Spring is springing

Along the Moss Another old railway line At Worsley Old Hall Morning coffee (on an angle!) Natter, natter Reg gives a history lesson



Please see links to Blogs above re this walk

Mar 23rd. Salford Trail Part 3. 12 miles from Worsley Old Hall to Irlam Railway Sation.

Let me begin by apologising to those walkers who thought the start was from Walkden Railway Station as was advertised in Strider. Hopefully, thanks to Hilary, you were all collected in safely. The Strider details have to be in months before the walk and after we reccied the Trail in the Autumn we realised the second and third legs were very unequal in length and so rearranged the start and finish points. Sorry.

Some 22 walkers and Maude, Hilary’s dog, were blessed with a glorious sunny day. Worsley Old Hall is part of a large Conservation area which includes the Marriott Hotel and Golf Course. The Hotel was formerly the Farm attached to the Hall. The Old Hall was the residence of James Brindley(1717-1771),employed by the Duke of Bridgewater to design and build the Bridgewater Canal and the Barton Aqueduct.

Setting out around the golf course I came very close to being struck by a golf ball hit by a golfer sufficiently close to hear Norman advise him as to the benefits of Specs Savers. Passing other golfers enjoying the sun we found our way onto Leigh Road and crossed to the road leading down to the Garden Centre. Ignoring the sign that said the path was closed we charged across the fields,into the bull rushes,(still following the path) and climbed up to the Bridgewater Canal.

Following the canal path into Worsley Green we took an early lunch sitting on the steps of the Memorial to the Duke of Bridgewater. Whilst in what is known as Worsley Village we saw the Packet House where passenger services to Manchester started as a daily service in 1769. Norman told us he had travelled to Manchester on this very service!

Passing round to the Delph which was the entrance to the underground canal system stretching for some 50 miles beneath the ground reaching as far as Leigh. The building of the Bridgewater Canal, linking coal mines in Worsley to Manchester, was responsible for halving the price of coal overnight thus fuelling the Industrial Revolution. A million tons of coal were mined each year until 1887. We all pondered on the historic significance of this site which now was so peaceful and a haven for birds.

Walking up the delightful Mill Brow we entered Worsley Woods, passing the Old Warke Dam which was built as a private boating and fishing lake for the first Earl of Ellesmere. On the opposite side of the lake is the Aviary,a black and white mock Tudor building used as a hunting and fishing Lodge.

From here we joined the Loop Line footpath to Monton. The amount of green land, golf courses and the like were surprising in what one imagined to be a very urban area. Monton Green is another very large Consevation Area within Salford. This includes The Green; the very large Unitarian Church and a former school and caretakers house, a lodge built in 1875 on what was the Duke of Ellesmere’s estate and a golf course plus club house. The character of the area was very apparent and also the number of mature trees.

Returning to the Bridgewater Canal we took Norman by surprise when he saw the Monton Lighthouse,one he did not know existed. Bill of course had known about the Lighthouse and made this very clear to Norman. Where the Manchester to Liverpool Railway crosses the canal in 1851 Queen Victoria took a boat trip on the Bridgewater Canal, in a specially constructed boat, to Worsley to stay over night with the Duke of Bridgewater. The boat was made in the dry dock at Worsley Green. The Queen had travelled by train to Patricroft Station. Sadly the spot where she travelled from on the canal is now an Industrial wilderness and made worse by litter. Times do change!

Onward we walked alongside the railway to reach Worsley Brook and followed this over open ground to pass beneath the M60 and into the housing estate along side the motorway. Quickly passing through the estate we reached Verdant Lane, the nearby cemetery and onto the Moss near the boundary of Barton Airport. Here we had our second lunch stop soaking up the sunshine and watching the small planes take off and land.

The Trail then passes over the M62, via Tunnel Farm,and onto what is known as Twelve Yards Road. This stretched two miles,surrounded by fields and moss until the junction with the Astley Road is reached. Difficult at this point to believe you are still in Salford. Refreshed by Hilary’s sweets we set off for Irlam which we reached at 3.45 pm.

After a sorting out of cars everyone was taken onboard and we all felt this had been a particularly interesting and enjoyable section. Please note the next leg starts and finishes at Irlam Railway Station and we hope to include part of the very recently written up fifth section of the Trail.

We are definitely ground breakers as the first walking group to walk the Trail which is very much in it’s infancy and has at the moment no markers.


Sun March 27th. Hollingworth Heights. 20 miles from Blackstone Edge. 17 walkers and 2 dogs

The Weather-God smiled kindly on those who remembered to put their clocks forward for the inaugral Hollingworth Heights walk on Sunday, March 27th.

Most of the 17 walkers ( + 2 dogs) began suitably cagouled, gloved and bobble-hatted yet as the day went on the layers of insulation began to come off as the temperature rose.

Starting from the White House pub (built BEFORE it's namesake in Washington DC) the party headed briefly south, across the A58; along the Pennine Way; before turning east along the old Pack Horse Rd. We then skirted around Warm Withins Hill and Cat Moss at the northern edge of Rishworth Moor. Already the views were beginning to offer rewards across the tops.

Dropping down through Grey Stone Height and braving the rabid, psychotic dog at Higher Wormaid Farm we made our way across the Dam on the eastern edge of Baitings Reservoir to take our 1st break just before Baitings viaduct.

Then the walk really started!! The stiff climb via Greenwood Clough and up onto Great Manshead Hill saw more clothes being shed than a Paris Burlesque show. The climb was worth it. There was a general consensus that summer was definitely on the way. Those who hadn't already spotted our afternoon target of Stoodley Pike, did so now, with sweeping views into both Yorkshire and Lancashire.

On we marched. Dropping down again this time to take lunch in a nice little sun-trap at the new Washford Bridge in Trimming Dale.

The desire to linger and sunbathe was resisted and onwards we strove up Higher Grouse Moor. The highlight (for me anyway) was the great aspect reached at Turley Holes Edge. The party briefly paused to soak in the views across the valley and down Cragg Vale

before pressing on to Withins Clough Reservoir. Due to renovation work we followed the southern edge of the reservoir before making the ascent up Higher Moor and reaching Stoodley Pike by mid-afternoon.

For many, including me, this was the 1st time we had come here and had such glorious weather. A longer than usual stop ensued with one or two individuals ( you know who you are) almost falling asleep as they lay in the wonderful sunshine.

The final leg saw us take the route along the tops incorporating the Pennine Way, Todmorden Centenary, Rochdale Way, The Pennine Way (again) before arriving back at our starting point.

Voices were heard to say "It's 18.1 miles on my GPS". "It's 20 miles exactly on my GPS". "I'm going home for a glass of wine in the garden" "Well I'm going into the pub for quick one". "Eeeh; I really enjoyed that".

Thank you one and all.

Best Wishes


Please see below for lots of pictures from this walk. Thanks to Alan for these.



Across the Reservoir Afternoon tea at Stoodley Pike Hazy sunshine on the hill Heading to the reservoir Morning coffee Serious faces here! Start at White House pub Where's the water?