Castleshaw High Circular – A Great Pennine Walk
The Castleshaw high circular is an excellent high moorland walk taking in part of the Pennine Way, the hamlet of Heights and the lovely Castleshaw Valley. The walk starts at the car park next to Brun Clough Reservoir, Standedge, on the A62 road.
Cross the road and follow the Pennine Way track to Millstone Edge, where the Castleshaw Valley and reservoirs can be clearly seen. Just past Dinner Stone the path descends to a small stone pillar. Take the left path here, marked the Oldham Way. This path can be quite boggy over Castleshaw Moor, especially after prolonged periods of rain. Eventually the Castleshaw high circular reaches a gate leading onto Moor Lane. This is not a lane as such but another enclosed track.
After just under ½ mile, another gate is reached. Either continue in the same direction on Broad Lane or take a left turn on Low Gate Lane. As the track on Broad Lane was a foot deep in mud the decision was taken to go downhill on Low Gate Lane. This leads to just above Castleshaw Lower Reservoir.
A right turn here past Wood Farm, then the path is followed uphill to regain the now tarmacked Broad Lane. Soon the Royal Oak at Heights is reached and is a welcome stopping point if it is open. After refreshments, go through the gate by the pub and downhill across the fields at Heights Farm, to the properties at Delph Greave.
Take the lane down to Lodge Lane, then Denshaw Road, turn left, go past the White Lion public house, or call in. Go past the front of the pub and take the path past the fishing lodge. This leads to Hull Mill Dam and Hull Brook. Follow the brook until it reaches the reservoir and climb the steps at Castleshaw Lower Reservoir.
Follow the reservoir access road and turn left at Cote Lane. Follow the lane, which then passes Castleshaw Upper Reservoir. The lane now becomes Dirty Lane, then Bleak Hey Nook Lane and then reaches Standedge Foot Road. Turn left uphill and when the lane heads downhill take the wide dirt track which leads back to the starting point and the end of this Castleshaw high circular. The Castleshaw high circular is 7.9 miles long and takes around 3 hours, excluding stops.