The picturesque village just 90 mins from Preston famous for nightlife, local celebrities Kevin Sinfield and Paul Scholes, and dark history
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Uppermill is nestled in a tranquil Saddleworth valley on the cusp of the Greater Manchester/Yorkshire border. Once famed for its wool and cotton mills, this idyllic Northern village sits on the charming Huddersfield Narrow Canal and is surrounded by the verdant Saddleworth Moor, which looms over Uppermill before climbing into the Pennines.
Starting bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I headed down Fishergate to Preston Train Station where, armed with a Starbucks latte, I hopped on one of the regular trains into Manchester before changing at Piccadilly. Pro tip: the Preston train usually gets into Platform 13, so take the far less busy top walkway to Platform 1 to catch the train headed for Huddersfield.
After leaving the skyscrapers of Manchester behind, the train slowly sloped into Mossley and then Greenfield, where I alighted ahead of the short 10-minute walk to neighbouring Uppermill. As first impressions go, Uppermill makes a very good case for itself early on: I was immediately taken by its cleanliness, its quaintness, and its sprawling greenery.
Passing the ancient locks on the canal, I wandered towards Saddleworth Museum, which overlooks the water and, dating back to 1862, boasts countless historic pictures, fascinating items, and unparalleled collections of local items of interest. After whiling away half an hour, I went in search of a drink and found myself in Muse’s wonderful beer garden.
Rejuvenated, I bobbed into the Towpath Book Shop for a browse and then crossed the River Tame before heading down onto the local park, which features lovely open spaces and one of the best-kept war memorial and cenotaphs I’ve ever seen. Searching for the nearby babble of water, I eventually found some charming stepping stones stretching over the river.
Heading back onto the high street, I headed for Kobe, a coffee shop owned by England and Sale Sharks rugby union player Goerge Ford. Ford is just one of a number of local celebrities - rugby league legend Kevin Sinfield lives in the area and does a lot of his training runs in the village, while Manchester United stalwart Paul Scholes is also a familiar face.
After visiting a number of the local shops for a browse, I headed to The Waggon Inn for a gorgeous two-course Sunday lunch and found a wonderfully welcoming atmosphere, impeccable service, and excellent food. Speaking of local celebrities, Labour party deputy leader Angela Rayner, MP for nearby Ashton-under-Lyne, is known to frequent the pub.
In need of a walk to stretch the legs, I headed back towards Greenfield along the river and started off towards one of the area’s best-known landmarks - Dovestone Reservoir. Always good for amazing sweeping views of the valley, Dovestones is a sight to behold. Invigorated, I started the ascent up Pots & Pans, a local hill on which sits a stunning obelisk.
A wide sky sprawled out in front of me, it was impossible not to be taken by the beauty of the area, but it also boasts a dark past, too - the nearby moors are where murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley buried their numerous victims. Matter of history aside, however, this slice of Saddleworth is very special indeed. And, with that, I headed back to the train station.