After a pretty miserable start to the year the last week has seen us experiencing some good, warm, weather, with blue skies and sunshine. Having been stuck indoors for most of the week I decided to take Friday afternoon off and get out in the fresh air for a walk. I didn’t want to stray too far so drove the eight miles or so over to Anglezarke, to go for a walk on the moors that have been my stomping ground ever since I was a young teenager.
I parked up at the viewpoint overlooking Anglezarke reservoir and walked the short distance up the road to Jepson’s Gate where I was able to gain access to the moor. Despite being surrounded by some significant towns the West Pennine moors wild and remote.
I did a favourite circular route of about 6 miles which toko me 3 hours including 3 short stops. It’s a mix of wild moorland and a walk through woodlands along the reservoir at Anglezarke. While I was up on the moor I only passed 2 people coming the opposite way but saw three curlews, a number of skylarks and plenty of sheep.
There were more people around when I descended back into the valley to walk along the reservoir.
From Jepson’s gate
I cut across the open access path over to Pikestones, the ruins of a Neolithic long barrow.
It can be heavy going across the peat, especially as there isn’t a properly defined path, but as there’s been very little rain of late it was quite dry underfoot.
I then cut across the moor heading towards Round Loaf, a Neolithic round barrow which is a dominant feature on the relatively flat moorland landscape(there are a number of prehistoric remains on the moors here).
I climbed to the top of the mound and rested for a while. Visibility today was limited – on a good day it’s possible to see the mountains of the Lake District and Snowdonia, but it was hazy in the distance. But there were good views of Winter Hill and Rivington Pike to the south east
and towards the summit of Great Hill to the north
my next destination. I cut across the moor trying to follow an indistinct path. Fortunately it was dry underfoot as the peat can be quagmire. There were a few ditches and rivulets that had to be traversed.
I climbed up towards the summit and took another short break while taking in the views.
Then I walked along the ridge and took the path that would lead down to White Coppice. I passed the ruined Drinkwaters farm (it must have been a difficult life living up here) whose only residents were sheep sheltering in the shade.
Eventually I descended down to White Coppice, a small hamlet with a manicured cricket pitch and attractive cottages at the foot of the moors
I took the path along the Goyt, a channel that takes water from the reservoir at Roddlesworth across to the one at Anglezarke. The landscape changed to pleasant woodland providing some welcome relief from the direct sun
Reaching Waterman’s cottage
a short walk along the road and I was on the path that took me along the east side of Anglezarke reservoir
with a short diversion past the smaller Bullough reservoir
and then through the woodland on the shore of it’s larger companion
Then it was a short climb up the hill back to the viewpoint to rejoin the car.
The route. (Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service. Image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.)