Football, Curry and Hiking – the perfect weekend combination   16 comments

Past few years since I gave up my season ticket at Manchester City me, Uncle Fester and Geordie Munro have had an annual boys weekend away in Manchester. Tradition dictates a Saturday with a fried breakfast in a cafe, pre-match beers, the match, post match beers (involving visits to pubs from our University days) and then a curry. Sunday is a day for walking in the Peak. A classic weekend combination. This year the weather was kind to us and so were the football (City beat Everton 3-1), the beers at various establishments (a couple too many if I’m honest) and the the curry in West Didsbury. This year I even got my first ride on a Manchester tram so all boxes were ticked.

Sunday was a fine and sunny day and after another fiesta of fried pork products we headed out to the Saddleworth Edges for a walk.

The views across Manchester from Uncle Fester’s place were grand

Manchester, City of Manchester Stadium

Manchester

I’ve not been up here since my university days in the 80’s (a cold, snowy day if memory serves) when we used Public Transport to get about. I must have got the bus to Dove Stone, walked over to Black Hill and back to Glossop to get the bus home. As per one of my recent posts my memory in fact does not serve me well these days so who knows the actual details.

Times have changed though and we drove across this time, parking in a lay-by to avoid parking fees (we’re all prize tightskates) and, as it happened, to avoid a wasted drive into said car park as it was absolutely packed. Seems Dove Stone reservoir is now a well-known and popular spot. There were huge numbers of people and families walking and cycling by the lake shore and the lake itself was crowded with sailing boats.

Dove Stone Reservoir, Saddleworth

Dove Stone Reservoir, Saddleworth

dove stone reservoir, Saddleworth

Our route was to follow the Chew Brook up to Chew Reservoir and then along the western edges to Birchen Clough and Greenfield Brook before completing the circuit past Greenfield, Yeoman Hey and Dove Stone reservoirs. Turned into quite a long walk of nearly 11 miles.

Saddleworth

11 miles

Once we started up the road we left the crowds behind.

Chew Brook, Saddleworth

It’s metalled road so it takes something away from the remote surroundings but progress was easy and after a snack stop at Dish Stone Rocks we arrived at bleak moorland Chew reservoir complete with Helicopter in attendance.

Dish Stone Rocks, Saddleworth

Chew Reservoir, Saddleworth

Chew Reservoir, Saddleworth

Chew Brook, Saddleworth

After crossing the dam and the soggy expanse of Dish Stone Moss we hit the edge and the walk from here is tremendous, peering down over the reservoirs and across to the Tower Blocks of Oldham and the City centre of Manchester.

Chew Reservoir, Saddleworth

dish stone moss, Saddleworth

Dove Stone Reservoir, Saddleworth

Great Dove Stone Rocks. Little Dove Stone Rocks, Saddleworth

Oldham, Saddleworth

We were also under the flight path into Manchester Airport so I tried a few shots of the passing planes without much success. More practice needed at photographing fast moving objects through a zoom lens

Saddleworth

Saddleworth

We lunched somewhere near Little or Great Dove Stone Rocks and pressed on round the edge.

Great Dove Stone Rocks. Little Dove Stone Rocks, Saddleworth

Great Dove Stone Rocks. Little Dove Stone Rocks, Saddleworth

GM left us to head home after we crossed Ashway Clough and me and UF completed the route following Raven Stones to Birchen Clough. This section was airy and elevated and real delight as were the dark confines of Birchen Clough itself.

raven stones, Saddleworth

Birchen Clough, Saddleworth

Birchen Clough, Saddleworth

Birchen Clough, Saddleworth

The cloughs of the dark peak are some of my favourite places in the UK. It’s a pity that I get to see them so infrequently these days. I think a few weekends up this way are called for

After scrambling down the sides of the many waterfalls, we followed the long return besides the reservoirs. The sun that we lost in Birchen Clough returned and the views of the sun shimmering off the water were sublime.

greenfield reservoir, Saddleworth

yeoman hey reservoir, Saddleworth

yeoman hey reservoir, Saddleworth

As we approached Dove Stone so did the crowds so we pressed on back across the dam to the car without pause to complete what had been a really great walk and top drawer weekend.

Dove Stone Reservoir, Saddleworth

Dove Stone Reservoir, Saddleworth

I await the football fixtures for next season to plan the next boys weekend 🙂

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16 responses to “Football, Curry and Hiking – the perfect weekend combination

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  1. A classic route that. And I spotted an Osprey rucsac amongst you – all our packs just happen to be Osprey ones these days! Dove Stone res is indeed an incredibly busy place but, as you discovered, you don’t have to walk far before you leave everyone behind.

    I’ll look forward to more photos of planes – another one of my silly passions!

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    • I bet they all have Ospreys – if one of them buys new gear, the other two generally follow suit. It’s quite sweet really.

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      • Geoff has a Talon 38 and an Aether 65 (or something), I have a Kyte 36 and an Ariel 60-something, and I’m just thinking of treating myself to a Kyte 66……..

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        • Bit of gear-talk but I have a Talon 33 for summer and a Variant 37 for winter. TBF has a Talon 33 as well. GM who is as tight as they come, is still using a scabby Karrimor Hot Ice from the 1980’s which you can see in the photo of him walking along the dam at Chew Reservoir. Mind you I was gutted when my Hot Earth finally gave up after several repairs back in the late 90’s. Sentimentality for old gear – very sad 🙂

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    • Superb route, reservoirs were busy but the edge was pretty well deserted. I love planes as well, if you look at my Flickr page (you can access it from the link up the top left) I got some nice aircraft photos from yesterday

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  2. What – no photos of the football or the curry? Come on!
    I’m sure I must have been to the Saddleworth Edges at least once, but none of that looks remotely familiar. More evidence of declining grey cells?

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  3. Very much my manor… nice to see someone else’s take on it.

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    • Thanks Matt, amazing that my two visits to this are were nearly 30 years apart. A really splendid walk if you don’t mind the crowds by the reservoirs. I really miss my regular walks in the Peak from when I lived near Derby

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      • Dove Stones is a grand place, I just wish some folk would give it the respect it deserves. I’ve returned from many a walk with my pack side pockets crammed with litter.

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        • Yeah, I know what you mean. I was up on Pen y Fan on Saturday and it was mobbed with people and strewn with litter. Part of me is encouraged that more people are discovering the mountains as a way to relax but equally a lot of them need to educated to respect them

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  4. re: sharpness of air plane shots. I might be stating the obvious here (in which case: hit delete :)) but are you schlepping a trusted tripod on your walkies? Our zoom lens is Rich’s toy but even with perfect settings it’s v difficult to get a sharp shot while zoom is wobbling. He has a remote control (handy for dog shots as well) and a sturdy tripod to play around with. As for speed settings – I’ve recently shot someone jumping up while shooting on a wide angle lens @ 3.5 – 1/640 – ISO 800 and set to infinity. I also found that if you can’t get your light/dark to match, add extra exposure compensation; I cranked mine up to +3!
    We’re off to Moel Arthur today for camera play time :)))
    Happy weekending virtual friend

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  5. Thanks for the tips Babs, I’m looking for a Tripod but I want a lightweight carbon fibre one and they are pretty expensive. To be honest I was just pointing the camera at the planes and having a go hence the rather grainy shots. I want to learn how to take those stunning shots of moving water and more nighttime shots. My son also wants to some astro photography, all of which need a remote shutter release and a tripod (and a more powerful zoom, and an extender, and maybe a telescope……) . Enjoy the weekend, pretty grim down here but better tomorrow I hope, so might get out for some play-time

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