This is a ride of 38 miles and 350m ascent, in an area popular with cyclists. Lunch is at the Twin Lakes Velo Café at Croston, a popular cycle café , (or maybe TC’s Cafe at Holmes, near Tarleton, if the first café is busy). There is an optional continuation from Southport back to Pier Head along the coastal route, about 22 miles.
For those on the Wirral, getting to Kirkby would probably mean using a Merseyrail Saveaway ticket and taking two trains, changing from the Wirral Line to the Northern Line at Moorfields.
Leaving Kirkby station, we go over the bridge and, at the Carters Arms, take the first right along Mill Lane, straight over the traffic lights and left at the first junction. We then head towards Barrow Nook, turning right twice, and arriving at a large roundabout on the A570 Rainford Bypass. Straight over the roundabout to Rainford Junction, bear right and go over the railway bridge, left at the junction, through Crawford village (with views of Billinge Hill), turn left to Pimbo, over the M58, first right and cycle up the hill to Up Holland.
Turn right at the junction, go past the Victoria pub and a row of shops, and bear left, continuing North, with views of Winter Hill on the right. Go through Roby Mill, and cycle down a wide downhill road (very fast!) to the canal at Appley Bridge.
Carry straight on, joining the B5375, up a long, uphill stretch to the main road (A5209) at Wrightington. Continue in a northerly direction, starting with a right hand bend and a left turn, for 6 miles to Croston. Go through the village, keeping right, along Station Road towards Bretherton and turn left, down a short track, to the “Twin Lakes Velo Cafe” after 24 miles
Following the Blue Cycle Route 62, NCN 91, take a left turn. This takes you to the A59 at Sollom. Cross over and carry along Green Lane, a rough tarmac road, to the main Southport/Preston Road A565 and cross over (TC’s Café is 100m on the right). Follow the road for a short while before turning left signposted Banks. Turn left at the junction, and two miles later take a short, rough track on the right and continue onto the cycle path next to the main road, past the RSPB hides at Marshside to Southport after 38 miles.
38 miles, Grade C
Created by Steve Whittaker