Chew Valley Circuit

Chew Valley Circuit – A Tough Winters Walk

The Chew Valley Circuit is one of the best walks In Saddleworth.

This is an image of part of  the Chew Valley Circuit.Yesterday, together with my friend Dave, we walked the Chew Valley Circuit in conditions that were to say the least difficult. We started at the parking area at the junction of Huddersfield Road and Manchester Road, Greenfield. We walked up to the footpath at Shadworth Lane, off Huddersfield Road. This led uphill to the lane at Moor Edge Road below Noon Sun Hill, where we turned left and eventually turned right up the steep path to Alphin Pike.

The weather on the tops of this Chew Valley circuit was bitterly cold. After a brief coffee stop at the trig point shelter, we proceeded along the south side of the Chew Valley, heading for the Chew Reservoir at the head  of the valley. Although the paths where we set out from were iced over, as we climbed higher the snow became deeper. The drifts in places were 2′ deep and although the snow was frozen solid and took our weight in most places, every now and again we sank up to our thighs in it, which made progress painfully slow.

 After another brief lunch stop at the frozen Chew Reservoir, we continued on the northern side of the valley passing above the old shelter at Bramley’s Cot. Next we stopped at the Cairn on Fox Stones to look at the memorial plaque to two local climbers who were killed on an expedition to the Italian Dolomites in 1972.

Dean Rocks proved to be a great viewpoint to admire the scenery over Dovestone and Yeoman Hey Reservoirs and Alderman’s Hill in the distance. Then it was south east to cross the frozen waterfall at Ashway Gap. The original plan of this Chew valley circuit was to cross Birchen Clough and return via the Greenfield Reservoir path. With the conditions underfoot and time running out, we decided to play safe and head for the memorial cross to the Oldham MP James Platt. He was killed in a shooting accident on these moors in 1857.

After a few photographs we headed downhill to Dovestone Reservoir and the path back past the sailing club and Bradbury’s Lane, then over the fields back to the car park. The distance on this Chew Valley circuit was 10.9 miles and due to the snow and ice this physically felt like a 16 mile hike. It took us nearly 7 hours including stops. We decided to reward our efforts with a couple of beers at the nearby Royal George public house and they went down very nicely. 


Chew Valley Circuit — 21 Comments

  1. Hi Rick, glad you liked the video and thanks for the visit. Yes, the local lads were only young but I suppose you could say they died doing what they enjoyed. I certainly wouldn’t chance going on a frozen reservoir unless I knew for certain that the ice was very thick, too many have died chancing it. Bill

  2. Hey Bill!

    Wow! Those were some awesome pictures and views in the slide show. I can only imagine how beautiful it must be in person.

    I noticed that the 2 guys on the Memorial plaque were so young and that is such a shame.

    Are people able to go ice skating on the frozen Chew Reservoir.

    Take care!


  3. Bill,

    I am dropping by from Barry’s. I was looking for a reprieve from the SEO, blogging and social media videos posted there (I’m guilty of these also) and I found it here.

    I love how you integrated your photos with music to make a video. Very nice to see photos of other places, I live in California. Thank you for the relaxation. 🙂


    • Thanks for the visit Allie, yes I suppose my niche blog is a bit different to all the IM subjects posted on out there. I correspond with a couple of guys from California on my other blog. Bill

  4. Hi Bill,

    This site is new, isn’t it? I’m sure I visited you once and watch a Dave Allen video clip. Anyway, I couldn’t watch your video and what everyone here had to say about it 😥 for me. GEMA has not granted respective music rights in Germany. From what you’ve written, it all sounds just wonderful.

    I enjoy going for walks just for the hell of it, although I do tend to stick to better weather conditions. It’s when I usually see all the best sights, (the kids use to moan and groan, where are we going, how far is it and bla bla?) and then to stop in one spot for morning tea, then lunch, afternoon tea.

    Thanks Bill for sharing
    Take Care

    • Yes Julie, it is a fairly new site but one I worked on for 12 months before launching it. You did indeed comment on the Dave Allen video last October. It’s a pity you couldn’t view the walking video, I have never heard of GEMA, I had to look it up. My daughter used to moan about walking but now she’s a convert and together with my son they are accompanying me to Mt Kilimanjaro soon. Bill

      • Hi again Bill,

        Well, what do you know, good old ExpatShield, turned it on and managed to get to watch your video 🙂 – top shots Bills.

        Wish you lots of fun with your kids on your Mt Kilimanjaro experience.

        • Glad you were eventually able to watch the video Julie. You obviously watched it before Adrian’s message below. Bill

  5. Hi Bill, loved the video slide show, I did a variant of the Chew Valley walk about 20 years ago but that was in the summer time. It’s something I had forgotten about until I saw your video. A great walk with lots of interest along the way. I’m in complete agreement about H&S it really has destroyed so many traditional activities.
    Love the site, what theme are you using on the blog? Look forward to the next offering. Rob

    • Hi Rob, glad the video brought back some fond memories for you, although I would have thought this neck of the woods was a bit out of the way for you. Yes H & S, although needed in some respects has got totally out of control, especially with kids activities. It’s a WordPress blog Rob and my techie friend Adrian produced the theme for me, it’s based on mapping software Mapyx Quo which I use with my GPS for producing the walk tracks.

      • Hi Bill,

        love the idea of the mapping software to produce the walk tracks great. Have you thought of using Create Space POD service for your books? It’s very easy to use and cost nothing to set up. I used it to publish some of my girlfriends stories.

        Ooops can feel a video coming on……


  6. Hi Bill,

    Your passion ooze’s out throughout your posts and when we come to your video it smacks us mate, the views and tunes were pretty remarkable. I would love to visit somewhere like that and just take it all in, soak it up for a day or two…. not sure about doing that on a cold day though Bill 😯

    I’ve had real pleasure watching you follow your passion and start to try new things to go with it, Twitter, YouTube etc and seeing you start to build something is exciting Bill.

    I saw you say to Andrew about Amazon affiliate items and having tried them before. What have you got to lose mate? This is a targeted audience Bill and your market is smaller than most so use everything that is available and monitor it mate. You can’t sell what you don’t have/offer 😉

    Best of luck with everything Bill,


    • That’s one thing I appreciate Barry, being physically able to ‘get out there’, it would devastate me to be in a wheelchair like you and not be capable of strenuous outdoor activity. The way you cope with it, I have the greatest admiration for you Barry.

      As for Twitter and Youtube, well I thought it was about time I joined the social media set, although I must admit I am still not fully convinced about it’s benefits. Youtube has been gnawing away at me for nearly 2 years and I spent a day figuring out how to set up a channel and produce the videos. I came across Windows Live Movie Maker and finally solved how to do it. Not being very good at the techie side of things I was quite chuffed at mastering it.

      I will try the Amazon affiliate sheme on here Barry, as soon as I get the time!

  7. Very picturesque, Bill, looks like a great place to walk. Nice background music too!

    Enjoy the journey.


    • Hi Mandy, picturesque – definitely and a great place to walk. I am lucky to have plenty of hills around here as well as good low level walking. Glad you liked the music. Bill

  8. Hi Bill,

    I found this site via the Barry-Wells competition, and I must say I really like it, and if you were to add a plugin for something like amazon you could do really well with monetization.

    Also as I live within a hour of Tameside and love to get out geocaching this could become a great resource for me.

    I know how cold it was that when you did this walk as I took my scouts out for a 20 km walk around Mow Cop and although we didn’t have deep snow the frozen rain and steep paths meant we were on hands and knees for some parts!

    Look forward to some sunnier pictures in the next video.


    • Hi Andrew, I was an Amazon affiliate on my old blog, unfortunately it didn’t pay but I have been thinking of introducing it here. A couple of my walking buddies used to take the scouts out on expeditions but they got sick of all the red tape, health and safety etc.

      Unfortunately the next video will be even more grimmer weatherwise but the one after that will have some sunnier pictures.

  9. Hi Bill

    Some fantastic views there. I love all the snow on the reservoir, it looks so clean and fresh

    I liked the reward; and cool music too, I was having a little jig while I was watching 😛


    • Hi Steve, I know golf is your passion and you have created products around it, mine is walking, especially mountain walking so I thought I would do the same. Glad you like the music, jazz is another of my passions. Bill