Recipe for a winter walk, with a chance to peep into some gardens along the way, starting in Chapeltown, Lancashire.
- Choose a day when snow is on the ground.
- Round up any willing human or canine companions.
- Start in Chapeltown High Street.
- Walk past St Anne’s Church, then turn left at the T junction.
- Go down Wellington Road to Turton Bottoms, past some wintry but well-cared-for gardens.
- Turn sharp right and walk down Vale Street, past the garden folly, then take the path to the right when you reach the swollen river.
- Pick your way gingerly along the (at times precarious) snowy path along Bradshaw Brook that winds round to Jumbles Country Park.
- On a good day, bird lovers should look out for a flash of a kingfisher on the river, tree creepers against the tree trunks, dippers bobbing on stones in the river and a heron or two.
- On an icy day, keep your eyes on the path!
- At the reservoir, cross the bridge and climb the steps to your right.
- Take the path through the trees past a secret(ish) frozen pond lined with bulrushes.
- You’ll see St Anne’s Church on the opposite hill.
- Follow the path down past the old war shelter and turn right along Chapeltown Road.
- Make your way back to Chapeltown High Street (we walked down Station Road, then turned right up the hill to The Chetham Arms).
- Walkers can now treat themselves to refreshment in The Chetham Arms. Well-behaved dogs are welcome.
- We drove back home for extremely indulgent version of afternoon tea (fruit scones, home made jam, clotted cream and hot chocolate) at Dolly’s Tea Rooms in Darwen.
Note: This is not a particularly strenuous or long walk, but it is a little hilly. The river bank is narrow in places and can be muddy, icy and very slippery in the snow. Follow our footsteps at your own risk! Lengthen your walk by continuing around Jumbles Reservoir into Jumbles Country Park or, if you like historic buildings, by visiting the nearby Turton Tower.