South Pennine Walks
Date: 14th January 2006
Distance: 9.1 miles
Ascent: 1159 feet
Time: 4 hours
Start Grid Ref: SE001187
An excellent walk from Baitings Reservoir across Rishworth Moor and up on to the gritstone heights of Blackstone Edge.
Route Summary: Baitings Reservoir - Back o'th' Height - Cat Moss - Rishworth Drain - Green Withens Reservoir - Pennine Way - Blackstone Edge - Old Packhorse Road - Baitings Reservoir
1. Manshead End and Baitings Reservoir from Rishworth Moor
2. Rishworth Drain
3. Green Withens Reservoir
4. A Pennine Way view over the M62
5. The Pennine Way leading to Blackstone Edge
6. Lisa on the final stage on to Blackstone Edge
7. Green Withens Reservoir and Rishworth Moor from Blackstone Edge
8. Looking south along Blackstone Edge
9. Hollingworth Lake from Blackstone Edge
10. The trig point on Blackstone Edge
11. Enjoying the view on Blackstone Edge
12. The view north from Blackstone Edge
13. The Aiggin Stone
14. Manshead End from the Old Packhorse Road
Walk Detail: After some initial road walking we headed across Rishworth Moor on a path that was rather moist in places. Rishworth Drain, used to drain the many watercourses coming down from Blackstone Edge and supply Blackstone Edge Reservoir, provided some interest as did Green Withens Reservoir despite the unavoidable hum of motorway traffic nearby.
After a brief spell shadowing the M62 it was on to the Pennine Way for the final easy walk to the top of Blackstone Edge. The summit certainly lives up to its name and I for one was certainly not prepared for the mass of gritstone boulders strewn down the western flank. In between the rocks there was a great deal of erosion and thick black peaty mud so staying on the rocks was the safest course.
The view from the dark gritstone edge down in to the greener pastures and the area of Rochdale is quite an impressive one as was the view north up the valley towards the moors above Todmorden and beyond to the faint outline of Pendle Hill.
The way back took us to the Aiggin Stone, an old guidepost, and from there we followed the course of an old Roman road which crosses back over Rishworth Drain and then follows Rag Sapling Clough as it winds its way down to feed Baitings Reservoir. The final stretch was an unavoidable mile along the side of the A58.
This was a good walk and Blackstone Edge is a very interesting top, and is one of my favourites in fact.