EAVING Hadfield Station on a pleasant but cold Saturday onto the Longdendale trail, following the former Woodhead railway, the path’s an undemanding stroll parallel to the Longdendale reservoirs.
Crossing at Torside reservoir onto the Pennine way towards Crowden, there are stunning views down the valley and over the reservoirs that make up what was once the largest man made body of water in the world.
The route becomes more strenuous along a well-defined path onto moorland, and more exposed to the elements.
Lungs and legs are tested as the path leads up through rocky outcrops to Highstone rocks and ‘Lad’s Leap’, a waterway which courses between rocks.
Local legend says that ‘two leaping it together are fated to marry’ and it made a fine lunch spot with views across moorland and down the valley below.
As the sun broke through we continued on an indistinct track towards a disused quarry, becoming clearer as we headed towards the beginnings of a pine forest, giving breath taking views then following a dry stone wall to the village of Tintwistle and a refreshment stop.
Leaving Tintwistle, we reached the walk’s final flourish, Bottoms Fountain - a joy to behold, a mini Chatsworth and an opportunity to stop and wonder at the inventiveness of great engineering feats.
Finally we crossed Bottoms Dam, walked along the reservoir, over a final stone stile and onto the road.
From there it was a short walk back to our starting point of Hadfield and into the warmth of the Anchor.
For more walks and information on Manchester Weekend Walkers visit www. mwwalkers.org.uk.