Wednesday 22nd November 2023
Pilgrims’ Way: Third walk of four from Whalley to Manchester
Seventeen walkers began the walk from behind Greenmount Church and headed through the mud of Two Brooks Valley to the point just above Hawkshaw, where we had left the route on the second of these walks.
Once on the route we turned left and made our way, through the fields, up to Turton Road. After crossing the road, we joined the track up to Tom Nook Farm and after a short distance we turned left onto Black Lane which we followed it up to Affetside.
The Pack Horse Affetside
The Cross on a sunnier day
By now the mist had descended so we did not linger for too long at the ancient cross before heading down Watling Street, the old Roman Road, to the junction with Tottington Road. Taking the track opposite, known as Bowstone Hill Road, we headed to the kissing gate, at the end of the road that led into more muddy fields. Once across the fields we crossed Harwood Road, at Old Holts Farm, where we joined even more muddy fields up to Barrack Fold Farm. From here it was just a short distance, down their access road, into Ainsworth where we enjoyed the warmth of our coffee behind the King William Pub.
The route then took us a short distance down Bradley Fold Road before turning left where once again we headed across muddy fields to Starling Road, which we crossed and headed down to Bolton Road. After crossing the road, we followed the route until we reached Withins Reservoir, where we stopped for lunch. From here it was a short walk into Radcliffe where we first passed The Old Tithe Barn, now a MOT garage and then The Old Cross pub before arriving at St Mary’s Church. A church existed on this site in Saxon times and the tower dates back to the 13th century.
St Mary’s Church
After spending some time admiring both the church and the tower, we caught the bus back to Greenmount having covered, by foot, 8.5 very muddy miles.