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Wilton Arms, Dean Mill reservoir, Winter Hill, Alance Bridge, Siddow Fold, White Coppice, Lancashire.
[22.8 km]  Tue 23 Mar 2021

OS Grid ref: SD 70201 13288
Lat/Long: 53.615052, -02.450499

My brother called to pick me up at 8 am. We drove to Belmont and continued towards Bolton where Dean dropped me off at the Wilton Arms. He turned around and headed home.
Start at the Wilton Arms.
I continued along the path towards Bolton to a minor path turning off to the right and over into Wilton quarries. The area was used by rock climbers but no one was there today. The path runs along the bottom of the quarry and then up a steep path to the west towards Scout Road.
One of the Wilton Quarries.
On the way I stopped to look at a stone seat erected in the memory of Eileen Daly (1970-2012). I reached the road and crossed over to a path running along the top edge of another quarry now used by the Bolton Gun Club.
Memorial bench.
Eileen Daly (1970-2012)

 Distant view of Manchester from the bench.
I continued out onto the moors to the site of the tunnel Id investigated with Andy just over a year ago. The path is in good condition and relatively dry. I continued to the Dean Mills Reservoir embankment which is the first time I've visited. It originally provided water for the mill far below and looks like Dean Brook was used to transfer the water. A short way to the west I could see the remains of another embankment dam which has a breach in it so no water remains.
Dean Mill Reservoir.
It was there on the 1849 map but not not on the next map revision in 1892. I descended to the brook and a footbridge taking the path up the hill towards Winter Hill mast.

 Winch gear by the reservoir.

Remains of Smithills Shooting Hut.

The hut about 10 eyars ago by Jake.
I stopped to look at the ruin of Smithills Shooting Hut then continued up the path where a group of workers were on the moor or spreading mulch over the peat that had been burnt after the moor fires a couple of years ago.
Repairing the moors.

I stopped to chat with them m&n continued on the path up to the TV transmitter station access road.

Repairing the moors.

The main gates were shut and locked and no path through was available. I was able to walk around the outside of the fence to regain my route. I carried on to the end of the track and took the footpath directly west towards the Belmont Road. There was a cold wind but I managed to find some shelter to stop for my sandwiches.

Road Closed.

 Some of the masts on Winter Hill.

It's the first time I've used this path off the hill and it was relatively easy going and only became wet as I reached the Belmont Road track at the bottom. I crossed over to continue down to the old quarry. Along the old access road I met the Hordern Stoops Road and followed it north east then left to take the path across the moors to the ruins of old Rachel's.

Ruins of Old Rachel's.
I continued west then a very wet route along a path to the road at Alan Bridge. I kept with the road to Leicester Mill Quarry access track. The track follows above Anglezarke Reservoir and I kept with it to the south embankment of High Bullough Reservoir. I took a path left through the trees and followed it's route around the hill while looking down onto the reservoir. There were some memorial benches on the way with name plates.
Karen Moniz

Michael Geoffrey Almond

Diane Prudence Lorimer
Back on the main track I soon left it to head up the field to Siddow Fold. The footpath goes through the old farm yard but a modern refurbished barn into a house has put a private sign on the gate. This is actually the public footpath. I was misled and climbed the fence for a detour when I didn't need to to. I crossed the road and headed up onto the moor to follow the path above Stronsrey Bank.

Siddow Fold barn conversion.

Siddow Fold (1707)
The weather continued overcast but pleasant and by the quarries took the steep descent down into White Coppice. I sat on a bench by the cricket field to have some chocolate and a drink before continuing along the road then left along Tythebarn Lane. At the sharp left-hand bend and I took the path straight on that heads across the fields. I descended to cross Black Brook then up the field where I had to make a detour around a fenced off area. I came to the track heading up to Eagle Tower where I reached Heapey Road.
At the road by St Barnabas Church and descended down to the path through the fields. A new building is going up and the path sign took me through the building site and down to a stile. I crossed the fields and reached the farm access at Tan House Lane where there are many buildings and houses, some being barn conversions. I reached the Wheelton Bypass and crossed over to follow the path to Springs Close where I walked through the estate and then along Dark Lane to reach the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. I followed the towpath to lock 6 where the workmen were repairing the footbridge by fixing new stone steps. three men were stood by watching one working. I continued to Town Lane where I turned left then home.

Repairs to footbridge.
Johnsons Hillock lock 6

Repairs to footbridge.
Johnsons Hillock lock 6
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