Garstang Walking Festival 2013

A look ahead to our 10 year celebration.Image

Plans are well under way for the 10th anniversary of this Festival 10 – 19 May.  Since last year the Friends of Garstang Walking Festival has been formed and is helping to support the future success and development of the Festival.  Information from 01995 672230 concerning membership,

Walks in 2013 will include the hardy perennial 4 day 40+ miles of the Wyre Way while there are opportunities as always with short and long walks to enjoy fells, flora, fauna and farmland.  New for 2013 will be a house and garden visit to Wyresdale Hall, Scorton and for children, wall climbing and archery with PGL at Winmarleigh Hall.  Be amongst the first people on the inaugural leg of the Fair Trade Way from Preston to the Fig Tree in Garstang. 

There will be a river based walk each day exploring the Wyre, Brock and Calder, while the history of our area will be brought to life by well known historian Paul Smith.

And there will be so much more – well it is our 10th Anniversary and 10 is a significant number.

There are 10 commandments – the walk leaders don’t command, more suggest and inform.

10 trials of Israel – well we do look a bit tribe-like as we set off on the walks.

10 hours act – the law limiting hours of work in factories.  No walks are planned to exceed these hours.

No 10 Downing Street – is in London we won’t go there.

10 Pointed – prize stag – well you too will feel like a prize winner about yourself after taking part.

10 to 1 are good odds with a very strong possibility of happening.

Like our Walking Festival which begins on the 10th May and lasts for 10 days.

Bookings and information can be obtained from the award winning Garstang Visitor Centre in the New Year. Call 01995 602125 or email

 Pat Ascroft Volunteer Ranger



Heritage Open Days in Wyre


Heritage Open Days celebrates England’s fantastic architecture and culture. Every year on four days in September, buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors free of charge. It is a once-a-year chance to discover hidden architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities which bring to life local history and culture.

This year’s event takes place from Thursday 6 to Sunday 9 September. There are some great events taking place in Wyre to celebrate, check out our events page to find out more.

For a complete listing for what’s going on in the rest of Wyre and along the Fylde coast, click here.

For what’s going on across other regions across the country, go to or call English Heritage on 0870 333 1181.

Garstang Walking Festival concludes for 2012…..

Garstang Walking Festival for 2012 has just finished – can hardly believe it I’ve been hold of it for such a long time.

So – is that it then? Well no it isn’t – it’s time to reflect on all the events, walks walked and people met.  We will all have different memories.Image

 For me it was the 41 miles of the Wyre Way over four days. Quite cold but dry, with a westerly wind to our backs. The Fells coming nearer every day as you walk from Knott End to the Trough of Bowland.

The privilege (after having been given permission by the landowners) to stand within the remaining walls of Greenhalgh Castle, touching and feeling the stones and having its story told to us by historian, Paul Smith.

 Caldervale –‘T’Mill and Back’ and watching a tiny tree creeper making its way up the bark of the tree, above Lady Hamilton’s Well.

The Diamond Jubilee was celebrated by taking an appropriately worded plaque up to Queen Victoria’s Jubilee Cairn on Nicky Nook.  Again, this was with the permission of the landowner, who from the cairn told us of his family’s ties with the land.  This was after a proclamation by Garstang’s Town Crier.  The tolling of the bell was heard near Barnacre.

Scorton and Winmarleigh were visited and we watched sheep being cared for on a Nateby farm.  On the banks of the River Brock at 7.00am we listened to 24 different birds in the ‘Woodland Chorus’ and later the same day, in the same river we took part in the ‘Mini-beast River Dip’ with three generations of families.  This was one of the best bits of the festival for me.  Children, wellies, nets, trays for the catch, excitement, exploring, identification, reminding ourselves of our role in nature.

I finished off the ten days with the 17 mile Fair Trade Walk from Lancaster to Garstang.  Flora and fauna galore, deer, stoat, hare, necking birds, swans and cygnets and then a joining up of walkers and rangers who had come together to Garstang’s Fairtrade Centre, known as The Fig Tree.  Over a brew and a cake there was time to chat to those who have shared the festival with us.

So – is that it then? No it isn’t. All those feedback forms will be read and comments noted, and then the Rangers and those involved, meet up on the 12th June for the evaluation, and, wait for it – start to plan Garstang Walking Festival 2013 – it’s the 10th Anniversary.

 So – is that it then? Indeed it isn’t – but meanwhile I’m just giving my boots a rest and trying to remember where we keep the hoover. 

Pat Ascroft

A very happy Volunteer Countryside Ranger

View photos of the 2012 Walking Festival taken by Mike Coleran here.

Fleetwood Museum – a great day out!

ImageFor some years, Fleetwood Museum has hosted a special Victorian Seaside Special, when schools throughout Lancashire and beyond visit Fleetwood Museum to experience life for youngsters during Victorian times. Expert re-enactors bring the past to life with sessions relating to steam and the early railways, the seaside landlady and guesthouse and the Victorian photographer. In this session all children can dress in Victorian costume for their class photograph. There is also a beach pebble picture to be made for the classroom and a traditional Punch and Judy show to round off proceedings. Fleetwood was of course the first resort to be linked by railway and it is appropriate that children get a chance to visit an historic location. Many school visits lead to later family visits to the town. The month of June also sees lots of child and family friendly events at the Museum. Wednesday 6 June is a children’s crafts day on a Diamond Jubilee theme. Make your own jubilee souvenirs. Session times are 12.30pm – 1.30pm and 2pm – 3pm. Saturdays 9, 16 and 23 June see Swashbuckling Pirate theme days – pirate themed crafts and exciting storytelling. Saturday sessions are from 11am – noon, 12.30pm – 1.30pm and 2pm – 3pm.

Dick Gillingham will be hosting events on the 7 and 14 June. . The Heritage Walk from the Museum on the 7 starts at 1.30pm with participants asked to make a £2 donation to museum funds. The theme of the walk will be Fleetwood’s Fascinating Transport History – looking at  railways and the linked steamers, the unique place in tramway history, the Knott End Ferry and the famous Circular route, bus routes and even the ill fated hovercraft service. The following Thursday 14 June at 2pm the Museum will host an illustrated talk – Fleetwood Holidays Before and After World War II. The talk will be illustrated with many rarely seen images and a nostalgic look at the entertainment scene in the town from the twenties to the seventies. At its peak in the late thirties and forties, Fleetwood attracted thousands of day trippers and holidaymakers each week.

The Museum Friends and Trust will both be contributing to a Midsummer Day Garden Party in the Museum Garden on Thursday June 21 – starting at 2pm. There will be a range of stalls and sideshows and seasonal refreshments on offer. All are welcome and tickets will be available from Wednesday May 30 when the Museum Friends will hold their monthly Coffee Morning in the Coffee House ,starting at 10.30am. These events are becoming increasingly popular and all are welcome. 

Dick Gillingham (Fleetwood Museum).

The ramblings of our lovely Garstang Walking Festival volunteer, Pat Ascroft

Garstang Walking Festival 11 – 20 May 2012


Shock and horror in March – the un-seasonally hot weather has triggered off the Bluebells to start flowering, when really they should be at their best in May (hence why we choose the 2nd week in May for our Walking Festival).


 Well, fear not all you Bluebell lovers – the unseasonably low temperatures and frosty nights of mid-April are holding the flowering back – so all should be well!

 Bluebells are one of many the magnets that draw people to the Wyre area during the festival. As we know, the weather plays a big part in outdoor events and happenings.

This weekend doing a recce for a fell walk in Wyresdale, a local farmer told us that the Wheatears had arrived in the top field. It’s a bird of the Thrush family with a striking white rump, dove grey back and black cheeks and wings.  He said they are 2 weeks later than last year and 3 weeks later than the year before. Their arrival has been held up by strong northerly winds on their flight from North Africa.  Swallows too are late arriving for the same reason. It`s good to be reminded that we can`t dictate to the elements or rule the weather. We can say though that the Garstang Walking Festival will start on the 11 May, but we could do without a strong northerly wind!

 See you out and about.

 Pat Ascroft

Volunteer Countryside Ranger

Wyre Tourism Familiarisation visit hailed a success!

On March 20 a group of Wyre Tourism Association (WTA) members and Wyre Council staff and volunteers visited some of our WTA members establishments and enjoyed a lovely day out.  We started out with a drive along the seafront at Fleetwood and saw the Sea Change project and work on the Marine Hall gardens.

We then carried on to Fleetwood Market where Julian Brent, Market Manager gave us a super tour of the stalls which were very varied and interesting.  Farmer Parr’s Animal World was our next port of call with morning coffee and some rather nice cakes.  Farmer Parr himself conducted a tour around the farm and the Fylde Country Life Heritage Museum.  We were also joined on the tour with local celebrity Syd Little (from Little & Large fame).  We were impressed with the more unusual animals they now have on the farm.

We drove along the award winning Cleveleys promenade for arrival at The Venue for a super value lunch of top quality.  The Venue is in a wonderful location overlooking the sea and such a relaxing facility we could have stayed there for the afternoon.  On board the coach again we headed for the Bridge House Marina and Caravan Park tucked away off the A6 at Garstang.  This holiday home park is close to the Lancaster Canal and has a very popular day boat hire which will take you along the Canal to Guy’s Thatched Hamlet at Bilsborrow or the Plough at Galgate for lunch.  It is within easy walking distance of Garstang by walking on the Canal towpath and via the road.

Our next visit was to the Ashdene bed and breakfast.  Situated off the A6 the family have owned the establishmentImage for over 20 years and were fully occupied when we visited.  Walkers and cyclists are some of the many visitors that return year on year .We finished our trip by visiting The Priory at Scorton.  We enjoyed afternoon tea in the contemporary bar and popular restaurant with a log fire. The Priory is situated in the village square at Scorton with parts of the building dating back to 1650.

A wonderful day out was enjoyed by all and it was fantastic to see just some of the gems we have in Wyre.

All the establishments mentioned and other great ideas on places to visit, things to do and places to eat can be found on our website:

Joy Allen.

Visit Fleetwood and Cleveleys Supervisor.

Friends of Garstang Walking Festival

Its official – since Tuesday 17 January 2012 I have been a member of the above group – founder member at that, along with the others to date and I hope to attract more. 

I’ve been involved in the festival for some years, so when a friends group was going to be set up to ensure this popular annual event carries on – I wanted to be in there.

 This new group will help to promote the May festival and organise additional events and activities.

 As a friends group we can apply for grants and raise money to ensure the sustainability of the festival and already we have a coffee morning booked in Garstang on April 12.  As well as the usual stalls and raffle we can use the event as a platform to “sell the walking festival”, which will only be a month away as it starts on the 11 May – heavens above – that was quick you might think.  Well – we may like walking on grass in this area, but we don’t let it grow under our feet.  The friends of Garstang Walking Festival is very very new – but its up and running and I’m glad to be running with it.


Pat Ascroft

Volunteer Ranger


Those who wish to download or request a copy of the 2012 programme of activities planned can do so by going online:

Those wishing to get involved in the Friends of Garstang Walking Festival should contact Duncan Byrne: or call 07989 579351 (Tues-Sat)