West Pennine & Rossendale Walks
Reddyshore Scout & Rough Hill
Date: 19th Oct 2013
Distance: 9.4 miles
Ascent: 1444 feet
Time: 4 hours 45 minutes
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SD932222
A varied walk from Walsden including a stretch of the Rochdale Canal, the dark cliffs of Reddyshore Scout and the moorland tops of Crook Hill and Rough Hill.
Route Summary: Walsden - Rochdale Canal - Reddyshore Scout - Summit Pasture House - Fox Stones Hill - Turn Slack Dam - Crook Hill - Rough Hill - Hades Hill - Foul Clough Road - Walsden
Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.
Walk Detail: In November 2012 I enjoyed a superb walk from Walsden up to the Holder Stones. One of the highlights of the walk was a lovely return to Walsden along the Rochdale Canal which, thanks to the spectacular autumn colours. It made a big impression on me so when I was planning a route to take me up on to Rough Hill including a section along the canal was a must.
Unfortunately, despite the early morning fog clearing as I travelled on the train to Walsden, it remained a largely cloudy day so the autumn colours alongside the canal and up on the moor were largely muted. Still the initial walk along the canal was still a lovely one and gave the cloud base time to lift off the top of the moors.
After following the canal south from Walsden for about a mile I left the tow path and crossed the A6033 to follow a bridleway, in places flagged, up to the dark cliffs of Reddyshore Scout. Along the way I enjoyed some superb views, especially south towards Chelburn Reservoir and Blackstone Edge. Although normally one of my least favourite sights in the area are rows of pylons crossing the moors I have to admit being impressed by how, from Reddyshore Scout, the line continues unbroken over the Walsden Gorge.
After dropping back down to the outskirts of the village of Summit I then took an access road to Pasture House and then out on to the open moor. The first feature of interest was the rash of dark gritstone on the south-eastern flank of Fox Stones Hill. Presumably these rocks are the Fox Stones themselves.
Leaving the rocks behind I continued on contouring around the upper reaches of the moor to Turn Slack Dam, a nice little sheet of water. Although I didn't see anyone about there were plenty of paths criss-crossing the area so presumably it is a fairly popular local spot. A largely pathless walk took me next to one of the boundary stones on Stubley Cross Hill where I joined a wide muddy track leading up on to Crook Hill.
The first proper summit of the day Crook Hill commands a fairly wide view, especially towards the south as well as towards Watergrove Reservoir. The most intriguing thing about the top though was the cairn which had written, across two of the stones, "Lost Boy - 1926". Unfortunately I've not yet been able to find out anything more about this.
From Crook Hill I headed towards Rough Hill, once again on the wide muddy track which looked like it had been made by some fairly large vehicles (possibly diggers). After crossing the top of Higher Slack Brook I left the path and made a direct climb to the top of Rough Hill whilst regularly looking back to enjoy the view of Watergrove Reservoir.
From the large cairn on Rough Hill I next visited the subsidary top of Hades Hill with its quarry workings before finally making my way back down towards Walsden via the tussocky Dean Pasture and then above Ramsden Clough on Foul Clough Road. It was only in these latter stages that the sun finally began to break through the cloud and I got some nice views looking down Calderdale towards Stoodley Pike.