Rochdale Reservoirs – A Winter Ramble In The Piethorne Valley
A couple of weeks ago, Dave one of my walking buddies, and myself decided that a reasonably long walk was in order. With the recent bad weather we hadn’t ventured out much above 5 milers for a month or two, so we decided to walk the Rochdale Reservoirs circular.
We started in High Crompton and to get to the moors, first of all, we had to do some street walking. From Crompton Fold we climbed uphill to near the masts on Crompton Moor and joined the Oldham Way for a short distance. The image is looking down to Oldham from Crompton Moor. With the Rochdale Reservoirs in sight we started the climb down. First past Roden Reservoir to the right, then through the fields to join the Rochdale Way at Piethorne Reservoir. Piethorne Reservoir, built in 1866, is the largest of the Rochdale Reservoirs in the Piethorne Valley.
We had a quick food stop on the northern side of Piethorne Reservoir.We then backtracked to take the path through the wood higher up. We continued above Kitcliffe Reservoir, then Ogden Reservoir on paths that were a mixture of mud, snow and ice. Eventually the path descended to Ogden Reservoir. Ogden is the most westerly of the Rochdale Reservoirs in the Piethorne Valley. It was commissioned in 1878. From here we took the track through Rough Bank down to Huddersfield Road at Newhey. We enjoyed a lovely pint of Sam Smith’s cask bitter in the Bird In Hand, or the ‘Top Bird’ as it’s known locally.
From here it was uphill to Haugh and the farm at Top o’ th’ Hill, then down to Jubilee and across the A663 and the railway to Dunwood Park. Through Dunwood Park and it was then a long slog uphill through Lower Rushcroft and High Crompton Park to our final destination, the Old Bulls Heads. Further samplings of Sam Smiths bitter were taken while discussing the highlights of the walk. The walk was exactly 10 miles.