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Preston history trails: Fishergate circular featuring Penwortham Old Bridge

Posted on - 17th April, 2022 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Avenham, Broadgate, History, Parks, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Recreation, Things to Do in and around Preston, Wildlife and Conservation, Winckley Square
Fishergate Pic: Geoffrey Whittaker

Walking is a great way to keep fit and see things you would otherwise miss. Preston is full of historic buildings, parks and an attractive river.

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Access from public transport is good, and this walk can be done from either the Preston Station or the Bus Station.

So, lets get started.

This walk is 2.65 miles long and the grade is easy. It can be done in 1.5 hours including stops. The start point is on Fishergate opposite Mount Street.

Map of walking route Pic: OS Maps
Map of the route Pic: OS Maps

Start, Fishergate to Avenham Park

Aerial view of Preston Pic: Google Earth

Head down Mount Street past the Post Office. On the right, you will pass the derelict St Joseph’s Orphanage.

St Joseph's Orphanage Pic: Geoffrey Whittaker

At the bottom of Mount Street, turn left on to Garden Street and then out on to Winckley Square. This historic Georgian square is a good place to get your flask out, have a coffee and take some photos.

Winckley Square Pic: Geoffrey Whittaker

Next, head south from Winckley Square towards Avenham Park and the River Ribble. Pass between some gate posts and enter the park.

Japanese Garden Pic: Geoffrey Whittaker

Head right and pass to the left of the Japanese Garden, then head for the river. Close to the river is the Pavilion Cafe, of dubious reputation.

Review: The Preston park cafe that’s a thorn amongst roses

Avenham Park to Penwortham Old Bridge and the East Lancashire Railway Bridge

Aerial view of River Ribble Pic: Google Earth

Next, facing the river, turn right, and follow the bank under the main railway bridge. Carry on along the road and river, and eventually you will reach Penwortham Old Bridge.

Penwortham Old Bridge Pic: Wikimedia

The bridge was built in 1759 and was originally on the toll road to Penwortham. It is now only used for foot traffic and is a scheduled ancient monument. Cross the bridge and turn left, again following the river and going under the main railway bridge.

Keep going until you reach the old East Lancashire Line Railway Bridge. Just before the brick arch, head right through the trees until you can get on to the embankment. Turn left and admire the views from the original bridge. The Victorian Park Hotel sticks up in the distance.

The Park Hotel Pic: Geoffrey Whittaker

Avenham Park to the Harris

Aerial view of Preston including Avenham Park Pic: Google Earth

This is the final part of the walk. Cross the old railway bridge and drop down on to the riverside path. Turn right along the river bank towards the Old Tram Bridge. At the bridge go half right and then up some steps to the white building on the left; this is Tower House.

Continue along Bushell Place to Avenham Lane. Turn right and then left down Chaddock Street. At the bottom turn right down Cross Street. Here on the left, there is a choice of streets that all lead back on to Fishergate.

Glovers Court can be used, but most have a choice of wine bars and cafes.

You can also cross Fishergate, here, to get to Friargate and the centre of the city including the Harris.

Nature notes

Another aspect of walking for pleasure is the natural landscape, including flowers, trees and wildlife. The tree types below are common in mixed deciduous woodland and can be seen in Avenham Park.

Beech tree leaf Pic: Wikimedia
Beech leaves are oval in shape and turn a golden colour in the Autumn Pic: Wikimedia
Beech trees near the Miller Park Rose Pagoda Pic: Geoffrey Whittaker
Beech trees near the Miller Park Rose Pagoda Pic: Geoffrey Whittaker

Ash trees have a narrower oval leaf. Ash is one of the more common trees although it is threatened by Ash dieback.

Ash tree leaves Pic: Paul Kirtley
Trees near Tower House Pic: Geoffrey Whittaker
An Ash tree behind a Beech tree in Avenham Park, near to Tower House Pic: Geoffrey Whittaker


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