Having been furloughed from work due to the government lock-down I subsequently moved back to my old stomping ground of Bury to live with my parents. Currently, like a lot of people, I have plenty of time on my hands, and with the weather being so nice I have used this time to explore the local area. Living in a semi rural part of Bury means there are plenty of trails and areas to check out.
Whitehead Lodges were reservoirs created to provide a reliable water supply to the Elton Cop Dyeing company. Nowadays they provide a nice backdrop to the area between Lowercroft and Ainsworth as well some fishing opportunities. Reading the history of the the area I discovered that this whole area was also used as an army internment and training camp during World War II. There is also more ancient history with remnants of a Roman road that took people between Manchester and Ribchester, but this is now buried beneath the fields.
From Walshaw you can walk up the un-adopted Bentley Hall Lane where you pass several working farms. Once you reach the top of the lane you can continue along a rugged field with a marked trail towards Ainsworth village. Here you pass a former Sanitarium for Smallpox as well as some nice cottages and farmland. If you fancy a longer walk from the top of Bentley Hall Lane cut across Harwood Golf Course towards Harwood Village and on to the ancient village of Affetside. On the other side of Affetside there is the well known Jumbles resevoir, I did not visit here though as it has narrow trails and lots of people so it would have been difficult to social distance.
Another walk I did was from The Shoulder Of Mutton Pub at the top of The Rake in Holcombe, across Holcombe Moor to Peel Tower. On the way we went via Harcles Hill and the historically interesting Pilgrims Cross. This monument was built in 1902 to replace a wooden cross that had stood weathered for over 8 centuries. The cross and subsequent stone monument were set in place to help guide pilgrims to Whalley in the Ribble Valley. From here you can walk towards the imposing Peel Tower monument. Built in 1851 and inaugurated in 1852. The cost, £1,000, was borne by public subscription from the residents of Ramsbottom and it was erected to honour Sir Robert Peel (One of Bury’s most famous sons, 2nd to perhaps Gary Neville?!) for his efforts in effecting the repeal of the Corn Laws. The tower stands 128ft high and was built from stone quarried locally. As well as the historical significance on Holcombe Moor you get spectacular views over Bury, towards Manchester and on a clear, non hazy day can see Jodrell Bank, over 40 miles away
On the other side of Holcombe Moor you can avoid any steep trails by walking from the Hare and Hounds pub, though Redisher Woods and around the edge of the hill in a semi-circular route towards Hawkshaw. Part of this walk passes through Military Of Defense land where there are occasionally live exercises taking place, it is extensively signed so you would never be in any danger of walking into the crossfire! I extended the walk by finishing at the famous Holden Ice Cream shop in Edgworth. There are lots of farms and huge converted houses to admire as you descend into the village.
I solely use the Maps.me App but I have found there are many rights of way that are not plotted on here. Having the use of an up to date OS map would be a handy backup. There are plenty of other trails and public footpaths as well as the ones mentioned so it easy to make your own walks around this area too.