Tameside Walk – Portland Basin, Peak Forest Canal, River Tame Circular
ThisTameside walk is a flat one from the Portland Basin in Ashton-under-Lyne to Haughton Dale in Denton. It then goes along both the Peak Forest Canal and the River Tame back to the Portland Basin..
Start at the free car park at the Portland Basin Museum, which incidentally is well worth a visit, time permitting. Go over the iron bridge at the canal basin and turn right going over the stone bridge. At the bottom of the bridge turn 180° right and then right again going under the bridge to follow the Peak Forest Canal towpath.
Most of the canalside in this Tameside walk is lined by industrial buildings. However, it eventually reaches countryside before the turn off for the Haughton Dale Nature Reserve. The turn off is just after a footbridge over the canal after a couple of signs for the Nature Reserve are passed. The cobbled path leads down to Gibraltar Bridge over the River Tame by a weir.
At 86 acres Haughton Dale Nature Reserve is the largest in Tameside. Cross the bridge and head right up wooden steps following the river down below to the right. Keep on the main path ignoring any turn offs and cross the road at Mill Lane. The path again follows the river to the right then veers away. Keep to the main path ignoring any turn offs until a large field is reached where half way along a right turn is necessary.
Go through 4 springed metal gates and follow the wide unmade road past Broomstair Nurseries on the right until it meets the A57 Manchester Road at Broomstair. Turn right and carry on to the Broomstair Bridge over the River Tame. Cross the busy road at the bridge and take the path at the end of the bridge which carries on under the motorway and follows the river.
Follow the path by the river until a sign for the Peak Forest Canal and take that direction right uphill on an enclosed path to the canal at the top. Turn left here and head back to the starting point at the Portland Basin Museum.