Monday 15th April 2024

Monday 15th April 2024

Fifth Section of the West Pennine Way – Roddlesworth to Great Hill and back via Hollinshead Hall.

This morning there was a yellow weather warning, forecasting strong winds and heavy rain, so the question was is it safe to complete the walk. Four walkers and four leaders had arrived at Roddlesworth Information Centre, so we decided to walk through the shelter of Tockholes Woods to Abbey Village and then assess the weather conditions.

Tockholes Wood

Abbey Village

When we arrived at Abbey Village the sun was shining and there was a cloudless blue sky, so we decided to take the most direct route to that part on West Pennine Way (WPW) where we ended our last walk on the WPW. Once through the village we made our way along a country lane to a footpath that took us onto Millstone Edge. The moor was very wet, which we expected after all the heavy rain, but we made good progress and soon arrived at Wheelton Plantation, overlooking Brinscall.

Millstone Edge

Here we joined a track that took us over Heaper Moor to the ruins of Drinkwater Farm and the route of the WPW. From here we started the steep climb up to the summit of Great Hill (329m) and as we were still ahead of the storm, we decided to have our morning coffee stop in the shelter, of the stone seating area.

Great Hill

The decent was extremely wet and muddy, but fortunately the wind was behind us, and the hill sheltered us from the storm, which had just arrived.

Descending Great Hill

Once across Bolton Road we joined the track, on our left, that headed to the ruins of Hollinshead Hall. The hall was built in 1776 by John Hollinshead and it was lived in until 1900 when the land was bought by Liverpool Corporation, and the hall was demolished, with most of the stone being used to build cottages in Belmont Village. From the hall the WPW follows footpaths through Tockholes Plantation back to Roddlesworth Information Centre, where we arrived before lunch and having escaped most of the storm. As we had shorted the first section we had only covered 8.5 windy miles.

Bolton Road

Heading back to Roddlesworth