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Walker Fold Road (Horwich), Winter Hill, Noon Hill, Old Rachel's, Manor House, Great Knowley, Lancashire.
[20.7 km]  Tue 12 Jan 2021

 
OS Grid ref:
Lat/Long: 53.5951770,-2.5061320

We are now officially in lockdown_03 so no long drives to the mountains. I walked to the bus stop at Hardacre Lane and caught the 09:31am Bolton bus. My objective was the far side of Horwich and Walker Fold Road end. As the bus approached I wasn't sure how far the bus stop was and inadvertently got off too soon. It wasnít a problem as I was able to walk past the picturesque Blundell Arms in the clear morning sunshine.
Blundell Arms.

 Distant view of Manchester.
Further along Chorley Old Road (B6226) I reached Walker Fold Road at Bobís Smithy Inn and turned left. They were open for takeaways. The busy Walker Fold Road didnít have a footpath so I was glad to reach the narrow Edge Lane where I headed up towards the moors. The weather was cold and clear and I had to be particularly careful further up as there was ice on the road.
I left the adopted road at Burnt Edge Lane and continued straight on. There were many people out enjoying the clear weather in spite of the Virus lockdown. I reached the depression at the site of the former Winter Hill Brick & Tile Works and managed to find some shelter from the cold northerly wind to sit down and enjoy my sandwiches. I joined the main access road to the Winter Hill TV broadcasting masts and followed it to the end.
Hydrant box on Winter Hill. (Horwich Urban District Council)

 Rivington Pike from the approach to Winter Hill.

 Approaching Winter Hill and the transmitter masts.
IN MEMORY OF ALL WHO LOST THEIR LIVES AT THE WINTER HILL AIR DISASTER 27 TH FEBRUARY 1958.
AND WITH GRATEFUL THANKS TO THE PEOPLE OF HORWICH AND BOLTON FOR THEIR MAGNIFICENT SUPPORT. ERECTED BY HIS WORSHIP THE MAYOR OF DOUGLAS ISLE OF MAN.
F. KENNISH (SURVIVOR) AND THE SURVIVORS, FAMILIES AND FRIENDS OF ALL WHO DIED.
"SOMEWHERE AROUND THE CORNER ALL IS WELL".

The 1958 Air Crash.
 

Winter Hill trig post.
I was heading for Noon Hill and knew the route would be wet. Instead of following the footpath route I followed some vehicle tracks across the moor which turned out to be very wet. I modified my route to eventually reach the hill and mound of the old burial cairn. A runner had just arrived and we chatted as we admired the view. He continued towards Hordern Stoops and I continued to the west to descend down to the High Belmont Road and access to the Pigeon Tower.

View from Noon Hill.

Site of Old Rachel's Farm.

Old Rachel's in the 1880s.
I crossed it and then very steeply down to Dean Brook and the wooden footbridge then up to Rivington Road. I wasnít on the road long before leaving it to descend down the track to the ruins of Old Rachelís Farm. I stopped a while to take a photo as this is only the second farm on the moors that Iíve seen a photo of with people on. The other is Coppice Stile House. I continued along the indistinct path then turned right to head down to the River Yarrow along a horribly wet route. Over the footbridge I climbed up to the extensive ruins of Simms.

Interesting Waymarker.

More Waymarkers.
 
I joined a good track west to Lead Mines Valley and on up to Jepsonís Gate. I followed the tarmac road to The Manor House where I descended the steep and muddy in places, path down to High Bullough Reservoir. The water level was very low. If I thought that path was bad the path on to the Watermans Cottage was horrendous in places and just a sea of mud.
High Bullough Reservoir.

Anglezarke Reservoir.
I was glad to reach the road and continue to Higher House Lane and under the railway viaduct. I turned left to follow another very wet and muddy path to Great Knowley Estate Sutton Grove and Carlton Avenue then the path down to the main B6228 road. I crossed over to descend down another horrendously muddy path to Knowley bridge over the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. It was such a relief to reach the towpath and an easy walk home.
 
   
 
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