Sunday, 10th June 2012

Walk: Cowm Reservoir, Whitworth Lower End Moor, Rooley Moor Road, Heally Dell Nature Reserve
Start Point: Cowm Reservoir car park Grid Reference: SD 882 187
Distance: 10 miles Ascent: 1,000 feet
Time: 5.5 hours    
Weather: Sunny and bright
Comments: Eleven Ramblers joined the leader for today’s walk through the disused quarries and moorlands above Whitworth. Our walk commenced with a stroll around Cowm Reservoir, the centre for the Whitworth Water Ski Club. At the head of the reservoir we joined a concessionary bridle way which led us up to the first disused quarry, Goats Quarry, which had a signed quarry trail and information boards describing the geology and history of the area. Our route took us through two more disused quarries which gave rise to interesting discussion and marvel at the capabilities of quarry workers of the mid 19th century. After a brief stop for tea we continued our route up what appeared to be a new path or mountain bike trail only having to stop to avoid the bikers racing down the track. At the end of this track we had reached the highest point for the day as we joined the Rooley Moor road or “Cotton Famine Road” named by association with the cotton shortages experienced by the Lancashire mills during the American Civil War. Lunch was taken at Top of Pike giving extensive views across Rochdale, Manchester and beyond. We continued to follow the cobble road down into Healy Dell, along the banks of the River Spoden, where more history lay await. Th’Owd Mill I’th Thrutch ,the remains of a Fulling Mill dating back to 1676 and the impressive 8 arch Railway viaduct which rose 31.5 m above the river, built in 1865 by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway company. We ascended up and crossed on the high viaduct following the route of the disused railway line which led back into Whitworth. As we made our way back we were treated to the sight of a mother swan and her cygnets (only one day old) according to the locals. We only caught a glimpse of three but were advised that there were seven eggs. A good day out was had by all, made all the better as we were treated to a heavy shower as we drove from the car park

Scroll down to see photos of the walk

Looking back to Cowm Reservoir


High Road and Low Road to Goat Quarry


What a great day to be out


Elevenses on the rocks


The mountain bike trail


'The Cotton Famine Road'


Rochdale cowgirl?


Top of Pike and lunch


Bridge over the River Spoden


Local inhabitant in Heally Dell Nature Reserve


New life on the pond

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