Lancashire Walk - Wayoh and Entwistle reservoirs
PUBLISHED: 00:00 09 November 2016
John Lenehan leads a glorious – and fairly easy – walk around the Wayoh and Entwistle reservoirs.
1. Leave the railway station and walk over the iron bridge along the road back to Edgworth. Do not turn left immediately over the bridge, down the obvious track, keep to the road. Pass a small electric substation on the right.
Note: If you leave by train please remember the station is a request stop. If you don’t wave, the train will not stop and it’s a long an expensive taxi ride if it’s the last train after a night in the Strawbury Duck.
2. A stile appears on the left hand side, take care not to miss it as it is just after a thick hedge. Cross the stile and go down hill and through another stile into a wood. The path goes steeply down hill until a footbridge appears, cross this and then cross the second footbridge further on and keep on the now track and follow this right. The edge of the reservoir is now on the right but the track is in woodland that hides the bank. Keep straight on.
3. Cross the main road and bear slightly left to a stile on the other side. Go through this and follow the track along the side of the now open reservoir bank. After a while a hill arrives, it’s a little steep but it’s not for long. The track drops downhill towards the now visible dam at the end of Wayoh reservoir on the left. Take care as the track dissolves into a steep path that is rough underfoot. There is a steel fence to hold on to.
Join the dam and cross it on the wide track.
Note: The Wayoh and Entwistle reservoirs between them supply over 50% of drinking water to Bolton. Wayoh was built in 1876 and Entwistle in 1832.
4. Once over the dam, turn right through a stile and onto a track that follows the reservoir now on the left. Keep on the track until it bends right over a smaller dam.
5. At this point do not follow the main path over the small dam but take the permissive path that leads straight on towards the railway viaduct. Go under the viaduct and then climb a series of steps uphill passing a wooden gate on the right. Just after the wooden gate a footpath sign points right down some rough steps onto a small path. Follow this and enter a car park. Cross the car park and the dam of Entwistle reservoir is on the right. Go to the edge of the dam and a steel gate and stile appear on the left. Go through the stile and follow the track along the bank of Entwistle reservoir now on the right. Keep straight on to the end of the reservoir. Ignore the first footbridge that crosses the feeder stream to the opposite side of the reservoir and keep on up the track passing a series of weirs in the stream.
Note: The viaduct is called the Armsgrove Viaduct and was built before the reservoir. It crosses Bradshaw Brook and was completed in 1847.
6. A second footbridge appears, cross this and do not turn right to follow the stream but go straight ahead to a metal gate with a stile. Go through this and enter Fox Hill Plantation with magnificent trees on either side of then track. Follow the track uphill as it bears right to meet a T Junction with a track coming left to right and a wall on the side. Turn left and follow the track as it picks up the reservoir again, now behind a wall. Follow the track along the reservoir. The wall hides the view a little but take time to peep over it every so often as herons like to fish in its shadow.
Note: Instead of turning left at the T Junction, take a short diversion and go right. As the track reaches the reservoir bank and bears right, turn left along the bank and have a look at the Wader. This is a stainless steel artwork made by the Artist Marjan Wouda a world acclaimed artist born in the Netherlands but who now lives in Lancashire. It is really good.
7. Leave the reservoir at a stile and wooden gate at the left side of the dam and turn left up a tarmac road that climbs uphill. Eventually the road turns into a track that leads directly to the Strawbury Duck.
Note: When the dam of Entwistle reservoir was built it was, for a while, the highest dam in Britain at 108ft from base to cill.
Start and Finish: Entwistle Station, next to the Strawbury Duck
Entwistle has a few houses, a railway station and the famous Strawbury Duck Pub. It sits centrally between two fine reservoirs Wayoh and Turton and Entwistle. The latter is more informally called Entwistle Res with the name Turton dropped. A really nice walk combining makes for a lovely afternoon that can be enjoyed any time of year.
Terrain: Really easy walking with just a few hills that are really nothing to shout about. Walking shoes or trainers will be fine.
Distance: 5.2 Miles/ 8.3 Km
Map: OS Explorer 287 West Pennine Moors.
Facilities: There are no public toilets on route.
Parking: Parking is limited to the roadside unless using the Strawbury Duck, this has its own small car park which is strictly for patrons.
Watering Hole: The Strawbury Duck
Excellent food and excellent real ale, coupled with an atmosphere of its own.
Groups catch the train from Blackburn and Darwen to sample the atmosphere at this wonderful pub and meet with similar groups who set off from Bolton to do exactly the same. I don’t know why this tradition started but it is still happening. I am a member of Clayton le Moors Harriers and in the past the Blackburn and Darwen contingent would run over Darwen Moors with rucksacks with a change of clothes and the Accrington and Oswaldtwistle contingent would run over Oswaldtwistle Moors again with a change of clothes and meet in the pub. We would get changed in the station then after more than a few beers all get the train back to Blackburn.