Saturday, 21 March 2020 (Group: Manchester Weekend Walkers)
Start time 9:45
11 miles / 17.7 km
(Estimated finish time: 16:15)
Train-based walk: 11 miles, 650 metres ascent, 550 metres descent
Leader: Matthew (meeting people at Victoria)
Description: Starting from Blackrod Station, we head out north-eastwards towards Winter Hill, skirting Horwich on the way. We reach an altitude of 450m above sea level, but the climbing is mostly fairly gentle and the views across Lancashire are spectacular. After passing the television transmitter we pass to the northern side of the moor, from which there are great views of Belmont Reservoir with its Island, and this is where I plan to stop for an early-ish lunch break. From Belmont, we head east to Dimple, where there may be a pub stop at the Cross Guns Inn and an opportunity for a comfort break. After this we head northeast again across the bleak moors of Turton Heights before dropping down again to Turton & Entwistle Reservoir to finish the walk at Entwistle Station. We may stay for a drink at the Strawberry Duck depending on the weather (they only really have space for hikers outside), but in any event will definitely be heading back on the train for a drink in Bolton.
Meet Point: 08:45 at Manchester Victoria for the train to Blackrod (final destination is Preston) at 09:05.
Suggested Ticket: The Greater Manchester Wayfarer ticket, for £14.40, will cover the cost of all trains, buses and trams within Greater Manchester for one day (this area includes both Blackrod and Entwistle) - see https://www.tfgm.com/tickets-and-passes/wayfarer-adult for further details.
Walk Start: Blackrod Railway Station at 09:45
Waypoints: Blackrod Railway Station – Jepson’s Bridge – Brown Hill – Winter Hill – Belmont Village – Lower Whittaker – Broad Hill – Dimple – Turton Heights – Green Arms Road – Turton & Entwistle Reservoir – Entwistle Railway Station
Return Services: :03 past the hour from Entwistle taking 14 minutes back to Bolton but going on to Manchester Victoria via Salford Crescent
Extra: No toilets at the walk start – use the facilities at Manchester Victoria or else on the train – the next toilet stop will be at the Cross Guns Inn at around 2pm. I am planning the lunch break to be at a place called Folds Pasture, overlooking Belmont Village, at about 12:00, but if the weather is bad and we need some shelter we may decamp to one of Belmont’s pubs instead.
This walk is part of a sequence of 13 that form a loop around Manchester – previous installments have taken us all the way from Glossop via Buxton, Knutsford and Leigh, and the next stage will take us to the village of Crawshawbooth in Rossendale.