Let me start by explaining why I am including a Shrine in this series. In days long gone by, pilgrims used to often walk to the place of pilgrimage – or at least walk part of the way; and in some cases without a pair of shoes on – hence the “Slipper Chapel” at Walsingham, where pilgrims would take their shoes off and walk the rest of the way – about 1 1/4 miles – shoeless – even barefoot. You are advised NOT to do that these days.
Nowadays most pilgrims seem to go to a place of pilgrimage on a coach or in a car. So I am suggesting a compromise. You have the comfort of bus travel so far, and then walk the rest of the way. So this time our inexpensive day out takes us on a pilgrimage to Ladywell – or Fernyhalgh as it used to be called.
We can get the X2 to Preston from whichever stop is convenient for us. Some may prefer to get the train as far as Southport and walk to Lord Street for the Bus 2 or X2 to Preston. At Preston Bus Station (free use of toilets available here) we get the 88A Bus to Longsands – The Anderton Arms. The 88A runs every 20 minutes at 10, 30 and 50 minutes past each hour from Preston Bus Station. At the Anderton Arms cross over the road and you will see Fernyhalgh Lane – go down that lane and under the motorway bridge, then over a little bridge which is over a stream, and in front of you there is a gate with Ladywell written on it – and the words “No vehicle access.” Go along the pathway inside the gate and you come to the Shrine. There is SO much to see and do that you may need refreshment first – tea and coffee available. The Stations of the Cross, the Padre Pio Prayer Garden, the Martyrs Chapel with the relics is upstairs – all beckon you. It will probably take you 10 to 15 minutes (according to how quickly you walk) from where you get off the bus at the Anderton Arms.
For the return journey walk back on the path through the woodland and join Fernyhalgh Lane. At the end of the lane the Bus Shelter is on the left – opposite the Anderton Arms and the bus is numbered 88C. It runs at 18, 38 and 58 minutes past the hour – but at 10, 30 and 50 minutes past the hour after 4 o’clock. If you have just missed a bus, and feel the need of refreshment, the Anderton Arms will serve you a coffee at £1.85. Tesco, next door to the Anderton Arms, have a coffee machine – but you have to put £2 into the machine and there is nowhere to sit and drink it.
Back in the Preston Bus Station, you can get the X2 to Crosby, or the 2 to Southport and then the train back. The above presumes you go Monday to Saturday. Sunday is different, as neither the 88A or 88C run on Sundays. There is a bus with a different number and certainly not frequent. Bus Time Tables are available at Preston Bus Station.
It might be as well to take sandwiches with you.
Please let Fr. Strowbridge know if you enjoyed this article, and went on the trip, by contacting the Parish Office. We hope Father will continue helping us to discover interesting places to visit only a bus or train ride away!