19 Ramblers met at Beacon Country Park in Upholland this morning to tackle the Beacon Loop, a circular walk of just under 10 miles taking in Roby Mill, Dalton. Appley Bridge, and Ashurst Beacon. After the overnight rain we set off in dry conditions, and the sun made its presence felt, and at our first drink stop many of the walkers divested themselves of layers and t shirts were in evidence. Crossing fields and pasture land we encountered some very muddy tracks, which were bad on Sunday when the final recce was done, but with the overnight rain they were a challenge even to the most sure footed folk. Thankfully there were only a couple of slips and near misses and we emerged from Dean Wood onto the well used path beneath the M6 and onward to the Leeds Liverpool Canal towpath. Stopping on the canal at Appley Bridge for lunch we then left the towpath again and were back in fields and tracks and some more mud! Emerging from the Dell we then had the long slow climb up a steep winding lane, over a mile in length, before finally mounting the steps leading across the fields up to Ashurst Beacon. Sadly the growth of trees now prevents the panoramic views to be seen properly, but our final ascent up to the top of the meadow gave the opportunity to see Winter Hill, Pendle Hill, both Liverpool Cathedrals and the iconic cranes at the docks. From here it was a welcome downhill walk back into the Country Park where muddy boots and gaiters were very much in evidence. Well done to those Ramblers for whom this was the first very long trek since lockdown; a 10 mile yomp which will undoubtedly be felt by some aching legs tomorrow!. Thanks to Gill for doing 2 recces with me whilst we tried to find the least muddy route. The next ramble will be an 8 mile hike from Frodsham on 1st October.