Monday, 13 May 2013

#30 Watergrove

#30 Watergrove

Distance - 7.21 miles
Ascent - 455 metres

A late start to today, the weather was pretty ropey in the morning, so when a gap in the cloud was spotted I was off out.  I had a big walk the next day, so I wanted to do something fairly easy, but at the same time I wanted to try a few different places.

Pennine Bridleway

Going up the Rake I followed the same track as the other days.  The views over Manchester showed how close to a drenching I was.  Black skies blocked the views towards Saddleworth and made a sharp contrast to the blue skies above my head!  Again the wind was strong, battering the ears. 

Dropping into Higher Slack brook, I followed the path towards Watergrove.  My initial path was closed due to the path collapsing into the brook.  The harsh winter has been damaging all over.  So I made a quick change and followed a well-made bridlepath up the hill slightly.  The paths are very well maintained round here thanks to United Utilities.

Saddleworths that way...

Watergrove was flooded in the 1930’s to provide drinking water for Rochdale.   The village was flooded and farms cleared from the hills to reduce pollution.  Not sure the good paths make up for the destruction and disruption caused, but in those days the land owner could just sell the land beneath your feet with no questions.  Nowadays, such action would never happen, or at least 10 years of public enquiries!


The path follows the edge of the reservoir before crossing the dam.  The wind was pretty strong but windsurfers were happily taking advantage.  At the far edge of the dam I found the path I had just followed was closed.  (hint to United Utilities, put closed signs at BOTH ends of a closed path!).
Walking round the reservoir you come round to the old visitor centre.  Closed for a few years I’m sure due to cuts, the centre would make a nice café with plenty of views and benches already installed.  Not sure how busy it would be on the weekend, the area seemed quite popular with dog walkers.

Ramsden Road

Joining the bottom of the Ramsden Road, the path heads up a nice cobbled road past the remains of a few of the old houses.  Could be a nice spot for a wild camp… hmm ideas.

Dropping down back into Higher Slack brook I followed the old trackway back up towards the bottom of Brown Wardle.  It was a bit soft underfoot, but considering the last days of rain, it was pretty good!  All in all a nice days walk.

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