listed Avenham Park. After then strolling along the mighty River Ribble for half a mile, we enter registered green belt as we cross Fishwick Meadows to rejoin the Ribble near Mellings Wood.

On reaching the main A59, we use the bridge to cross to the south side of the Ribble and change direction. Heading southwest, we use a field path from Cuerdale Hall to Ribble Side farm. From here we ascend gently to Church Brow, enjoying views across the river towards Preston.

We now temporarily leave the green belt to pass through Walton-le-Dale, via St. Leonard’s Church and the Queen Victoria recreation ground. Soon we head west out of the village to join a path along the River Darwen and return to more open country.

Ribble Reflections
cc-by-sa/2.0 – © K A –

Where the River Darwen empties into the Ribble, we continue along the south bank of the larger river and cross the “Old Tram Bridge” back into Avenham Park. Our paths here take us back past the Pavillion Café (with toilets) and the attractive “Japanese Rock Garden”. Finally, we view more Georgian architecture as return to the station.

We expect to arrive back at the station at around 3.30 pm.

Walkers will need sturdy footwear and appropriate clothing for Lancashire in the spring (waterproofs). Please also bring a packed lunch or a snack and a drink. Members of the group are invited to celebrate the end of the walk with food, drink and conversation in a city-centre pub (optional).

Difficulty: Leisurely – mainly good, level paths, with one or two muddy or sandy sections, a few steps and stiles, and occasional gentle gradients (with an overall ascent and descent of 150 metres). Unfortunately, this walk is not suitable for wheelchair users, but we are working on identifying wheelchair-friendly and accessible routes and plan to run an accessible walk in the near future.

Access: The walk is best accessed by train, as there is an excellent service to Preston from Manchester, Liverpool, Lancaster, Wigan, Warrington and Blackpool. Parking is also available at nearby car parks

Covid-19 measures: we have taken a number of measures to minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission on our walk, following the Ramblers Society guidance. These include the following:

  • a full risk assessment will be carried out to identify any specific risks on the walk, and measures to mitigate these risks, this will be available on request
  • numbers are strictly limited to 30 participants, including walk leaders 
  • anyone who has Covid symptoms must not attend the walk – we would be grateful if you could cancel your place on Eventbrite or by emailing us
  • contact details for all walkers must be left with us, in case we need to notify Track and Trace if another participant subsequently tests positive
  • any participants who subsequently develop symptoms within 7 days of taking part must contact us
  • all participants will be reminded to maintain a minimum distance of 2 metres between themselves and any others who are not from their household
  • please bring a packed lunch and drink; lunch will be eaten outdoors, in a location which allows for sufficient distancing to take place
  • participants should also bring hand sanitiser and, if they feel the need or if they are travelling on public transport, a face mask

Please contact us if you would like further information about our measures to minimise risk from Covid-19. The above will also be outlined in our confirmation email.


Cycling the Guild Wheel cc-by-sa/2.0 - © K A -
Quernmore landscape