The Warpers Trail
The Warpers Trail is another portion of The Witton Weavers Way. This 8.5 mile walk starts and ends at the Entwistle Reservoir. The walk can also be started from Entwistle Railway station near the Strawberry Duck. Overall a very good walk, and is one of my favourites. It has a really nice mixture of nature and history. Plenty of spectacular views, across hills and woodland. There is also Turton Tower at the start of the walk. An amazing building that has been around since the Middle Ages and is steeped in history. I will try and explain the walk to the best of my abilities, I originally followed the guide downloaded from the Council website, and it’s quite dated – so I was often scratching my head as to which way to go! If you are planning on taking a dog, please be aware that there are a few fields, with sheep, horses and cows.
Caution is always needed as dogs can scare farm animals. This walk in generally easy to traverse, but is quite long so suitable footwear is recommenced as with all walks. There are a few steep ascents that will definitely test your legs! Be sure to take a flask, and some sandwiches as there are plenty of places to just sit and enjoy the scenery.
Step 1 - Entwistle Car Park to Turton Tower
Starting from the Upper Car Park at Entwistle with your back to the reservoir, head to the top left of the car park. You will see a narrow path leading away from the car park. Head along this path and cross the road that leads back down to the car park. Head into the next field and carry on again along the track.
Go through the wooden kissing gate and cross Green Arms Road. Then straight ahead continue along the rough track, turning left along the wider path. Follow this path for about a mile (30 minutes or so) walking past Clough House Farm.
You will eventually arrive at a fork in the path, turning left with the stream to your right. You will cross over Blackburn to Bolton Railway line here, and a little further down is Turton Tower.
Step 2 – Turton Tower to Turton Bottoms
Walking past Turton Tower on your left, continue down to the B6391 Chapeltown Road. The turn left and follow the road down and at the point where it bends left, turn right and enter the field through the opening next to the metal gate. On your right now is an old World War 2 Pill Box, that was used to protect the reservoirs in the area and also Horrobin Mill, which used as storage during the war.
Continue along this path, passing the body of water to your left. You will see a stile, which takes you into the wooded area at Jumbles Reservoir. Make your way down to the bridge at the bottom of the woods. Take care here, as roots and the rough terrain can be quite slippy at certain times of year. As if found out to my peril.
Cross the bridge and turn immediately left, following the path all the way as it starts to narrow into Bradshaw Brook. Following the path next to the Brook for around 10 – 15 minutes, it will become paved. Keep to the path and pass the cottages behind the small stoned wall.
You will now emerge into the area known as Turton Bottoms.
Step 3 – Turton Bottoms to Black Bull Inn
This part of the walk can be a little confusing, well it was for me. I will explain it the best I can.
As you exit the Woods at Turton Bottoms, turn left onto the modern cobbled road. This is called Vale Street. The houses are really quite nice around here, and look very expensive!
Walk along this road for a short while, and on your right it exits onto a narrow track and crosses an old Packhorse Bridge. You will emerge onto another cobbled road. Following this road you will exit onto Birches Road.
Pass the Old Printers Cottages on your right. Keeping to the path, you will emerge on to a tarmac road and ahead, another set of Modern Houses. Continue all the way up past the houses, until the road ends and you reach 2 wooden gates. Immediately on your left you will see stone steps which lead up to the Old Chimney ( you should see it above the treeline).
Climb the steps, keeping the chimney on your right. Follow the path and go through the gate, which leads into an open field. This field can be a little tricky, and in the Council leaflet I printed out for my guide was not very clear to me as it’s not very descriptive.
Now, it was very early spring when me and my brother walked this route, as such the field was very muddy. Which led to my brother losing a boot, which he couldn’t put back on properly. He then attempted to find a safer route around the edge of the field, ignoring my warnings that the fence on the perimeter was probably electrified. He found that, indeed it was electrified. As I was stood in the middle of the field, trying not to laugh.
Anyway, back to the guide.
At the top left hand corner of this field, there is a wooden gate. You should be able to make out a rough path in the grass running diagonally towards this gate. Go through the gate and along the track, keeping the house on your right. There will be another gate ahead, with a cool handmade iron weight on a chain. Go through this gate, and drop down through the fields to a wooden foot bridge.
Cross the wooden foot bridge and turn right along the path. You should see a nice stone bridge up ahead on your right.
At this point in the walk, following the council guide leaflet. I actually misread it, and turned right and crossed the stone bridge, which took me off course for around 10 minutes. At the point where you see the stone bridge on your right, don’t cross the bridge, instead take the path on the left. This will take you into Barlow Park Woodland.
Following the path through Barlow Park Woodland, keep going for around 15 minutes though the woods. You will soon exit the woods on to a playground at the Barlow Institute. Walking past the Bowling Green on your left, and exit on to Bolton Road.
Turn right down on to Bolton Road, and follow this all the way down. The road will start to bend to your left. And across the road, is the Black Bull Inn.
Step 4 – Black Bull to The Strawberry Duck
At the side of the Black Bull Inn, take the path to Wayoh Reservoir. Climb the railed steps on the right.
From here, basically stay on the path closest to the reservoir as it may fork a few times to your right. There are a few benches along this stretch that are an excellent place to stop and relax with your flask and sandwiches. They offer perfect views across the reservoir, and it really is a beautiful spot.
You will soon come to Hob Lane, cross the road here and re-enter the woods. Following the path around the edge of the reservoir.
Again, this is where the official council guide is unclear. It simply says “Shortly afterwards cross a second footbridge and take a narrow path that leaves the main track off to the right”. I counted, I think about 2 small wooden footbridges before this point, and got very confused by the lack of information. As you are walking along the path next to the reservoir, as you cross the small bridges, the last bridge (photo uploaded underneath). You will see a small path that veers to your right immediately after the bridge and enters a field over a stile. It has a public footpath sign on the post. This is where it gets confusing. Ignore this path. Just after the bridge the main path starts to bend to your left, and the correct track is just behind the bench going further uphill into the woods.
Take the path behind the bench, as its ascends into the woods. You will see a fallen tree blocking the path. Just ahead is a wooden kissing gate, and the path is sandwiched between 2 fields on either side. The path takes you uphill and exits on to Entwistle Hall Lane. Turn right at this point, and cross the railway bridge. You will have reached Entwistle train station, which is an alternative starting point to the walk if travelling by rail.
Just after the bridge is the Strawberry Duck, this an excellent restaurant/bar if you want to stop here for refreshments.
Step 5 – The Strawberry Duck to Cadshaw Brook
With the Strawberry Duck on your left, turn right up Edge Lane. Passing the cottages keep to this lane for about 10 minutes. The lane will eventually fork three ways, take the left fork and continue along the lane to Edge Foot Farm.
Turn left here keeping on Edge Lane for another 20 minutes or so (0.9 Miles). You will see a gate and a stile on your left. Climb the stile and enter the field. Take the grassy track down through the field. You will see two stone gateposts at the right of the track. Keep going along, and at the point where you see two ruined stone walls parallel to each other. At this point you want to stop and look for the narrow path that descends into the lower right hand corner of the field to your right.
This again can be quite confusing, as the guide is not very detailed. You want to head towards the bottom right corner of the field. You can almost make out a grassy track heading to the corner. Take your time here, the path is there, its just hard to see!
Exit the main path, and follow the faint grassy track to the bottom corner of the field. The path will gradually grow from faint grass into an actual path and will meander past some yellow flowered plants. Continue along here and you will see the exit to the path next to Cadshaw Brook. Look for the wooden planked walkway to the stile in the corner of the field. After climbing the stile turning left, you will see a wooden bridge on your right. Cross the bridge back to the main reservoir path.