Challenging, Multi-stage

GM Ringway Stage 10 Newhey – Littleborough

Rochdale

11.1 miles long

Noticeboard in the Piethorne Valley

Noticeboard in the Piethorne Valley © Dr Andrew Read

A clump of cuckoo-flowers (lady's smock) on Windy Hill

A clump of cuckoo-flowers (lady's smock) on Windy Hill © Dr Andrew Read

The view south along Blackstone Edge

The view south along Blackstone Edge © Dr Andrew Read

The Aiggin Stone, a medieval marker stone on the "Roman Road"

The Aiggin Stone, a medieval marker stone on the "Roman Road" © Dr Andrew Read

Hollingworth Lake

Hollingworth Lake © Dr Andrew Read

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Overview

This is one of the 20 stages of the GM Ringway – the new walking trail for Greater Manchester.

GM Ringway Stage 10 (Newhey – Littleborough) explores classic South Pennines scenery including another section of the Pennine Way.

Among the highlights are:
– Lovely views over the chain of reservoirs in the Piethorne Valley
– A grassy ridge walk along the well-named Windy Hills, offering aerial views of Britain’s highest motorway
– The dramatic rocks of Blackstone Edge, called the “Andes of England” by Daniel Defoe
– A descent of the “Roman Road”, actually a medieval packhorse trail
– A gentle finish via the tree-lined Ealees Valley and the shore of Hollingworth Lake, Greater Manchester’s largest body of water.

Careful attention to directions is needed in parts.

The route can followed, downloaded or printed using the Viewranger app or website (registration needed) or the mobile-friendly Plotaroute site. To use Plotaroute on your phone’s browser, simply click the map. Then, when you’re ready to start walking, click the tracker icon (bottom right) to show your position as you follow the route. We recommend carrying an additional power source and/or map when following online routes on your phone.

Accessibility and facilities

The route includes a considerable amount of ascent (535 m / 1755 ft) and descent and crosses high ground. Paths are generally good, though sections are likely to be muddy or boggy depending on the season. The walk, which is suitable for experienced walkers with navigation and map-reading skills, would be challenging in poor visibility. Because of the varied terrain, the overall walk is not wheelchair or pushchair-friendly. However, a step-free route is available around Hollingworth Lake near the end of this stage. We hope to identify and map more accessible sections of the GM Ringway when funding allows.

There are facilities at the start and towards the end of the route at Hollingworth Lake. Shops, cafes and pubs close to the route are shown on the Plotaroute map.

How to get there

All stages of the GM Ringway can be accessed by public transport. This stage links Newhey Metrolink station, served by trams from Rochdale, Oldham and Manchester, with Littleborough station, served by regular trains to Rochdale and Manchester.

To work out how to get to and from the walk start and end points, click the Google Maps links on this page. Then click ‘Directions’ and enter your postcode or location in the relevant field. Then, for public transport options, click the train icon. Alternatively, input the postcodes shown on this page into the Traveline journey planner.

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