Chris Maylor, who runs a Saddleworth Discovery Walks blog and Facebook page, recalls some nocturnal adventures above and below ground.
WITH THE dark nights now truly entrenched within the winter season, most people find themselves missing the opportunity for mid-week evening walks.
However, the veil of darkness need not prevent us from venturing into the countryside. I always look forward to nocturnal adventures in the hills and on the moors; and so far this winter, I’ve not been disappointed.
Setting out from the Cross Keys Inn, Uppermill, a few friends and I ventured into the darkness and headed for Sykes Pillar upon Broadstone Hill.
From the trig point, named after local fell runner Frank Sykes, we headed towards Alderman Hill which stands sentinel-like high above Chew Valley.
Reaching the lower slopes of the hill, we searched out the hidden entrance to the elusive, Fairy Hole Cave.
Donning climbing helmets, we descended into the black depths of this natural fissure in the gritstone rock to explore Saddleworth’s subterranean world. At around 4 metres long and 10 metres deep this narrow underground rift makes for an exciting mini adventure.
After what had been an exciting nocturnal adventure, we settled down in front of a roaring fire in the friendly and welcoming Cross Keys to enjoy a much awaited pint.
Chris’s second book in his Discovery Walks series – Oldham Discovery Walks – is now available online at www.saddleworthdiscoverywalks.co.uk