St Helens Lanes

14.4 miles / 23.1 km
3h 00m
Garswood railway station
OS Explorer 275 Liverpool and 285 Southport & Chorley
Mostly metalled lanes

Merseyside Travelwise: 0151 330 1253

It is hard to imagine that the peaceful countryside around Garswood and Rainford was once a major coal mining centre during the Industrial Revolution. Rainford is well known for its industrial past when it was a major manufacturer of clay smoking pipes. It was also a location for sand mining, for use in the glass factories of St Helens.

The name Billinge, first recorded in 1202, is Old English and thought to mean a 'hill, or sharp ridge'. Billinge Hill rises on your right as you travel between Billinge and King's Moss. It is the highest point in Merseyside (179m or 587ft) and was probably the site of an Armada beacon in 1588. There's a nature reserve in splendid beech woods near the top.

  1. Exit Garswood Station.

  2. Turn left on Station Road.

  3. Turn left on School Lane.

  4. At the T junction turn left and cross the railway.

  5. Turn right at Tithe Barn Road.

  6. And right again into Arch Lane.

  7. Where the lane bends sharply to the right, turn left on to a track.

  8. Turn right at the T junction.

  9. Join Garswood Road at the end.

  10. Turn left when you reach Main Street in Billinge.

  11. Continue straight on rather than following the A road round to the left.

  12. Bear left where the road forks.

  13. Bear right at the second fork.

  14. Turn right at the T junction.

  15. Turn left into King's Moss.

  16. Turn left into Long Lane.

  17. Bear left into Crawford.

  18. Turn left as you enter Rainford.

  19. Follow Higher Lane round to the left.

  20. At the T junction in Crank, turn left.

  21. Bear right into Back Lane, from where you rejoin the first part of the route.

  22. Turn right at the T junction.

  23. Turn right into Garswood Road.

  24. Take the track on the right at the end.

  25. Take the track on the left.

  26. Turn left at the end of Arch Lane to recross the railway.

  27. Turn right immediately after the railway bridge.

  28. Turn right at Station Road.

  29. Turn right again to return to the station.