Village Link Pt 1, 21-09-2016 – Leader Arnold

Village Link Pt 1, 21-09-2016 – Leader Arnold

On this first part of the Bury Village Link route, 26 of us set off from Summerseat Garden Centre, including 2 new walkers with us: Denise, a friend of Judy & Mary, and Mark, recently moved to the area from Watford.  We hope to see them again before too long.  The weather was mild but cloudy, with no rain expected during the walk.  From Summerseat we headed along the pleasantly wooded right bank of the Irwell, through a hamlet, and across a couple of roads to the 1840 Tower Farm in Greenmount, now a residential development.  The tower is a copy of the ruined Grant’s Tower above Ramsbottom (see later).  We continued into the Kirklees Valley and its lodges of former textile mills, and then under the disused Bury to Holcombe Brook railway.  It was then across the fields to Stormer Hill Fold (1724) and the 1762 Grade II listed Stormer Hill House, valued at around £1.8 million!  Shortly after, we refreshed ourselves in a children’s playground, where our young ones thoroughly enjoyed themselves, as you will see from the photos.

After the break, it was north across the fields, with views of Holcombe Hill, to Hawkshaw.  After crossing the main road, we walked along Coal Pit Lane, seeing the loading platforms for the locally mined coal.  Turning east now, we managed to scrump some apples on Hawkshaw Lane, before skirting the Holcombe Rifle Range and the army camp, noting dire warnings about what might happen if we transgressed.  This camp was built in the 1940s and is now an all-year-round general purpose training area.  Along the way we came across the old Krypton Factor assault course.  Judy has been over this course in the past, though she did not reveal her time!  From the course, we walked across the fields, then through Saplin Wood, and finally across open ground, with very pleasant views.  This took us to Moorbottom Road underneath Holcombe Hill, with a final sharp pull taking us to lunch on and around the splendid Millennium bench.  The wind had freshened by now, so we all covered up as we ate lunch, while admiring the extensive views to Manchester and beyond, including the 47 storey Beetham Tower/Hilton Hotel on Deansgate, and the Chill Factorye near the Trafford Centre on the M60 – the UK’s longest indoor ski slope.

Apologies to those at the back for giving them too little time to have their lunch before setting off again past the 1852 Peel Tower, a memorial to Sir Robert Peel, a Bury man.  Then we wound our way down to Holcombe Village, a conservation area, and through the woods into Ramsbottom, where apparently the ducks on the lodge have their own bank account!  Mike T wittily commented “That would be their nest egg”.  Stranger still is the huge urn in the centre of town – part of the Irwell Sculpture Trail – celebrating the legacy of the Industrial Revolution in the valley (how??).  The Grants Arms behind the urn is named after the Grant brothers.  Then it was through the town past the ELR station, across the Irwell and Nuttall Park, then following the Irwell and the railway line back to Summerseat.  Along the way we crossed the bridge where the Waterside Inn – an old mill – was swept away in the Boxing Day floods last winter.  Refreshments were taken at the Garden Centre, during which time the rain finally broke through outside.  Thanks to all for coming, to David for the splendid photos, and to Roy for back marking.

(Write up Arnold, pics David.  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. Jenny Bruffell

    Excellent walk and write up Arnold. First class photos David. Thank you for a very good day.

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