Hard Moorland Walk – The High Ground Of Tameside
This hard moorland walk starts in Carrbrook with a steady climb to Higher Hydegreen. It then proceeds above Walkerwood Reservoir and Brushes Reservoir. The path then comes out above Lower Swineshaw Reservoir before reaching the access road at Higher Swineshaw Reservoir.
It then follows the Pennine Bridleway to the narrow path across Boar Flat then on to meet the bridge at Ogden Brook below Arnfield Flats. From here it is uphill across Ormes Moor and Wilderness to reach the Chew Valley at Chew Hurdles. The route continues on the valley’s southern ridge to Chew Green, Staples Stone Brow and Wimberry Stones Brow (Indian’s Head). This is near the site of a DC-3 plane crash in 1949. Next is Slack Head Brow before arriving at the trig point and shelter at Alphin Pike. There are great views all along the southern ridge of this hard moorland walk. The going gets a little easier after the trig point with the narrow path heading downhill through the heather to Greave and finally to the quiet lane at Moor Edge Road.
From here the lane contours below Noon Sun Hill before arriving back at the starting point at Castle Clough car park in Carrbrook.
This hard moorland walk is exactly 10 miles, most of it over rough ground and tracks. In dry summer conditions it takes around 4 hours. I walked it a couple of days ago in wintry conditions and it took almost 5 hours. The ground was very icy and treacherous on the valley ridges but thankfully the peat bogs were frozen and snow covered, although they were beginning to crumble underfoot.
This hard moorland walk is not recommended after a period of prolonged rain or in mist, it is a no man’s land over the moors and the peat bogs would be a nightmare to cross when sodden and very dangerous. Full mapping and route finding details can be found in Walks In Tameside – Northern Tameside.