An unchallenging walk starting at the iconic Wigan Pier and meandering through the Douglas Valley, with a return by train. This is a lovely canal-side trail mixing attractive and rich natural industrial heritage.
About 2/3 of the way into the walk, and just after you pass under the M6 motorway, you will come across a lovely cottage – Dean Wood Lock Houses – positioned besides a large lock system. This was once a toll collection point for the canal (point 8 in the walk leaflet).
The walk is not rated as fully wheelchair or pushchair-friendly because of the variable state of the canal towpath. There will, however, be sections that are accessible but we have not been able to verify conditions on the ground.
How to get there
From the centre of Wigan with its rail stations, follow signs towards Trencherfield Mill, where there is also a pay-and display car park. From here, cross the road and gain access to the canals opposite the Wigan Pier buildings. Using the local signposting, join the Leeds & Liverpool Canal towpath (towards Liverpool) for the remainder of the walk.
At the end of the walk, after point 10 in the walk leaflet and shortly after passing the Boathouse Pub & Kitchen on the opposite bank, exit from the canal on to the road bridge. Turn right along the road (Appley Lane North) to reach Appley Bridge train station in about 100 metres.
To return to the Wigan start point, the easiest option is to take a train back from Appley Bridge to Wigan. For those visiting from elsewhere in Greater Manchester, the best option is to purchase a return rail ticket to Appley Bridge (getting off at one of the Wigan stations on the outward journey).
To work out how to get to and from the walk start point (and end point), simply click the Google Maps link(s) on this page. Then click ‘Directions’ and enter your postcode or location in the relevant field. For public transport options, click on the train icon.