West Pennine & Rossendale Walks
Cheetham Close & Turton Heights
Date: 3rd July 2013
Distance: 6.5 miles
Ascent: 990 feet
Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
With: Tim and Craig
Start Grid Ref: SD721172
An interesting little ramble visiting three reservoirs, an ancient stone circle and the modest moorland tops of Cheetham Close and Turton Heights.
Route Summary: Entwistle Reservoir - Wayoh Reservoir - Turton Bottoms Jumbles Reservoir - Turton Tower - Cheetham Close - Turton Heights - Green Arms Road - Entwistle Reservoir
Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.
Walk Detail: Prior to this walk it had been over a year and a half since my last outing in the West Pennine Moors. With some time owed in lieu I took the afternoon off work to drive out and meet Tim from Bowland Walks and his brother Craig, neither of whom had been to this area before.
The forecast had looked promising and indeed it had been until I got past Skipton in the car and by the time I arrived at Entwistle Reservoir it looked like there was a bigger chance of rain than of any sunshine breaking through the leaden skies. Disappointment in the weather was counterbalanced by an enjoyable first few miles of walking as we quickly left Entwistle Reservoir behind to follow a path along the edge of neighbouring Wayoh Reservoir before dropping down through Edgworth to the small village of Turton Bottoms.
Turton Bottoms proved to be a lovely little place of cobbled streets and impressive houses backing on to Bradshaw Brook. Equally delightful was the wooded path following Bradshaw Brook south to the head of Jumbles Reservoir. At this point we crossed a concrete bridge over the reservoir to make our way up to the B6391. Along the way we passed a pretty little pond and a seemingly random concrete pillbox that had been built as part of the country's defences during the Second World War.
From the road we soon passed at Turton Tower, a 15th century pele tower with the addition of a Tudor farmhouse. It looked worth visiting in its own right and probably deserved more than the quick glance that we took of it. Not far along from Turton Tower we crossed a railway line over an ornately crenallated bridge replete with mock towers.
After following a track we at last began to climb up on to the moor above only to find it inhabited by my least favourite animals - cows! In fact the area around the trig point on Cheetham Close was not so much a moor as a large soggy pasture churned up by the resident bovines and liberally decorated with their dung. Despite this, and the still overcast weather, there were some good views that took in not only the nearby moors but also Bolton, Manchester and, more distantly, the Peak District. To the north Pen-y-Ghent and Fountains Fell in the Yorkshire Dales could also be seen. Close to the trig was the remains of a Bronze Age stone circle (apparently a local farmer took a sledgehammer to it in the 19th century).
From Cheetham Close we continued on to the unmarked summit of Turton Heights. At first the path was easy to follow passing in places great swathes of cotton grass. The final section recommended only for those who absolutely have to stand at the highest point was a tiring plod through knee high tussocky grass. Thankfully from there it was then only a short descent back to a path though care still had to be taken not to twist an ankle amongst the tussocks. Once back on the path it was then a simple walk back to the car park at Entwistle Reservoir.