Saturday, 8 June 2013

Chew Reservoir from Dove Stone Reservoir and an Amazing Ridge Walk

The start point, Dove Stone Reservoir, a Peak District reservoir in the Parish of Saddleworth. The target, Chew Reservoir, once the highest constructed reservoir in England until 1971 found at the top of Chew Valley. Then onto one of the most enjoyable ridge walks I've done yet. I went a few weeks ago to have a go.
 

Firstly, a word of advice, arrive early. Dove Stone reservoir is extremely popular. And at only £1.30 to park for the day, I can see why. It's well located, has a public convenience and attracts ice cream vans and mobile burger bars.



My walk started on Bradbury Lane. It starts as a lane initially. But once it passes a row of terrace houses it becomes more of a path. Just before the folk for Intake Lane there is a Public Footpath sign that points up through the field. Strange that the stile there seems to have been replaced with some steel mesh and pretty much not safe to cross. Possibly an access issue here?
 
 

 

Further from this sign is the turn off to the left for Intake Lane, pretty much more a path than a lane. Basically, follow Intake Lane through to the Chew Valley.
 
 


Intake Lane passes behind and through some woodland areas and the path is quite boggy in places, gaiters will help in wet weather.
 
 
 
 
 
As you walk between the sections of woodland you catch glimpses off to your left of the Dove Stone Reservoir.
 
 
 
 
The path then passes through a more nature wooded area, Chew Piece Plantation,  and through into the Chew Valley.
 
 
 
 
The path I was on cut across the valley and up to meet the Chew Road. There is a route up the stream in the base of the valley, but I was walking alone. If I walk alone I keep to paths and avoid anything unnecessarily risky.
 
 
 
 
I continued up Chew Road and was brought up to Chew Reservoir at the top. The reservoir's level appeared to be quite low which was a surprise given all our wet weather recently.
 
 
 
A quick stop for a drink at the reservoir and then I headed West, out towards Dish Stone Brow to pick up the path along the ridge. The path along the ridge, for the biggest part, is not on an Ordnance Survey map. But the area is open access, and there is a trodden path along the ridge which is easy to follow. So you need to be aware of where you are and always have a map and compass. You may think that the weather is lovely and clear, but it can soon change as many find out. Then it's spending the remainder of your day with the volunteers from the Mountain Rescue Team as they escort you off the hill. Try not to be a statistic.
 
 
 

About half way along the ridge the path drops into a little dip, As you walk down and look back there is a rocky outcrop with a stone shooters hut there. This is Bramley's Cot. This area can be quite popular with climbers.
 
 
 

A couple of hundred meters on and you come to the Cairn on Fox Stone. The views down into the valley below continue to be great. This is certainly a great ridge walk.
 
 
 
 
The path now passes the series of Dove Stone rocks as you work along the last section of this particular part of the ridge walk.
 
 
 

The path turns east towards the top of Ashway Gap and the waterfalls there.
 
 

Off in the bottom of this small clough you can see the man made water slide and bridge with the path weaving down on the opposite side.
 
 
 

This section of the path, on the opposite side, is quite steep on the descent. There are grassy sections, that if wet, might be a little slippery.
 
 
 
 

For me there was a steady walk around the reservoir back to the Car Park. I really enjoyed this walk, great for views.