Bradshaw Brook

Jumbles Reservoir

We often enjoy a walk around the reservoir at Jumbles, but today we took a wee detour down Bradshaw Brook towards Rigby Lane and then back up to Shady Lane. The circuit around the reservoir is quite popular, but the track alongside the brook was peaceful and most enjoyable. The lead photo is a familiar view of the reservoir to most locals and visitors alike, but head along the brook and the scenery is quite different.

Bradshaw Brook near Jumbles

The brook is bordered by lovely established trees on both banks and it is a totally different scene to that of the circuit around the reservoir.

Bradshaw Brook heading towards Rigby Lane

I must admit that it felt more like we were in a rain forest than strolling down an English stream. Very green and lush, and peaceful with just the sound of the water and the birds.

On reaching Rigby Lane we headed over the brook via the bridge then back up the opposite bank of the brook where we enjoyed a better view of the weir. From here it was a short walk back up onto Turton Road and then down Shady Lane. Most pleasant.

Weir on Bradshaw Brook.

Middlewood Way

Rather a lovely walk today heading down the old railway and then back along the Macclesfield Canal. The railway stops now at Rose Hill Station in Marple, but used to continue all the way to Macclesfield. Today, this stretch of line from Rose Hill Station to Macclesfield is a lovely path on which you can walk, cycle or ride your horse.

Commemorative Plaque along the railway

There seems to be many of these old railways dotted around the northwest of England. You can’t help but wonder if they’d not been scrapped would we have less traffic on the roads? I suspect our love affair with the car would have still made certain lines redundant, but I do sometimes wonder. It’s interesting that in many cases the area has developed its population quite significantly since the demise of the railway making its viability rather more positive than when it was scrapped. Oh well, we can at least enjoy the walk along the route.

Macclesfield Canal

We walked down the old railway from Rose Hill Station down to the Nelson Pit visitor centre where we crossed over to the Macclesfield Canal to do a circular walk back to Rosehill Station. It was lovely. There were a few people about, but most people behaved and observed social distancing.

Bridge Number 9 on the Macclesfield Canal

There’s plenty to see as you walk along the towpath with some lovely bridges. All up it was about an 8 mile circuit, but mostly flat and quite easy going. Definitely a lovely walk and somewhere we’ll return. If you want to find out more click here for a PDF of the route.

Worsley and the Bridgewater Canal

Entrance to dry dock at Worsley

Well, what a treat! Very close to Manchester, yet feeling like we were miles away. Lovely old buildings, and rather peaceful considering how close it is to the M61 motorway.

The canal was opened back in 1761 and is one of, if not the very first cut canal in the world. There’s some glorious old timber framed buildings in Worsley of which the Packet House is a fine example. This is the building from which tickets were purchased to travel along the canal. Both coal barges and passenger boats travelled along the canal. Check out the Bridgewater Canal at Worsley webpage for more details.

Packet House,Bridgewater Canal, Worsley
Packet House,Bridgewater Canal, Worsley

It was a lovely walk along the towpath through Worsley Woods and then back through the town of Worsley. I took just my 28mm lens and that was perfect for the walk. Not too heavy or cumbersome so I could enjoy the walk, but just the right focal length for the views and scenes along the way.

Boathouse, canal boat and very special bridge in the background.

I like the story behind the old bridge you can just pick out in the background of the shot above. Called the Alphabet Bridge due to the number of planks making up the span (26) and the way local school children practiced their alphabet on their way to school.

Hunting and fishing lodge, Worsley

The above photo looks across Warke Reservoir to the hunting and fishing lodge built for the 1st Earl of Ellesmere.

Up early

I’ve been enjoying early morning walks around Doffcocker, Barrow Bridge and The Woodland Trust’s Smithills Estate. It’s easy to think of Bolton as a largish conurbation with few green spaces. Driving around there’s a significant number of terraced houses with no gardens … and even houses with space for a garden seem to prefer concrete onto which they can park their cars. So, when you get to the outskirts of the town and stroll down some of the footpaths it’s a real joy to see natural scenes bathed in the golden light of the rising sun. Not wishing to be over burdened with heavy camera gear I usually just take an old manual focus, manual aperture 28mm lens with me. The lens is old, and worth very little, but it’s light and just suits me fine. It takes a little longer to get the shot as focus and exposure are all manually done, but it’s quite enjoyable and gives me an excuse to have a breather before setting off walking so:e more! Below are a couple of shots of a pond near Old Hall Lane in Doffcocker.

Old Hall Lane Lake
Old Hall Lane Lake
Early morning on Old Hall Lane
Early morning on Old Hall Lane