Getting there:

From the M6 leave at Junction 32 and join the A6. Follow this road and turn onto the B6430 into Garstang. I park at the Tythe Barn, which is a fine pub sited on Lancaster Canal. There are, however, good pay and display areas in the town and close to the River Wyre.

The walk

THIS year has so far followed the pattern of 2012 — walking in the wind and rain has been a constant battle.

What makes sense at times like this is to plan walks in areas close to towns where there is a chance to explore buildings and enjoy a pub lunch or a tea shop.

From the Tythe Barn, which dates to the 15th century, turn left and cross the narrow road. Turn left and go over the Canal Bridge. Descend a set of stone steps onto the towpath of the Lancaster Canal. This opened in 1797 and from the basin the Tythe Barn looks at its best.

Continue to reach the aquaduct where the canal crosses over the River Wyre. Turn right here and descend to the banks of the river. This is an important stop along the long distance footpath called the Wyre Way. Turn right and pass beneath the aqueduct. The footpath follows the river close to which are reed fringed ponds which are of interest to naturalists’.

Follow this path to the area of the old Corn Mill which is now a residential complex. Cross over the road at this point and rejoin the River Wyre footpath. Continue until what is left of Greenhalgh Castle is seen on a hill to the right. This was built on the orders of the Earl of Derby in 1490 to protect the important crossing of the River Wyre. Very little now remains as the Castle was the last Royalist garrison to surrender to the Cromwellian army. The castle was destroyed and later used as a quarry by local farmers.

Although this route does not include the field footpath up to the castle which is on private land, there is a concessionary footpath to allow access to the Castle Mound, from which there are fine views over Garstang and the Wyre.

Keep following the riverside footpath until an obvious left hand path leads alingside this track to reach the pay and display car park by the river. Here is situated the discovery and information centre. On the opposite side of the road is the old grammar school which operated between 1792 and 1928; it is now a well-run arts centre.

Turn left along the main road to reach market square. The market is still held on the original site. A charter was granted in 1310 but ceased after a visit of the Black Death. In 1679 the Thursday market was re-established and has continued ever since.

The Market Cross dates from 1765 and from this continue along the main road before turning right to pass the parish Church of St Thomas. Continue to reach the Tythe Barn which is signed to the left.