Just hours before 2017 turned over a new leaf to 2018 we set off for our final walk of the year. We headed up into the West Pennine Moors, an area crossed by footpaths and bridleways, in brilliant sunshine.
Pulling over by The Chetham Arms we took a left onto the High Street, then after 200 yards took a right down Embankment to the south west corner of Wayoh Reservoir. A refreshing trudge later and we reached the magnificent Armsgrove Railway Viaduct, an impressive feat of engineering which dates back to 1838.
The rough path was busy with dog walkers, families and trail bikers keen to make the most of the fine festive holiday weather. Carrying on through large, sludgy puddles of mud we walked through the woodland and came to a car park, situated between Wayoh and Entwistle Reservoirs. Keen to explore further we followed the throngs of people towards the forests of conifers that reach up from the banks of the Entwistle Reservoir.
Marching, strolling and sliding through the mud we enjoyed the winter air and feeling of festive bonhomie as we admired the decorations that locals had adorned the trees with. Some haphazard, others in remembrance of family members that had passed away.
We weaved in and out of the tall pine trees, keen to escape the more muddy parts of the route. It added to my son’s adventure, as he skipped and jumped along.
After circumnavigating Entwistle Reservoir we walked briskly back along the woodland path, down under the viaduct and alongside Wayoh. We debated walking along the other side of the reservoir but someone was tired and a cloak of grey had swept in, threatening rain. Thankfully, we chose to head back as the rain began pouring just as we reached the car. After a convivial drink in The Chetham Arms, a cosy pub popular with walkers, we left for home. Tired, happy and looking forward to the new year ahead.
The Chetham Arms, Chapeltown, BL7 0EW