Bold Loop

Hello again people and pooches. Jo the Cocker here. We woke up to sunny skies on an August Bank Holiday Monday. We weren’t planning to do a hike but, the weather was calling us to the countryside. We are not one’s for heading where the crowds are so my human had a quick look on the internet for a walk of around three hours somewhere close to home. He found a tempting little flat 7.5 mile walk called the Bold Loop. The route is circular, or rather lollipop shaped. It shares the first and last section with a circular route around the area, if that makes sense.

It was a short thirty-minute drive to the start point at St. Helens Junction railway station. This is on the outskirts of St. Helens in a place called Sutton. The railway station has been on this spot since 1833, just three years after the world’s first passenger line opened between Liverpool and Manchester.

After walking along the pavement of Station Road, Helena Road and Bold Road, we crossed into a field through a kissing gate. The large wheat fields were in the process of being harvested by a large combine harvester. My day took a nosedive at this point and my ears took a battering as my human started to sing, again! The Wurzels ‘I’ve Got a Brand New Combine Harvester’, probably one of the worst songs ever, started to assault my big floppy ears. Why me?

Cue the singing!
Looking back across the fields
Loved the clouds

Anyway, it was a great site to see the fields being eaten by this huge machine as we walked alongside the drainage ditch. We followed the Public Footpath signs across the fields until turning left around Abbotsfield Farm. Shortly, we joined Gorsey Lane where we turned left then right into Hall Lane. This pleasant narrow lane took us in a straight line, past Home Farm and Kennel Cottage until we came to Thatch Cottage where we turned left along a footpath.

Home Farm
Bold Hall Nursery
Kennels Cottage
Thatch Cottage

We entered into a leafy green lane between Dog Kennel Plantation and Griffin Wood. We didn’t venture into the woods as work is in progress repairing worn out old wooden footbridges. The path took us to a footbridge over the M62 motorway. We followed the footpath which headed toward woodland once known as Ladies’ Walk as it was a popular site for ladies to walk between Old Bold Hall and Bold Hall. The wood was the site of the Bold family’s manor house. The moat can still be seen from the footpath. After passing through the Old Hall Farm tracks we turned along a stone covered track. This track passes close to Mersey Valley Golf Course, large stables and an angling lake before we turned right onto the A57 Warrington Road.

Griffin Wood
Footbridge repairs
Leaving Griffin Wood
Heading to the motorway
Dog Kennel Plantation pond
Formerly Ladies Walk
Old Hall moat
Old gate posts
Old Hall Farm
Farm track

After a 500 yard pavement walk we turned right into a driveway that took us past a house before we entered into fields along a narrow footpath. There were two stiles for me to negotiate and I needed a bit of help from the big feller to get over them. The meadow on our right was ablaze with wildflowers while the wheatfields on our left were ready for the combine harvester. I almost had pheasant for my dinner as I startled one in the hedgerow. I didn’t catch it, I never do but, I still had to go on-lead for a while because the big feller was almost as shocked as the pheasant.

Waiting for a lift

The footpath took us past Tibbs Cross Farm and, after crossing a lane, past a cottage which took us to a path running along the Sutton Greenway. The disused railway line leads under the M62 and on to Sutton Manor Woodland. The St. Helens and Runcorn Gap railway ran along this line carrying coal from 1830 until its closure in 1975. We walked into the woodland area that is a reclaimed colliery site. Sutton Manor closed in 1991 and the remaining slag heaps were turned into a country park. We took a detour up to Dream, a huge sculpture of a girl’s face, on the highest point in the park.

Narrow footpath
Sutton Greenway

We had a short rest by the sculpture before we dropped downhill to cross the disused railway and enter the fields by Sweet Briar Court. I had another incident with birds as I nearly bagged myself a magpie. As I said, nearly again! The route took us across Clock Face Road and into Clock Face Country Park. The path, called Miners Way, led us along the site of another colliery, Clock Face Colliery. The mine was opened in 1893 and at its peak, employed over 700 people. It closed in 1966, being declared uneconomical. Today the 57 acre site is a country park with a pretty angling lake and woodland and meadow walks.

Miners Way
Clock House Country Park
Angling Lake with Fiddlers Ferry in the distance
Almost back at the car

We left the country park and walked along a short stretch of Gorsey Lane before we turned into the footpath alongside Abbotsfield Farm again. From this point we retraced our steps across the fields and through the streets back to the railway station. It had been a pleasant few hours in the sunshine. All there was to do was for me to jump in the back of the car and have a snooze while my chauffeur drove me home. Till next time!

‘Home James!’

4 thoughts on “Bold Loop

  1. Thank you Joe! Such a lovely walk down memory lane for me though it’s much improved since I lived near there. Can you ask your master for a link to your walking trail maps so I can have a look where you’ve been? Looking forward to your next walk, til then bye from the other Merseyside at the bottom of the world👋

    Liked by 1 person

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