Anns Spring Stumble to Swineshaw Reservoir

David A met with Duncan and Bob from Merseystride, who was getting fit for his Coast to Coast, at the end of Hobson Moor Road.  Unfortunately Ann R who had devised the route was injured so David led with map and instructions in hand which resulted in a few variations some intended others not.

After backtracking slightly they descended on the lane cum bridle way to Lumb Farm where they met a few riders also enjoying the crisp morning.  Continuing on along the lane past Thorncliffe Hall and descending towards Hollingworth a path across the fields led to Valley Mill road past Meadowbank Farm to emerge on the A 628.  Passing around Arnfield Reservoir and picking up the Pennine Bridleway which ascended past Arnfield hamlet and Arnfield Moor taking a well earned break at Higher Swineshaw Reservoir the rain finally caught up with the group.  Thankfully it did not last long and also the route across the moor to Shireclough already showed signs of new growth after the fires. It was decided to take the long hairpin down past Shireclough, through the new houses on the Calico Printers site into Carrbrook.  David insisted on finding the track under Buckton Castle to reach Moor Edge road and continue, missing a track descending to Bottoms, to reach as mall hamlet above the New Hollins school . from here the track descending along the muddy school perimeter to reach the Huddersfield Canal at scenic Quickwood bridge.  Following the towpath below Bottoms  it was time to find a lunch spot on the lock gates. Suitably refreshed we traversed the tunnel with a substantial handrail along the canal to Millbrook.

We ascended the road before the substation and wound around the insalubrious path to the road opposite the school and turned left up to the church. The path ascended through the fields passing the bull and through the bog to Copper Farm and then Brushes road.  Back on a descent track past Walkerwood reservoir and ascending through Cock wood we contoured around Wild Bank to Sidebottom fold we ascended steeply towards the Hollingworth Moor trig point before realising that there was an easier path if we had been a bit more patient. There was nothing for it but to continue over Shaw Moor and Hobson Moor before descending to the start.

We were not to know that this would be the final walk before the lock down.  Although we met the odd lone walkers over the moors it was astonishing to pass so many families out walking above Stalybridge.  We concluded that all the Dads with no sport to watch had decided that the whole family needed some exercise. Duncan’s sadistics 14.7 miles and 2500ft or 767meters ascent

Thanks Ann for a lovely walk route.

David Allen