Tower gives ex­cel­lent views on 13-mile walk

Macclesfield Express - - EAST CHESHIRE RAMBLERS - COLIN PARK

HOLM­FIRTH, in the heart of Last of the Sum­mer Wine coun­try, marked the start of a 13-mile mod­er­ate walk for East Cheshire Ram­blers.

Leav­ing from Holm­firth leisure cen­tre, we fol­lowed an un­du­lat­ing route north­wards on hid­den paths to reach the vil­lage of Netherthong be­fore fol­low­ing field paths to Hon­ley, a large vil­lage that has changed lit­tle since Vic­to­rian times.

Pass­ing through Mag Wood be­fore cross­ing the River Holme at the his­toric Ar­mitage Bridge, a steady as­cent on field paths took us to the sum­mit of Cas­tle Hill, sur­mounted by the 106ft-high Vic­to­ria Tower, which was the fo­cal point of the walk and the stop­ping point for lunch be­fore climb­ing to the top for a small fee.

The tower is open each af­ter­noon at week­ends from spring to au­tumn.

It was opened in 1899 to com­mem­o­rate the 60th an­niver­sary of Queen Vic­to­ria’s ac­ces­sion to the throne.

Dur­ing the Sec­ond World War there were plans to de­mol­ish it in case it be­came a land­mark for Ger­man bombers.

Thank­fully it was spared and to­day the East Cheshires were re­warded with ex­cel­lent views, not only over Hud­der­s­field but stretch­ing as far as the York­shire Wolds.

We re­turned to Holm­firth through the vil­lages of Farn­ley Tyas and Thurston­land be­fore tak­ing an af­ter­noon break at New Mill.

From there were more fine views on the wind­ing de­scent back into Holm­firth where the group re­laxed over af­ter­noon tea and cakes in the court­yard of the Old Bridge Inn and Cof­fee House.

●● Des­ti­na­tion in sight with the Vic­to­ria Tower just vis­i­ble on the hori­zon, above left, and the group gath­ers be­low the tower, above

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