Thursday, 4 July 2019
Saturday, 8 June 2019
On a day when heavy rain was forecast, I wasn’t expecting any company on this walk. However, Paul S dutifully turned up along with a rain inhibitor concealed somewhere on his body.
So we set out from the Visitor Centre (closed) car park at Werneth Low, and after admiring the ‘All Conflicts’ War Memorial, pictured below, by the car park, we strolled up to the Cenotaph, from where there’s a fine view to the Pennine moors (above).
Here’s the view in the rough direction of Saddleworth Moor and Black Hill, all rather sombre today.
The Cenotaph on the top of Werneth Low remembers 710 local men who lost their lives in WW1, although the current emphasis is on remembering the thousands who lost their lives in the D-day offensive that took place 75 years ago yesterday.
I was busy helping Mike and Sarah move house yesterday, so they should always remember the date of that move.
After a meander in the wrong direction past some gregarious goldfinches we returned to the planned route, which happened to be the Tameside Trail, and wandered along some narrow paths, gradually descending towards the Peak Forest Canal. On the way we passed large houses and we encountered narrow ginnels.
After crossing over the railway, we were faced with the windowless shell of Unity Mill, and Paul noticed some signs opposing a proposed development. This view may change…
“Gravel Bank Road/Unity MillThis new 250-home development in the curve of the canal north west of Woodley would see new housing built on open green space, along with the conversion of the derelict Unity Mill.The mill itself would become apartments, while a 'broad mix' of housing types - 30pc of it affordable - would be built on the fields to its south east, currently accessed from Gravel Bank Road.A 'visually attractive' environment would be ensured through good design and layout, it says, taking account of the nearby heritage landmarks.”
Directly behind the mill, the Peak Forest Canal passes serenely on its way to join the Macclesfield Canal at Marple and the Ashton Canal at Ashton.
We enjoyed a short break here, watching the barges before leaving the canal at the bridge seen in the distance in the next picture.
Now we enjoyed a section along a disused railway line utilised by the Trans Pennine Trail (TPT), which in this vicinity sports some impressive signposts.
Near Godley we passed an impressive turntable site. How this scene must have changed over the past 100 years or so.
As we approached Godley the expected airborne moisture arrived despite Paul’s antidote, and the TPT, whilst neatly signposted, seemed to come to an abrupt halt at a metal fence on the wrong side of Godley Junction. I think you’d have to turn off before we did in order to follow the correct route.
Anyway, we muddled through and found the path past Brookfold Farm to be sufficiently unattractive that we chose the bridleway past Godley Green in preference to my planned route. Thus we made our way back up to the Cenotaph and down to the car park, where Keith and Carol appeared to have arrived nearly three hours late for the walk. How careless of them!*
Here’s the route we took – about 12 km with 250 metres of ascent, in rather less than three hours. It would be a bit less without the ‘meanders’. The red triangle shows the position of our tea break bench.
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* Actually they were on their way to a weekend gathering at Torside. They practiced walking in the rain that was predicted for the weekend by setting off on a wet walk, whilst Paul and I made our way home.
Thursday, 23 August 2012
On a warm evening in Compstall, Sue and I were joined for a beer by Graham B, whilst teams of bowlers aimed for their targets on the pristine green behind The George.
It seemed a shame to leave, but Alistair, Colin and Helen turned up, eager for a walk. So off we set, heading alongside the lake in Etherow Country Park.
The golden orb was soon lost behind the horizon, bringing to attention the need to carry torches on evening walks from now until next April or May, though some got away without them tonight.
I hadn’t walked the paths before, and hadn’t carried out a recce, but as expected Graham B pretty much knew the route up to Werneth Low. It was still light enough for this self timed picture looking back down to Compstall.
Werneth Low hasn’t previously featured on these pages. I’m not really sure why not, as it’s a fine viewpoint right on the edge of the Peak District. Judging by my map it’s also on a European Trail – path E2, albeit not signed as such, and it’s fair to say we didn’t meet a trail of E2 backpackers snaking across the countryside. A couple of dog walkers were our only encounters tonight. Apart from the curious cows.
The War Memorial dates from 1920, whilst the ‘Low’ part of the name of this place dates from long ago - ‘Low’ being the North English word for a hill.
After I’d handed out some brownies – the first batch for a couple of months, we continued our circuit in increasing gloom along a very muddy track.
“I’ve not been here before” announced Graham. Alistair, Colin and Helen also live close by, and they hadn’t taken the planned route before either. So we fumbled our way along the lanes and paths in a southerly direction (Alistair takes an award for being the only one of us with a compass) as it went completely dark and torchless Sue was glad of the carrots I’d fed her for tea.
At one point the path disappeared, but a short stretch of jungle revealed a welcoming (unless you had a dog, we didn’t) gate with a yellow arrow that led us to a barking farmyard. I always get nervous in such places at night, especially when, like now, an array of blinding lights is activated, but over the years our evening walks have scared other people more often than we’ve been scared ourselves.
I was quite pleased to find that we were somehow still on a path when we passed under some power pylons and reached a stile at a point that I knew was only 100 metres or so from the road. But in the dark wood I then missed the path and led everyone across a boggy field from which a barbed wire fence had to be climbed in order to escape to the pavement.
I’m sure the ‘off path’ experience did no harm to anyone’s thirst, which was quenched a few minutes later back at The George.
Here’s our route – 8 km with 300 metres ascent, taking 2 to 2.5 hours.