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Avenham and Miller Parks

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Avenham and Miller Parks
Author: Lancashire Walks, Published: 03 Nov 2018 Walk Rating:star0 Avenham and Miller Parks Walking Guidestar0 Avenham and Miller Parks Walking Guidestar0 Avenham and Miller Parks Walking Guidestar0 Avenham and Miller Parks Walking Guidestar0 Avenham and Miller Parks Walking Guide
Lancashire, Preston
Walk Type: Garden or park
Avenham and Miller Parks
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot Avenham and Miller Parks Walking Guide
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A 2.5 mile circular walk in Avenham and Miller Parks in Preston, Lancashire. Lancashire as a whole, and Preston in particular, has a considerable number of first-rate parks. In Preston there is a 13 mile circuit linking its 7 main parks. This walk takes in two of Preston’s most attractive open spaces – Avenham and Miller Parks which lie besides the River Ribble to the south of the city. The municipal park – the great bequest of the Victorians – is very easy to overlook as a suitable area for a serious walk, but this walk is a lovely outing for locals and visitors alike.

The walking route is relatively easy, following surfaced paths through the park. There are no stiles or livestock on route, but you will need to negotiate gates and staggered barriers. The flight of steps on route can be avoided by using nearby ramps instead, meaning the walk should be suitable for pushchairs. Allow 1.5 hours.

The walk starts and finishes at the Ribblesdale Place entrance for Avenham Park. If you are coming by public transport, this entrance is just a 5-minute walk from Preston rail station. If you are coming by car, the nearest car park is the open air Fishergate Centre car park (pay on foot) which is also a 5-minute walk from the park entrance. Approximate post code for car park PR1 8BN.

Walk Sections

Start to Miller Park
Start to Miller Park

Start point: 53.7545 lat, -2.7018 long
End point: 53.753 lat, -2.7034 long

From the rail station or car park, you need to make your way to the Ribblesdale Place entrance for Avenham Park (exit the rear of the car park onto Garden Street, walk to the T-junction and turn right along Ribblesdale Place).

From the park entrance descend on the main parkland drive, branching right just after the chalet on a broad walkway. On your left are the Japanese Gardens and to the right is the war memorial to the Boer War. Originally placed on the Flag Market in 1904, the memorial to the Boer War was moved in 1925 to make way for the Cenotaph. The obelisk lists 86 men and boys who lost their lives in the conflict.

Beyond the memorial, keep ahead to pass beneath the former East Lancashire Railway Line and enter Miller Park.

Miller Park to Riverside
Miller Park to Riverside

Start point: 53.753 lat, -2.7034 long
End point: 53.7506 lat, -2.706 long

Laid out in a more formal style than its neighbour, the Miller Park walkway with its balustrade acts like a gallery over the features of the park – fountain, flowerbeds and bandstand. Pass the statute of the Earl of Derby on your right. The statue was created to celebrate Edward Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby who served three times as Prime Minister in the 19th century. It seems remarkable that when this statue was unveiled in 1873 it was witnessed by a crowd of 40,000 people.

Beyond the statue, keep ahead until a point just before you reach the embankment of the West Coast railway line. Here bear left on a path taking you through a grotto like archway and descending to the riverside, close to the imposing viaduct.

Riverside to River Crossing
Riverside to River Crossing

Start point: 53.7506 lat, -2.706 long
End point: 53.7519 lat, -2.7023 long

Turn left and follow the riverside walk (with the river on your right). This riverside stretch forms part of The Guild Wheel, a 21-mile multi-use greenway developed as an enduring legacy for the 2012 Preston Guild celebrations. In essence it is a cycleway that circles the city, in the main following the green belt. Like a bicycle wheel it has been designed with spokes providing links with the city centre along established routes of the National Cycle Network. It allows local people the opportunity to use sustainable transport for employment, education, leisure, health and access. The section through the park is named after Mike Atkins who did much to realise the project and who sadly passed away in 2013.

Pass beneath the old viaduct back into Avenham Park. Turn immediately left and then climb the stairs to reach the top of the embankment. (For wheels and the less mobile there is a ramp further to the right).

River Crossing to Track Crossroads
River Crossing to Track Crossroads

Start point: 53.7519 lat, -2.7023 long
End point: 53.7441 lat, -2.6987 long

Cross the river via this old railway bridge which leads you into the borough of South Ribble and the Preston Junction local nature reserve.

This open space just south of the river was once the scene of a busy rail junction, with one branch going out to Southport and another going to East Lancashire and Yorkshire. When the railway was closed, nature quickly moved in. Lancashire County Council’s REMADE (Reclamation and management of Derelict Land) programme working in partnership with Lancashire Wildlife Trust has done much to create a superb amenity for walkers and cyclists as well as a natural wildlife corridor.

Keep ahead on the broad cycleway for about 500m and then follow it left as is drops to a track at a crossroads.

Track Crossroads to Old Tram Road
Track Crossroads  to Old Tram Road

Start point: 53.7441 lat, -2.6987 long
End point: 53.7413 lat, -2.697 long

Cross the track to regain the top of the embankment. Here is a particularly good viewing point both for Preston to the north and the playing fields of Cardinal Newman College to the south. Keep ahead to where the path meets the Old Tram Road.

Old Tram Road to Old Tram Bridge
Old Tram Road  to Old Tram Bridge

Start point: 53.7413 lat, -2.697 long
End point: 53.7513 lat, -2.6964 long

Turn left to join the Old Tram Road and the route now returns to Preston along a magnificent avenue of trees. This was the route of a tramway that once served to connect the Leeds- Liverpool Canal with Preston. Now it is a popular amenity for walkers, runners and cyclists. Not until you are close to the river, do you break out into the open to cross the Old Tram Bridge.

Old Tram Bridge to The Belvedere
Old Tram Bridge  to The Belvedere

Start point: 53.7513 lat, -2.6964 long
End point: 53.7532 lat, -2.6971 long

On the far side of the river, keep ahead to climb through barriers to reach a broad open space in front of the Belvedere, an attractive stone building.

Here it is worth a short diversion to the right, first to admire Avenham House (the Italianate Victorian house overlooking the park) and then look at the Sebastopol cannons (trophies from the Crimea War). Near them is a viewpoint over the River Ribble which is one of Preston’s finest. Return to the Belvedere to continue.

The Belvedere to End
The Belvedere  to End

Start point: 53.7532 lat, -2.6971 long
End point: 53.7546 lat, -2.7017 long

From the Belvedere, keep ahead on an upper path with the main bowl of the park down to the left. This will return you to the Ribblesdale entrance for Avenham Park where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2018 by iFootpath and the author lancashirewalks and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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12069_0lancashirewalks1541262319 Avenham and Miller Parks Walking Guide Image by: Lancashire Walks
Uploaded: 03 Nov 2018

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Uploaded: 03 Nov 2018

12069_2lancashirewalks1541262319 Avenham and Miller Parks Walking Guide Image by: Lancashire Walks
Uploaded: 03 Nov 2018

12069_3lancashirewalks1541262319 Avenham and Miller Parks Walking Guide Image by: Lancashire Walks
Uploaded: 03 Nov 2018

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