Chris Maylor, who runs a Saddleworth Discovery Walks blog and Facebook page, reflects on a good start to the year with a New Year’s Day Walk.
Setting out from the Cross Key’s Inn, Uppermill, we followed quiet country lanes to reach a collection of small quarries known as Running Hill Pits, which are a popular haunt for local climbers.
From the quarries we visited the old ruin which stands at the western end of the Cotton Famine Road; the date stone ‘1836’ being the only visible indication of its history.
Turning south, into an icy cold wind, our group crossed Broadstone Moss to reach the trig point on Broadstone Hill.
Named ‘Sykes Pillar’ on up-to-date Ordnance Survey maps, the triangulation pillar is named in memory of local walker and fellrunner Frank Sykes.
The biting wind encouraged our party not to linger and soon we were underway again, crossing the upper reaches of Broadstone Clough to Shaw Rocks and the solitary Sugar Loaf. Situated on the northern slopes of Dick Hill, this lone boulder was toppled from its plinth long ago.
Turning south-west, we descended the prominent vehicle track, which crosses the moor from Upperwood House, to reach the War Memorial at Pots and Pans.
Standing sentinel-like above the villages of Saddleworth, this stone obelisk bares the names of local men who sadly lost their lives on the field of conflict.
Seeking the shelter, we descended via Primrose Hill and Pobgreen, to return to the Cross Keys where we enjoyed a wonderful warming meal.