Wednesday 24th April 2024

Wednesday 24th April 2024

Trails, Canals, and Reservoirs walk – 19 walkers turned out on a chilly but beautiful sunny morning for the last walk in April.

The route began from the Greenmount Old School and followed the Kirklees Trail towards Bury centre. The trail has been developed along the former Bury to Holcombe Brook rail line which was closed in 1963. It is now a widely used walking and cycling path. It passes through farmland and residential areas on its way to Bury. We walked over two impressive viaducts at Island Lodge in Tottington and the River Irwell at Woodhill.

Millennium Bridge

Once we reached Bury, we took a path and subway under Angouleme Way and past the Grammar schools onto the next path which was another disused rail line, the Bury and Bolton line which closed in 1970. We followed this for a short distance before bearing left to the Elton Reservoir. At the reservoir the group had a brief stop to take in the views before joining the tow path of the old Manchester, Bury and Bolton canal which was abandoned in 1968. Over time it has been breached in a number of places and is no longer navigable. Despite this section can still be walked or cycled easily and the part we followed did run through some lovely green fields and meadows. We took a short break alongside one of the bridges in the company of several swans and moorhens.

Elton Reservoir and boat club

The canal

Morning coffee stop

We left the canal just before Radcliffe and made our way to what is known locally as the ‘Black Lane’ area along yet another disused railway. This time it was the former loop line connecting the old Radcliffe Central Station with the Bury and Bolton line. We followed a good path constructed on the old track bed up to Ainsworth Lane. From here we walked along a busy road for a short distance before turning left to Moss Shaw Farm. Once through the farmyard we took a path through the fields crossing Bolton Rd and up to Ainsworth village.

Walking through the fields to Ainsworth

The next part of the walk took us alongside Lowercroft Lodges, which use to be called Whitehead Lidges, to our lunch stop overlooking the middle lodge. After lunch we climbed a field at the side of the covered reservoir up to Bentley Hall Farm and then a field path down to Walshaw Hall. After crossing a small stream and Bradshaw Road the route then took us through fields towards Tottington. From this point we enjoyed a splendid view of Holcombe Hill and the surrounding moors. We made our way into Tottington village and through Town Meadow Park, where we admired the mural painted on a factory wall which told a story of the local area.

Lowercroft Lodges

Lunch stop

Heading down to Tottington

The final section of the walk took us back onto the Kirklees Trail and back to the Old School.

Distance covered – 12.5 miles.