Summerseat 05-12-2018 – Leaders Steve & Viv

Summerseat 05-12-2018 – Leaders Steve & Viv

What a watery Wednesday walk!!  Poor Steve & Viv, to get a day of uninterrupted heavy rain on their first walk leading experience with us.  But what a brilliant turnout of 21 in support of them on a predictably awful day, and what an excellent walk it was, showcasing the wildness that is so close to their home in Summerseat.  And what luck for yours truly, that I could slope off home a mile before the end of the walk, so that I was showered, warm and dry by the time you were in the café!

After admiring John’s vividly-coloured salopettes and the garden centre’s Highland cattle, we set off north along the swollen Irwell and then up pretty Robin Road with its cottages, before turning half left to follow the equally swollen Holcombe Brook up its lovely valley to the main A676, which we crossed with care.  We then ascended the cobbles of Holcombe Old Road and past the Islamic College (ex-TB sanatorium) before paddling through a kissing gate prior to a pull up to the road around the bottom of Holcombe Hill.  At some point around here, Roy – full of a cold (man flu?) – decided to go back home, so we hope he feels better soon.  Linda, who has also been sniffling recently, was quite disappointed that he did not need a lift back.

Now heading west, we followed the road around the hill, with surprisingly good and dramatic views, to arrive at the edge of the MOD firing range, with dire warnings about what might happen if we transgressed.   This training area was built in the 1940s and is now an all-year-round general purpose training area.  TA and Cadet organisations train at weekends, and regular army units take part in low-level tactical training and live firing during the week – but thankfully not today.  Pressing on upwards, and ignoring all grenade-shaped objects lying on the ground, we began to do some more paddling – today’s mot juste for this walk.  The main paddle challenge was across a very full and rushing Red Brook, but with red Roger’s help it was successfully navigated.  At this point we took a standing coffee break, whilst admiring the surprisingly wild scenery around us.

After the break, we turned south and climbed a bit more to Lark Hill, the highest point of the walk at 1100 feet, before dropping due south to Holcombe Hey Fold Farm and Hawkshaw Farm, though the latter has recently been redeveloped into a splendid pile now called Hawkshaw Hall, with a notice about day and night dog training – very odd!.  Now on Hawkshaw Lane, we paddled through what seemed like a river to Hawkshaw village, where we crossed the A676 again.  Soon we were at the tennis club, but Steve eschewed their open air picnic tables in favour of a later covered area – nicknamed ‘the manger’ – where we took lunch.  After that, we were soon at Holly Mount RC primary school, which has an interesting history.

Passing Greenmount Golf Club – no Joe playing there today – we almost swam across a very flooded section where the lane met Holcombe Road.  Then it was past the interesting Tower Farm, now a residential mews development.  Finally, we crossed Longsight Road (more floods), where I waved goodbye to the group, and were soon back to the Christmassy comfort and warmth of Summerseat Garden Centre.  Many thanks to Viv & Steve for a very good first walk for us, and for keeping us all together in difficult conditions.  Thanks also to the extra photographers today, and to all for turning out in such weather.

Write up Arnold, pics Arnold, Stephen & Steve.  Appended here are the route stats and profile.

If you wish to see a static view of the pics all in one go, then click here.

There is a link to the slideshow here.  You will need to click within the black page that opens up to see the show.

3 Comments

  1. Rosemary

    Oh dear Steve & Viv, I never dreamt when I asked you to swap walks you would have to encounter such a wet day! Well done for leading your first walk. As they say things can only get better!

  2. Thanks Arnold for a great write up and to everyone for great support. A memorable day!

  3. Graeme Adlum

    Well done to Steve and Viv and our photogaphers.

    I was pleased to see the rain didn’t deter 21 mad ramblers from turning out for this walk. It was worth it.

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