Saddleworth Moor and The Trinnacle
1 May 2022
This eleven mile walk offers excellent views from the edges of Saddleworth Moor, a scramble up Birchin Clough beside the waterfall, an opportunity to climb The Trinnacle, Ravenstones, plus a visit to the highest constructed reservoir in England and concludes at Alphin Pike with magnificent views towards Manchester and over the Cheshire plain. The walk commences at the Dovestone Reservoir car park followed by easy walking along the water’s edge, then onto Yeoman Hey and Greenfield Reservoirs. Leaving Greenfield Reservoir the valley narrows as we follow the path alongside Greenfield Brook with imposing views to the right of The Trinnacle on the skyline. We cross to the far bank of Birchin Clough and scramble up this delightful boulder strewn ravine, rock hopping amid scenes of cascading water; with the option to climb the waterfall. Once the Clough levels out we ford the stream and return to the edge where we are greeted by The Trinnacle! This will be our lunchtime stop. Would-be climbers are welcome to attempt The Trinnacle, a perilously exposed pinnacle; but do so entirely at their own risk – spectacular photo opportunity! After the break, survivors will continue along the edge path to Ashway Rocks followed by a gentle climb up the moor to Ashway Cross (Platt Memorial).
The broad path contours round to the head of Dovestone Clough fording the stream above the upper cascades. The old beater’s trod returns us to the rocky edge above Dovestone Rocks with glorious views to heighten the pleasure. We then reach a prominent memorial cairn, overlooking Dovestone Reservoir – in memory of two climbers who lost their lives whilst descending Sella Tower, Italian Dolomites. Next up is Bramley’s Cot, an ingenious and sturdy dwelling thought to be a shepherd’s summer abode. Moving on we pass the Dish Stone and arrive at the Chew Reservoir at 1600ft (488m), built in 1912. This will be our afternoon stop. From Chew walkers will have a choice of routes: Main route – continue with the edge path above Stable & Wimberry Stones Brow to arrive at Alphin Pike (469m), a superb view point. From the Trig Point there follows a tricky, unpleasant descent path down to the Mills before finishing along the Mill Road to the Dovestone Reservoir Car Park. Shorter return route – initially via the reservoir service road, and then through Chew Piece Plantation – a memorial arboretum; continuing downhill toward the reservoir and return to the car park.
Notes; • Toilets are available at the Dovestone Reservoir Car Park. Ice cream van normally in attendance! • As the Bus Journey is somewhat longer than normal, then the Departure Time will be 6.00pm from the Dovestone Reservoir main car park. • Fine weather permitting, (remember July 2019!) we should be able to linger at the numerous points of interest & viewpoints along this walk. The weather on the day will very much determine the number & length of the “pit stops” which may in turn impact on the Bus Departure time. • No refreshment facilities on route; please bring along food & drink. • It is hoped that an alternative walk will be available around Holmfirth with a pick up time of 6.20pm from Holmfirth Bus Station – toilets available at the Bus Station (20 p).