My Five Favourite Local Walks

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During the current unprecedented times, with little else to do, it seems many individuals have taken up walking or hiking as a hobby. This is a fantastic way for people to keep healthy, as well as get outdoors and visit new places. As an avid hiker myself, I’m fully aware of the positive impact this can have on your mental health and wellbeing. I use walking and hiking as a way to clear my head and unwind after a busy week.

That said, over recent years I have visited many locations around Lancashire and surrounding areas. I’d love to share some of these favourite spots with you as recommendations for local walks.

Peel Tower Cloud Inversion

Blackstone Edge

Blackstone Edge is a gritstone escarpment which lies on the Greater Manchester/Yorkshire border. The rock formations are truly spectacular to witness. This can be made an easier or harder walk depending on which route you wish to take. A common starting point at the White House pub, which reduces a lot of the ascent. If you are feeling extra energetic, then you can tackle the Roman Road, which starts out much lower down. Whichever route you decide to take, you will not be disappointed with the end reward. A favourite section of the walk is one you approach first with a huge rock face, which juts out from the landscape, which can’t be missed. This is worth the stop off for the first photo opportunity. After visiting this spectacular rock formation, you weave your way through the boulder field all the way up to the summit trig pillar. From here you are rewarded with views right across Manchester, Hollingworth Lake, Winter Hill and if you visit on a clear day, you will be surprised to see the mountains of Snowdonia National Park catching your gaze.

Holcombe Hill

Holcombe Hill overlooks the lovely village of Holcombe and the centre of Ramsbottom. Standing 128 feet high on this hill is one of Bury’s well-known landmarks, Peel Tower. This popular landmark was built in 1852 and is dedicated to one of Bury’s most famous sons, Sir Robert Peel. Walkers can enjoy a pleasant walk up to the tower and then across the wonderful Holcombe Moorland, with spectacular views across Manchester and surrounding areas. This is an easy walk for most people and can be completed in a circular route starting out at Moorbottom Road. I have loved Holcombe Hill ever since I first noticed it when I moved to Manchester.

Peel Tower, Ramsbottom.
Peel Tower at sunrise
Peel Tower Cloud Inversion
Peel Tower Cloud Inversion

Wayoh Reservoir

Wayoh Reservoir is located in the beautiful town of Edgworth. This reservoir, along with the Turton & Entwistle Reservoir, supply 50% of Bolton’s drinking water. Wayoh Reservoir was enlarged to its current capacity, which holds 501 million imperial gallons. One of the highlights of the walk is visiting the viaduct, where you can witness its impressive construction. Occasionally, you will see the train passing via the Manchester to Clitheroe line. If you get your timing right, you might be able to photograph the train on the viaduct. For most people, this should be an easy walk on 90% flat terrain, perfect for a stroll to walk off your Sunday dinner. This is a location I have visited many times and particularly enjoy walking here in the evening.

Scout Moor Wind Farm

Scout Moor combines a scenic walk with modern day engineering. With its road network solely for the wind farm, it makes it fairly easy to navigate and good under foot. You don’t truly realise how big the wind turbines are until you’re up close to them. During the walk, you can always venture off piste and visit Knowl Hill, which is a prominent hill on Scout Moor itself, offering extensive views and almost an aerial view of the wind farm itself, which I highly recommend. If you’ve got plenty of energy left in the legs, you can venture towards the back end of the wind farm which takes you to Whittle Hill, which is marked with a 6 foot cross. I’d say this is a medium difficulty walk, especially when combining Knowl Hill, which due to its prominence requires a steep ascent. If setting off from The Owd Betts Pub, once returning back to the car, you can watch the sun go down from Ashworth Moor Reservoir.

Dovestone Reservoir & Surrounding Hills

Lastly but by no means my least favourite, is Dovestone Reservoir. If you fancy a nice stroll, you can do a circular walk of the reservoir itself, even combining Yeoman Hey Reservoir. This offers beautiful views despite being surrounded and enclosed by the surrounding hills. Dovestone Reservoir is also surrounded by beautiful woodland and pine trees. I’d say this is an easy walk, starting out from either Binn Green car park or the main car park itself. If you feel up for a challenge, there is a selection of unique rock formations and craggs to visit, some to note are Aldermans Hill, Wimberry Rocks, also known as Indians Head and one of my personal favourites, The Trinnacle. Aldermans Hill offers great views of the three reservoirs and Dovestone Rocks but requires a steep climb. Wimberry Rocks is a favourite amongst most people and draws people in due to its resemblance of a native Indian’s headdress. I especially like The Trinnacle, this involves a steep climb initially followed by a ridge walk where you will then reach The Trinnacle Rock itself, but the question is will you make the leap from one stone to the other?.

Dovestone Reservoir
Me at Dovestone Reservoir
Dovestone Reservoir
Dovestone Reservoir

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