Tameside Country Walks – Right On Your Doorstep
I am often asked by locals if there are many Tameside country walks. Now this surprises me because Tameside has 145 miles of footpaths. Some of these footpaths are the best in Greater Manchester. Most of Greater Manchester is now ‘a concrete jungle’, especially the southern part and although Tameside has many urban areas, most people can be in the countryside within 10 minutes or so.
Some of the best places for Tameside Country walks are the Stalybridge/Mottram area. Also the Werneth Low area of Hyde and the Hartshead area of Ashton-under-Lyne. With the Tameside area once being mainly agricultural, there are many footpaths over farmland, especially in the Werneth Low and Hartshead areas.
With three rivers, The River Tame, The River Medlock and The River Etherow running through the borough and the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, Peak Forest Canal, Ashton Canal and the Hollinwood Branch Canal, there is no shortage of flat Tameside country walks for those who prefer not to climb the hills.
Although some parts of these rivers and canals do run through industrial areas, the majority of their length is in the countryside. In fact it is surprising to realise exactly where you are on a canal walk as many parts run under some of Tameside’s busiest roads, although you would not think so from their quiet countryside location.
The rivers also run through some of Tameside’s best scenery. Try for instance, the Medlock Valley in the Daisy Nook Country Park. The Tame in the Haughton Dale Local Nature Reserve or the Etherow in the Broadbottom area.
For those who prefer the hills, this area is as good, if not better, than any other parts of Greater Manchester, or indeed the surrounding areas. Can there be many better viewpoints than Hackingknife on Werneth Low, Hartshead Pike or my personal favourite, the trig point at Wild Bank Hill on Hollingworthall Moor in Stalybridge?
I wonder how many people there are who don’t realise what great Tameside country walks are available on their own doorstep or within a short travelling distance, I guess many.
Peace and quiet are literally minutes away and in some places you would never imagine you were just a few miles away from the hustle and bustle of a major city.
I have been on walks around the four reservoirs on the moors above Stalybridge and hardly ever heard a sound apart from the occasional bird. In some instances I have only ever seen a person or two out on a ramble in this area.
There are also many longer distance trails that either touch the borough of Tameside or are mainly in the borough. These are The Oldham Way, The Trans Pennine Trail, The Pennine Bridleway (which is also for walkers), The Medlock Valley Way, The Tame Valley Way and The Tameside Trail.
There are plenty of Tameside country walks, so why not explore your local area, it will probably surprise and delight you. All the walks around the rivers, canals and areas mentioned in this post are covered in the two volumes of Walks In Tameside.