A walk to New Lancashire – the Standedge Trail

On saturday I headed off across to New Lancashire for a circular walk that was about 10 miles in total.
New Lancashire is that part of Saddleworth that used to be Old Yorkshire before some chaps in brown suits commandeered it as part of a metropolitan area shake up, back in the 1970s. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddleworth)

Anyway, they annexed off as many villages starting with a ‘D” as they could for Lancashire, before people on “t’other side of the hills” noticed.
These comprised of Diggle – where I walked to, Delph, Dobcross and Uppermill. I know Uppermill doesn’t start with a ‘D’ but they turned a blind eye to that.
I’m pretty neutral about the whole village-rustling thing, in that whilst I was born in Yorkshire, I spent the majority of my life (just about) in the south. But the Old Stock of those villages still fly the Yorkshire flag, metaphorically and literally in some cases.

Tech Alert :
Another quick plug for ViewRanger (the web service and the App on my phone) : I picked the route from this  site (http://www.gps-routes.co.uk/routes/home.nsf/RoutesLinksWalks/standedge-trail-walking-route) , downloaded the GPX file and imported to ViewRanger, that I followed on the day. All really quick and amazingly easy to decide on a route , set it up and head off.

Map of Standedge Trail
Map of my route on the Standedge Trail


So, enough of the history and technology – the walk itself:

It was about a four and half hour walk across the moors, through farm lanes as I dropped down into Diggle and then back over the moors again. The views from above Diggle and then from above Denshaw (ish) were really clear. Here are a couple of photos from the walk – the first one is a bit of a badly stitched panorama but you can see the sweep of the valley below.

panorama photo of view towards Denshaw
Towards Denshaw and castleshaw reservoirs
A photo of the Stanedge Trail - above Marsden
A bit of the Stanedge Trail - above Marsden

There was a bit too much road walking for me on this trip and the dog gets bored when she’s on a short lead. I can’t let her off the lead even on the open moors because of the sheep but its nice to let her roam a bit ahead of me when we’re out in the open. Except for when she lunges into peat gulleys when she thinks she smells a sheep. I’ve nearly landed face down in sodden 5000 year old tree remains a few times.

Near the end of the walk (fess up time : the bit just before I had a pint of Speckled Hen in the Great Western Inn ) I was walking on top of the longest and deepest canal in Britain ( built in 1811 and a few hundred feet below me). And just beside me was the route of the old (very old) Roman road between Chester and York. The Romans built the road around 80AD and it was about 20 foot wide (long since eroded or covered over. But that’s a big road and I guess it was the trans-Pennine (the hills round here) motorway of its day.

Which is kind of cool when you walk on it now.

Photo of my Brodie Dog near the Roman Road in Marsden
Brodie Dog near the Roman Road - these paving stones are a lot newer and keep walkers off the soggy peat areas

Overall, this isn’t a walk I would do again soon due to the amount of road navigation but it was still a nice set of views and good to see some of New Lancashire.


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0 thoughts on “A walk to New Lancashire – the Standedge Trail”

  1. Nice post, Mark.
    I’m a lancastrian by birth, so I always thought it was right and proper to take over a chunk of the West Riding in compensation for handing over Coniston Old Man to Cumbria!
    Enjoyed reading that and some of your other stuff, so I’m signed up for new posts.
    Thanks for viewing my efforts – after three Snowdonia posts in a row I’m writing up a walk on Blackstone Edge next Monday. Maybe see you there!


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