This walk is about three miles one way, or six miles returning the same way. It starts from Preston Station. You can return via Penwortham Bridge and Fishergate to the Station.Advertisement
Alternatively, you can get a bus back from just north of the Ribble Steam Railway and Museum.
The No. 75 Preston to Fleetwood bus runs from the railway station along Chain Caul Way, just to the north of the Ribble Steam Railway, if you want a ride back.
After leaving the station turn right down Fishergate, then left down Mount Street, past the Post Office. At the bottom turn left on to Garden Street and then out on to Winckley Square.
Turn right towards the river and then enter Averham Park. Keep on the main path and go under the old East Lancashire line bridge.
Next, drop down past the fountain to gain the riverside path.
Now, just follow the river until you get to Liverpool Road and the new Penwortham Bridge. You will pass under the West Coast Main Line.
Cross Fishergate Hill just before Penwortham Bridge and head half left in front of the Preston Sea Cadets building. Here you will pick up the line of the Ribble Steam Railway.
This line is still connected to the main line at Preston Station, and is used for bitumen trains. You can often see the tankers parked at the museum site.
Follow the riverside path and rail line. You will pass under the A59, the newest route out of Preston. Here, the tidal aspect of the river becomes noticeable.
When the rail line starts to curve to the right, at an old siding, turn right towards Navigation Way. Then, follow the rail track until it crosses Maritime Way. Cross Maritime Way and head on a footpath to Navigation Way.
Here is the Preston Docks Swing Bridge that carries both the railway and the road over the entrance to the Docks. If you are lucky there may be a boat entering or leaving, so you can see the bridge operate. This is also a good place to wait for the train to pass and take some photos.
Once over the swing bridge, turn left, off Navigation Way, through some trees, next to the boat yard.
This path comes out on Lockside Road, next to a level crossing, another great spot for photography.
Head up Lockside Road and on to Chain Caul Way. Then, turn left down Chain Caul Road to the Ribble Steam Railway and Museum.
Below is a video of a bitumen train leaving the Docks line. This is quite a rigmarole, with the gates being manually operated. If it doesn’t play here, watch on YouTube.
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