Friday, April 26, 2019

Take a guided stroll along the War Horse Route

Come and join walkers and horse-riders on the historic War Horse Route taken by equine heroes from World War One.

West Lancashire Borough Council is working with Lathom Park Chapel and Aughton & Ormskirk U3A to organise a FREE guided walk of the route for the bank holiday Monday 6 May, 2019, starting at 10am from Ormskirk Railway Station Car Park.

On the way local historian Andrew Beeston from the Chapel/U3A will be telling the story of the war horses and the contribution they made during World War One, plus giving information about various local landmarks. At the halfway point horses and riders from Area 18 (Lancashire) Side Saddle Association will join the walk and accompany everyone to Lathom Chapel.

The walk will also be assisted by West Lancashire Borough Council's Parks and Countryside Ranger Service.

The War Horse route will mostly follow the route taken by horses that had been brought from all over the world to Ormskirk Railway Station via Liverpool Docks. The horses were then walked through the streets of Ormskirk to Lathom and the Remount Depot at Lathom Park.

Later in the war a railway was built to transport horses directly from Liverpool Docks to the depot.
On the day of the guided walk there are two options:

  • Take the guided walk from Ormskirk out to Lathom Chapel and once you have reached Lathom Chapel and enjoyed some refreshments walkers can then return to Ormskirk following the outward route. Distance approximately 5.5 miles.
  • Take the guided walk from Ormskirk out to Lathom Chapel and stop for refreshments before continuing by one of several routes eg, through Lathom and Ruff Wood before returning to Ormskirk. Distance about 6-8 miles.

In addition, the War Horse Route walking leaflet has been re-produced by the Council and will allow walkers to choose and follow a route themselves. Copies are available from the Council Offices, Customer Service Point at the Concourse Shopping Centre, Skelmersdale, Ormskirk Library and Southport Eco Centre. The leaflet will also be available to download from DiscoverOrmskirk.com.

John Harrison, Director of Development and Regeneration, said: "We are delighted to be involved with the War Horse guided walk, which is one of our Borough's most popular walks, attracting walkers and visitors to the area. The Council is pleased to be working with Lathom Chapel and Aughton & Ormskirk U3A to tell the fascinating history of the area's connection with the War Horses of World War One, combined within this wonderful guided walk."

Although there is no need to book a place before the day it would be helpful for organisers to know numbers. Please contact the Council on 01695 712645 between 9am and 5pm to let organisers know you are interested.

Walkers should arrive 15 minutes before departure time, wear suitable footwear and clothing. Children under the age of 16 should be accompanied by an adult. Car parking is available at Ormskirk Station, however, we would encourage people to use public transport where possible. Please see Traveline (external link) for help planning your journey.

Details of other walks, cycle rides and events in West Lancashire can be found at Discover Ormskirk (external link); like us on Facebook @DiscoverOrmskirk

On the same day as the walk Lathom Park Chapel will host a concert by Skelmersdale Brass Band, starting at 7.30 pm. Tickets are £10 with proceeds going towards repair of the magnificent East window. They are available from Wardens Sally Baker 01695 – 722022 or Elizabeth Beeston 01695 574928.

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