Hollingworth Lake 16-10-2016 – Leader Arnold

Hollingworth Lake 16-10-2016 – Leader Arnold

9 brave ramblers turned up at Hollingworth Lake Visitor Centre in pouring rain, that was forecast to continue for the whole of the walk.  Well, fortune favours the brave, they say, so within about 15 minutes the rain had stopped, and thereafter the skies just got bluer, and the temperature rose steadily, to the point where we all divested.  Today was all about the Cleggs, as it transpired, with Linda and David being joined by their son Matthew, plus Matthew’s 18 month old black Lab Keo – named after a Cypriot lager – hence the holiday photo.  They were both very welcome.  Leaving the Visitor Centre northward, we could see Blackstone Edge and the hamlet of Whittaker, a collection of stone built houses set out around a paved courtyard, constituting a distinctive isolated South Pennine settlement.

To Roy’s delight, after passing through a rural smallholding area – with a load of missing alpacas – we came to the Rochdale Canal.  This was the first canal to be built over the Pennines, running from Sowerby Bridge, through Hebden Bridge, Todmorden and Littleborough, then skirting Rochdale and Oldham to end up in the centre of Manchester.  The only trans-Pennine canal without a tunnel, it climbs 600 feet in its 33 mile length and has 92 locks.  There are some superb photos of its passage through Manchester centre here.  Walking along the canal, we pondered whether an imposing building to our right was Rochdale Town Hall – as I had thought on the recce – or a textile mill.  David suggested that it was Birch Hill Hospital in Wardle (where Maureen had a cataract op), and so it turned out.  The unfortunate thing is that there is a young Polish lady going around the area, swearing blind that it is the Town Hall, ‘cos I told her so!!  Passing on, we came to the area of Little Clegg, where Matthew posed, and then to Clegg Hall, looking very much like the haunted house it is reputed to be.  Clegg is the area (a conservation area, in fact), and everything was coming up Clegg – the Hall, an abandoned trout fishery, a farm, and a mill.  We took our break sitting in the sun on a wall, admiring the buildings from across the canal.

After our break, we passed the Hall and turned east along Branch Road and then across the busy B6225 Wildhouse Lane from Milnrow.  We soon hung a left across the fields and over an awkward stile, made a lot more awkward by the attentions of a number of gaily caparisoned horses!  Then it was up to Bib Knowl (Bible Knoll – thought to be a meeting place for religious dissenters in the 16th and 17th centuries), to gain lovely views over the lake.  We then dropped to the lake, where Keo played happily with an identical dog in the water, and then it was round the lake anti-clockwise back to the Visitor Centre.  Most of us took refreshments there, sitting outside in the warmth.  Carol, Adam and I had a look at the upstairs exhibition of paintings by the Wardle Art Group, which were excellent, making a lovely finish to a splendid walk – though I say so, as shouldn’t.

(Pics & write up Arnold.  Appended here are the route stats and profile.)

Slideshow below, but if you wish to see a static view of the pics all in one go, then click here.

1 Comment

  1. carol jakar

    excellent photos …really enjoyed the day….missing walking with ramblers…..thanks Arnold

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