Sunday, 2 October 2011

Hobson Moor 2nd October

The revised hike on Sunday 2nd October finally commenced from the far end of Hobson Moor Road at 10.30am in reasonable weather conditions. The leader, accompanied by a prospective new member, Wendy from Gee Cross, was joined by fifteen club members eager to enjoy the splendid views afforded on this hilly Dark Peak hike.
Ascending Hobson Moor we were able to clearly see Shutlingsloe and Shining Tor far away to the south. Descending on the Stalybridge side of the ridge the full vista of Greater Manchester lay before us and, as were turned  northwards, the line of hills leading to Saddleworth caught our attention. Descending we reached the eastern edge of Walkerwood Reservoir (the first of umpteen reservoirs to greet us on the hike). Soon after we stopped for a tea break before we began to climb to Higher Hydegreen.
It was along this stage that I was able to check with Helen M that she was still spot on with following our route on her map (nice to see someone taking an interest in following the route - well done Helen!). Soon we swung to the right, taking the broad but stony Pennine Bridleway around Harridge Pike. Some members found this section tough and thus lunch was taken soon after the crest had been passed.
After a leisurely lunch we descended and crossed the flat section between Higher and Lower Swineshaw reservoirs. Still following the Pennine Bridleway we crossed the bridge over Ogden Brook to eventually enter Tintwistle via Arnfield Lane. We called in at the lovely old Bulls Head for refreshments; the leader much in need of his pint of Timmy Taylor's Landlord. Eventually we bade the pub "au revoir" and headed in search of Devil's Bridge (sorry, still haven't discovered the derivation of it's name despite Googleing it this morning), which we reached via the path around the top half of Arnfield Reservoir and skirting Hollingworth Nature Reserve. In light drizzle now we battled our way up and through the jungle-like terrain  to Lower Bank where, to regain our breath and because the drizzle had ceased, we took our final break.
On reaching the private section of Hobson Moor Road near to Hall Farm we turned westwards and headed along the fairly flat lane towards Higher Landslow Green Farm accompanied now by some rain. A short climb on tarmac brought us back to the start point at around 4.30pm. It had been intended to visit the trig point at 399 metres at the top of Wild Bank Hill as a final challenge but that will have to keep for another time!
Les Hodgson