with Bob Clare of www.lancashirewalks.com
With St Valentine’s Day coming up here is a suggestion for the romantically minded – take the significant other for a walk followed by a meal at the Chetham Arms, Chapeltown. I have used this column previously to praise this excellent establishment. Last month 33 Dotcom Walkers enjoyed a splendid lunch there having completed the walk described below. The Chetham Arms offers everything one would wish for in a traditional English pub – well-kept beer, good food at a reasonable price, a delightful location in a village with rustic charm and easy access to beautiful countryside. So forget the Seychelles or a city break in Venice – take your heart’s delight to Chapeltown instead!
Start: The Chetham Arms, High Street, Chapeltown BL7 0EW
Distance: 5 ½ miles
Time: 2 ½ - 3 ½ hours
Grade: Moderate. After a sustained climb to Cheetham Close most of the rest of the route is reasonably level.
Maps: OS Explorer 287 West Pennine Moors
1.Between the pub and the car park take the bridleway that leads downhill to Station Road and the railway level crossing. After this keep ahead and bear left to pass through a gate taking a path leading alongside a wall to the left across a field. After the next gate cross a broad track (the Witton Weavers Way) and continue this sustained climb across fields keeping to the left of wide farm building. After passing through a wood the path reaches open moorland. Follow the path upwards to cross the ridge at a metal gate. Continue as the path begins to descend on the far side angling down right to a wooden gate in a wall. Through the gate head straight downhill on a path that goes through boggy woodland and arrives at the end of a farm drive. Keep straight taking a path parallel to the drive to reach Cox Green Road. Turn left.
2. Walk along the road for a little over 150yds and then turn left onto the drive of Whittle Hill Farm. After the drive swings right cross a stile next to a gate on the right opposite the next bend. With the fence on your left keep straight to Little Stanrose Farm at Kitty Close. Cross to a stile by a metal gate and follow the path as it edges the field bending right to a kissing gate in the far corner. Through this follow the path as passes between Turton Golf Club on the left and a vast quarry on the right. Keep on the path as it follows the perimeter of the golf course swinging away from the quarry and bringing you to the side of Last Drop Village a well know tourist attraction in the North West of England. At the complex bear left on a track that is Haydock Lane. Keep left as this joins Hospital Lane on the edge of a housing estate. Keep ahead on this as it threads its way between properties becomes Haydock Lane again and reaches the B6391 Chapeltown Road. Cross into Hillside Avenue and after this bends right take a footpath on the left that follows the back fence of properties on the right. Pass below the railway line and cross the next field to a broad drive close to a substantial property (Ouzel’s Nest). Cross the drive to narrow path that drops steeply to a footbridge below the dam of Jumbles Reservoir
3. Cross the bridge and climb steeply on the far side on a path leading into the car park for Jumbles Reservoir. Through this turn right on a broad track that takes you past a café and information centre and along the shore of the reservoir. As you reach the end of the reservoir keep ahead with footbridge to your left to enter a steep sided wooded valley. Just after a weir take an almost obscure path on the right leading up to a wooden gate and fields. Keep ahead to an isolated oak tree and then aim for the large farm complex bearing right past a pond to enter the farmyard by a wooden gate. Keep ahead through the farm (Birches) and on the far side turn left onto a green lane that descends to Turton Bottoms a settlement with an unusual mixture of ancient and modern properties. Turn left past a row of more ancient cottages and bear left on a path that crosses Bradshaw Brook into Vale Street. Cross to a path that climbs up to Wellington Road. After a short distance, less than 100yds, turn right onto a path bringing to a substantial property which is a converted school house. Here keep to the enclosed path alongside its drive to reach a stone stair well leading to the road which is at the end of Chapeltown’s Main Street.
- Walk devised by Stuart Holley of the Lancashire Dotcom Walkers. Bob’s walks are now available as digital guides on the iFootpath website and App (see iFootpath.com).