It’s time to head to the Lancashire coast on this week's ride, and we’re even including a ferry trip - albeit just across the harbour at Fleetwood. Best of all, it’s a flat ride, so it’s suitable for anyone, and there’s ample opportunity for ice creams!
Image by JenRegnier from Pixabay
The small historic town of Garstang is a wonderful place, with a strong community feel and it is in a great geographic position too. It’s close to the hills of Bowland and the Dales, a short drive away from the Lake District, and it’s easily accessible for the Lancashire coast, which is why we’ve chosen it as our base.
Parking just off the High Street, there are a good selection of eateries for you to enjoy after the ride. The route takes you along the fun packed sea front of Blackpool, where the coastal winds can bite, so make sure that you’re wrapped up well if it’s a breezy day, and be careful of the wind affecting your bike handling. Don’t try to be a Tour de France champion and take it easy if there are strong side winds coming in from the sea - especially if riding alongside traffic.
It’s a 49-mile cycle route, but as we said earlier, it’s a remarkably flat jaunt through an otherwise very hilly country comprising an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and two northern National Parks.
Yes, this is a ride that brings you extensive views of the steeper places to cycle in the north, but we’ll save this routes for another week. Today’s ride will have you looking across to Ingleborough in the Dales, the Howgills and the sublime peaks of the Lake District. Anyway, now it’s time for the route:
1. Head out of Garstang on Moss Lane, over the humpback bridge. Cross the A6 with care at the Bellflower.
2. Turn right into the ominously-named Kilcrash Lane. Follow this through flat farmland to Pilling and turn left into Head Dyke Lane
3. At Preesall, turn right to Knott End and follow this down to the slipway. Ferries generally run on the hour and half-hour and the trip takes all of five minutes. Expect to pay £1.50 for you and a further 50p for the bike.
4. At the farther shore, take up the promenade and dodge the hordes of strollers, giddy kiddies and unleashed dogs through Bispham and Blackpool.
5. At Squire’s Gate, join the main road heading south (there’s a good continuous cycle lane) but you can duck back onto promenade at St Anne’s if the main road is too busy for your liking.
6. Rejoin the main road, then turn left near Lytham Windmill into Station Road.
7. Meander through to the incongruous picture-postcard village of Wrea Green, its thatched roofs looking ill-suited to Lancashire’s rainfall.
8. Go straight on at the church (village stores on your right) and (easily missed) take a shortcut by a wall (just before the main road) into Kirkham. Cross the dual carriageway with care.
9. In Kirkham, turn left into Carr Lane and zigzag North and East to Inskip.
10. Turn left on the B5269 then right (after the village) into Pinfold Lane.
11. Turn right into St Michael’s Lane at the end and pass Myerscough agricultural college to join the A6 at Guy’s Thatched Hamlet.
12. Pootle north on the A6 then follow signs forking right back into Garstang.
Image by Steven Iodice from Pixabay
Simply download the route GPX file from the Pedalnorth website here: https://pedalnorth.com/fylde-coast-cycle-route/
Load it into your own navigation device and follow the line. Enjoy the ride and the sea air and maybe thank Garstang afterwards, by stopping for fish and chips!