Wigan Canal Walk
An easy walk along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal from Wigan to Parbold. It's a lovely section of the canal with lots of locks, views of the River Douglas and interesting old buildings. At the end of the route you can catch the train back from Parbold to Wigan directly.
Start the walk from Wigan Pier, near to the two train stations. This area is located at the bottom of the Wigan flight of locks. The Canal and River Trust have a handy office here in the old Trencherfield Mill. There's also Gibson's Warehouse, originally built in 1777, and then re-built in 1984 as The Orwell at Wigan Pier (now closed).
Follow the towpath west and it will take you past the DW Stadium, home to Wigan Athletic football club and Wigan Warriors rugby league club.
You continue through Crooke and Gathurst before coming to Appley Bridge. The canal is particularly lovely in this affluent area with lots of pretty cottages to see along the water.
The final section takes you to the village of Parbold where there's some good options for extending your walk.
For example you could visit the lovely Parbold Fairy Glen. Here you'll find pretty streams, beautiful waterfalls, dramatic cliff faces, wooden bridges and shady woodland trails. You could also try the climb to Parbold Hill and enjoy wonderful views over the area.
To further explore the canal try the Appley Bridge Canal Walk and Burscough Canal Walk.
Wigan Canal Walk Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Wigan Canal Walk Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Wigan Canal Walk OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Wigan Canal Walk Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
To continue your walking around Wigan you could follow the canal south east to visit Wigan Flashes Nature Reserve and Pennington Flash Country Park. The park has some nice waterside trails around the large lakes with lots of birds to look out for in the nature reserve. You can also pick up the waymarked Glazebrook Trail here and enjoy an easy stroll along the Glaze Brook river.
To the west you could pick up the Rainford Walk and enjoy a climb to the highest point in Merseyside at Billinge Hill. This walk also visits the pretty lakes in the Orrell Water Park.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Greater Manchester Walks page.