Exploring the Castleshaw Valley by Chris Maylor

WITH the current restrictions in place, people are looking for interesting, local walking routes to help maintain their health and well-being.

Over the coming months I’ll share with you a selection of walks from my Saddleworth and Oldham Discovery Walks guidebooks.


There is evidence of human habitation in the Castleshaw Valley from as early as the prehistoric Bronze Age. Traces of historic settlement and activity can be seen throughout, from Iron Age mines, a Roman fort, a Middle Aged Abbey farm and historic farms and woollen mills. There is a wealth of history to be discovered.

Setting out from the Castleshaw Outdoor Centre, walk down Cote Lane and across the lower reservoir dam wall. At the first bend in the track, go down a set of steps and follow Hull Brook downstream. Beyond Hull Mill Lodge, cross the stream and walk up Hey Flake Lane, an historic packhorse route.

At the top of the lane, turn right along Broad Lane, along which wonderful views of the valley below open up before your eyes.

Reaching a crossroads of historic route-ways, known as Four Lane Ends, turn right down Low Gate Lane. At the bottom of the steep descent, turn left and then right to cross the dam wall of Castleshaw Upper Reservoir.

Turning left up Dirty Lane, you will soon come to the remains of an ancient Roman Fort, first built in around 79 AD.

After exploring this Scheduled Ancient Monument, follow a signpost which guides you down a field to return to the outdoor centre.

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