The weather was warm but misty, meaning no views and hot and sweaty! Today’s walk was partly to find a good long walk for winter when staying in the area. I wanted something that I can do in rough weather, that wouldn’t involve sinking and had a good mileage and ascent. Rooley Moor road fits that bill. It’s a track up onto the moors and is mostly stone slabs.
Walking from Whitworth down a short section of the Healey Dell nature reserve brings you to the Pennine Bridleway and the Mary Townley Loop. This begins the climb up to Rooley Moor on mainly farm tracks, through Prickshaw and onto the Moor. The landscape is quite strange in parts with lumps and bumps, probably tailings from the mines and queries in the area. Unfortunately some people still use the area for dumping waste, the ease of access can be a bad thing in places.
The track climbs at a nice steady pace up to the Top of Leach. A trig point marks the top of a wide flat hill, it also has a second stone marker which looks like a boundary marker. As it was misty I couldn’t see more than 50 metres or so! Not a day for views.
The Mary Townley loop carries on through Cragg quarry, which has been developed for mountain biking. I got as far as Black Hill before having to turn back due to a tight timescale, my tea would be on the table at 6.30! I think I can add 2 miles and a few more metres onto this walk by walking round Cowpe Lowe. Ideal for winter! In the end I did just shy of 12 miles in 4hrs and 5 mins, and had a nice roast chicken on the table when I got in.