Ramblers: Wind 1 Rambler 0

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10 members of the rambling group completed an 8.5 mile walk yesterday starting at Jumbles Country Park near Bolton. Opened in 1971 by Queen Elizabeth II, the area has some lovely walking trails  around the first of the reservoirs we passed today. Our route started on relatively flat wide paths travelling along the side of the reservoir. Recent rains had made some of the paths quite muddy although this was nothing compared to some of our recent rambles.At the most Northernly point of the reservoir we passed the remains of Jumbles Quarry which has been encompassed into the reservoir. Some remnants of the old quarry workings are still to be seen, although the lush vegetation hides most of them.  Originally constructed to feed the river Irwell system to ensure the local industries maintained a good water supply, the reservoir is now owned by United Utilities and is an area for watersports and waterfowl. Continuing through the ravine surrounded by lovely woodland we came to the 2nd of the reservoirs on our ramble. Wayoh reservoir. Unlike its neighbour this one was built in 1876 purely to supply water to Bolton. In spite of all the recent rains the overflow system from the reservoir was bone dry and it looked a long time since any water had flowed here given the amount of vegetation which was growing. Our route then climbed up using some well positioned steps and we left the shade of the trees and walked a little way along the main road before turning once again towards the water. After following the water edge for some time we turned across country towards Entwistle. Passing by the little station and the Strawberry Duck pub we continued along a quiet country lane, viewing the well tended cottages and crossed the bridge at the end of our 3rd reservoir of the day, Turton and Entwistle reservoir. As this was the halfway point in our ramble it was time for a lunch stop, and fairly inevitably the rain which had been a little drizzle from time to time decided it was time for a downpour meaning lunch was a standing affair under the nearby trees! Sandwiches were eaten quickly and we left the reservoirs behind and started the slow steady climb towards Turton Moors. Having gained considerable height we then realised that the wind, which had up to then been blowing but not too fiercely, intensified and became much stronger. As is the way with moors there is no shelter but we battled on, heads down, along tiny little paths bordered by scrub and heather. it was at this point that we saw the one and only mishap of the day, with the wind being so strong it completely bowled over one of the walkers who ended up like an upended turtle flat on his back! Thankfully apart from a couple of scratches no injuries were incurred. Pressing on we completed our precarious walk across the moors and started to drop down into the shelter of the valley and onward to Tower drive and across the grade II listed railway bridge, complete with turrets and arrow slits! Continuing along the lane we passed by Turton Tower, a Grade 1 listed manor house. originally built as a two storey pele tower in the Middle Ages but altered and enlarged in the 16th Century. From here our route took us back to the main road before turning once again down the country lane towards the country park. Having changed boots from hot and weary feet we took advantage of the cafe on site for drinks and cake before setting off down the motorways towards home.

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