During December 2018 and January 2019 our Walmersley Road Walking Group were involved in two walks, both of which we have done before. They were ideal for the shorter days and winter months. The first was along part of the Irwell Sculpture trail. The second was to the 3 Bolton reservoirs.
On 8th December we took the Metrolink to Manchester Victoria station and begun our walk back along sections of the Irwell Sculpture Trail. The trail is 28 miles long altogether and runs from Salford Quays to Bacup.
Our route took us through Peel Park alongside the River Irwell, Drinkwater Park in Prestwich and Outwood Trail in Radcliffe. There was a slight variation this time in that we were able to venture across Kersal Dale nature trail behind The Cliff training ground. Our previous outing had prevented us from doing this due to redevelopment works, so we were pleased to be able to explore this section.
Despite a reasonable start to the day, we unfortunately had to continue the final third in the pouring rain. This resulted in our lunch stop being relocated to underneath the bridge near the old Outwood railway station.
We faired much better with the weather though for our next outing on 5th January. This was led at the last minute by Ralph due to Paul’s absence. This time we explored the three reservoirs of Bolton: Jumbles, Wayoh and Turton & Entwistle. Our day began with car shares to Jumbles Country Park. We then set off on a figure of eight route around each of the reservoirs. This is a mainly flat route with the odd ascent up to sections of the Witton Weavers Way and through woodland.
Familiar places on this walk include the village of Entwistle and Strawbury Duck pub (note the spelling). All three reservoirs were extremely popular with cyclists, runners and dog walkers. No doubt they were making the most of a fine and dry Saturday albeit slightly chilly. Our elevenses stop was at the edge of the Wayoh reservoir and we enjoyed lunch by the Turton & Entwistle, which was built way back in 1832. Apparently at the time of construction the Entwistle dam was the highest in Britain. It was noted how many of the trees alongside were adorned with Christmas decorations, either in memory of loved ones, or just for the sheer fun of decorating a tree with tinsel and baubles.
We made our way back through the village of Chapeltown to collect the cars at Jumbles for the journey home. We all had a super day and thanks to Ralph for leading.
If you have transport, it is well worth an outing to these reservoirs. If not for the walking, then at least to sit and relax for a while next to the usually still waters.
It was also great that Gill has continued to join us on these walks following her appointment in the Deanery of Rochdale. There is talk of us doing Healey for one of our future walks so watch this space…
Best foot forward, David Robinson
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