The Lancashire city of Preston is in a great location for walkers. It's a short drive from the fabulous Forest of Bowland and has some lovely waterside footpaths along the River Ribble which passes through the southern part of the city.
This walk takes you through some of the city parks before picking up a riverside trail to take you out into the countryside where you can visit the lovely Brockholes Nature Reserve. It's about a 5 mile walk to the reserve, 10 miles there and back. You'll use two of the waymarked long distance trails which pass through Preston. This includes the Ribble Way and the Preston Guild Wheel which is a shared walking and cycling path.
The walk starts in the pretty Avenham Park, which is located in the city centre, close to the train station. The expansive park has nice wide lawns, a Japenese Garden and a riverside cafe. You can follow paths down to the River Ribble which runs through the southern section of the park.
The Ribble Way then heads east through the park to the Fishwick Bottoms Nature Reserve, where there's some nice woodland trails to try. You continue past the Fishwick Hall Golf Course before coming to Brockholes. It's a splendid area having been transformed from an old quarry into a wetland and woodland nature reserve. There's miles of surfaced trails to follow past 250 acres of pools, reedbeds and woodland. The site also includes the nation's first floating visitor village with a cafe where you can enjoy a wide range of snacks.
To continue your waterside walking in Preston head to Maudlands and pick up the Lancaster Canal. You could then follow the towpath north west to Haslam Park and then out into the countryside. See our Preston Canal Walk for more details.
Preston Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Preston Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Preston OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Preston Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
Walks near Preston
- Ribble Way - Follow the River Ribble through the beautiful Ribble Valley from its mouth at Longton, near Preston, to the source at Gayle Moor in Yorkshire.
You start at Longton just to the west of Preston and follow the river through Ribchester and Clitheroe, before reaching Gisburn
- Preston Guild Wheel - This circular cycling and walking route takes you on a tour of the parks, rivers, docklands and countryside around Preston in Lancashire
- Brockholes Nature Reserve - This lovely nature reserve near Preston has lots of nice footpaths to follow around a series of lakes
- Avenham Park - This large park in Preston town centre is a great place for a safe cycle or walk
- Lancaster Canal - Follow the Lancaster Canal from Preston, in Lancashire, to Kendal, in Cumbria, on this splendid waterside walk or cycle
- Preston Canal Walk - This walk takes you along the Lancaster Canal from Preston city centre to Haslam Park.
The begins at the start of the canal at Maudlands in Preston, just to the north west of the city centre and train station
- Cuerden Valley Park - This lovely short ride or walk takes you through the Cuerden Valley Country Park in Bamber Bridge, Lancashire.
- Leyland - This Lancashire based town has some fine local parks and country trails to explore.
- Worden Park - This super country park in Leyland is perfect for a peaceful afternoon stroll
- Beacon Fell Country Park - Explore 271 acres of woodland, moorland and farmland in the Forest of Bowland AONB
- Brock Bottom - This walk visits Brock Bottom near Garstang in the Forest of Bowland AONB
- Calder Vale - This peaceful little village is located in a lovely spot on the edge of the Forest of Bowland AONB.
- Hesketh Bank - This Lancashire based village is located between Southport and Preston on the lovely Ribble Estuary.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
Head south and you can visit the neighbouring town of Leyland. Here you can enjoy a stroll around the lovely Worden Park and visit the interesting South Ribble Museum and Exhibition Centre where you can learn all about the history of the area including the famous Leyland Motors which operated from the town.
To the west is Hesketh Bank where you can explore the RSPB's Hesketh Out Marshes Nature Reserve. The reserve is a great place for bird spotting on the Ribble Estuary.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Lancashire Walks page.