Werneth Low Circular – Birches, Back-o’th’-Hill, Benfield
This Werneth Low circular starts at the Quarry car park at the top of Joel Lane. Go to Werneth Low Road and take the path on the right signposted ‘Stockport’. At the next signpost turn right for ‘Lowside Farm’. Continue on the track downhill and at the bottom turn left at the T junction signposted ‘Stockport 8 miles/Trans Pennine Trail’. Turn left at the signpost for ‘Back-o’th’-Hill’.
Go up the track between the houses and to the rear of a barn. Turn left after the stile up past Woodlane Farm. Go uphill and turn right at a waymarked post. After a third stile take the left fork uphill to Werneth Low Road. Opposite is a signpost ‘public footpath’. Go past Lowtop Cottage, pass the stables and bear right down a fenced off area to a stile and gate at the end of a short track. Head downhill on a faint path to the left of the trees and left of the house at the bottom right of the field.
Go down the path and steps in front of Lowbank Cottage. Turn left and downhill to another lane. Turn left here and follow the lane to where it bends sharply right. Go straight ahead between two stone pillars by a waymarked post. The track turns left and along a stone wall below Springwood Farm. This leads to a wider lane and Cowlishaw Road.
This Werneth Low circular then turns right downhill and just before the bend it turns left at a driveway by the side of a stone house ‘Benfield’. The short driveway passes a pond on the left and goes up to Far Benfield Farm. Just before the farm buildings go through a metal gate on the left and head to the far left of the small field. Go through the metal gate, along a fence to the right and keep heading in the same direction to reach a stile.
Cross the stile into the second field and then into a third field. Cross over two
stiles and proceed along an enclosed track which then opens out on the left. Eventually the track leads to Near Cloughside Farm.
Continue on the stone track and where it bends round to the left, take the path heading across the field to a gate by the side of the house. The path continues to a stone track and then goes past a cricket field on the left. At the end turn left into Mount Road, then right for the car park and starting point.
The walk is 3.1 miles in length and takes around 1 hour 15 minutes. All the paths mentioned in this Werneth Low circular, together with detailed mapping and route finding text are included in Walks In Tameside – Volume 2 Southern Tameside.