Monday 16th January 2023
Reservoir Circular Walk
This month’s long walk started at the Jumbles Reservoir car park, with seventeen walkers braving the cold and misty morning, to complete the walk around the three reservoirs, in an anticlockwise direction. We started by heading passed the Information Centre and Café following the very muddy footpath to the concrete bridge. Due to the recent heavy rain the level of the reservoir was very high and there was a steady flow of water coming down Bradshaw Brook. The brook was used to power the textile mills down the valley since the Middle Ages, with the first of the reservoir, Entwistle, being built in 1831 to ensure a constant flow of water. As the demand for water increased, due to a growth in Bolton’s population, Wayoh Reservoir was built in 1876, followed by Jumbles in 1971, all the reservoirs are now owned by United Utilities.
On arriving in Turton Bottoms we turned left onto Birches Road and made our way up to Bolton Road where we turned right and walked as far as the Black Bull Inn, turning first left and heading down to the embankment at the bottom of Wayoh reservoir. By now fine snow was starting to fall and the visibility had reduced so we quickly made our way to Crow Trees Lane, where the road crosses the reservoir. After crossing the road, we continued to follow the footpath to the top of the reservoir, where the trees provided shelter from the snow.
Once across the bridge, over Bradshaw Brook, we began the steep climb up to Entwistle Hall Lane where we turned right walking to the road bridge over Entwistle Railway Station, on the railway line from Rochdale to Clitheroe, through Manchester. At the Strawbury Duck we turned right, continuing along Edge Lane for a short distance before taking the first footpath on our left. As we walked through Lower House Plantation down the shore of Entwistle Reservoir, the snow had stopped falling and we had our first glimpse of blue sky. After turning right and walking for a short distance we stopped for our morning coffee break and by this time we had glorious blue skies and bright sunshine.
Once refreshed we walked around the top of the reservoir following the partly flooded footpath down to the embankment where we crossed the road and walked through the car park.
Heading through the woods we soon arrived at the viaduct, that carries the railway line to Entwistle. At the shore of Wayoh Reservoir we turned right and walked down to the embankment, turning right again, and walking down into Chapletown. Once at the Chetham Arms we turned right down Kay Street and on to Station Road to join a footpath, on our left and headed to Turton Tower. The manor house, with its pele tower, dates to the 15th century and has had several extensions over the years. In 1620 the house and land were sold to Humphrey Chetham, famous for establishing Chetham’s School in Manchester and being a supporter of Oliver Cromwell. The building is now owned by Blackburn with Darwen Council.
At the start of the walk, we would never have thought that we would be eating our lunch, bought in the well organised café, sat in the gardens of Turton Tower in brilliant sunshine.
After lunch we turned left down Chapeltown Road and joined a footpath on our right, which passes a second world war pill box, and eventually leads back to Jumbles Reservoir. Once at the concrete bridge we turned right and walked along the shore of the reservoir as far as Grange Road where we turned left through a stile, following a footpath down to Bradshaw Brook. After crossing the bridge, over the brook, we made the steep climb back to the car park having covered almost 11 mostly sunny miles.