Challenging, Multi-stage

GM Ringway Stage 8 Broadbottom – Greenfield


11.7 miles long

Mottram Church from north of Woolley Bridge

Mottram Church from north of Woolley Bridge © Dr Andrew Read

View southeast towards Longdendale

A view southeast towards Longdendale © Dr Andrew Read

Approaching the "Wilderness": the GM Ringway's highest point

Approaching the "Wilderness": the GM Ringway's highest point © Dr Andrew Read

Footbridge over Chew Brook

Footbridge over Chew Brook © Dr Andrew Read

The Oldham Way above Chew Valley

The Oldham Way above Chew Valley © Dr Andrew Read

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

GM Ringway Stage 8 (Broadbottom – Greenfield) is an adventurous route that ventures high into the Dark Peak.  With its spectacular scenery, it has a feel of the Scottish Highlands in places.

Highlights include:
– Two lovely old lanes, with panoramic views across the Etherow and Longdendale valleys
– A ancient-seeming track that climbs into the Peak District National Park via an old stone bridge
– A brief trackless section through the appropriately named ‘Wilderness’ – the highest point of the entire GM Ringway trail
– Breathtaking views over Saddleworth’s Chew Valley
– A leisurely finish via Chew Piece Plantation, the only remaining area of older mixed woodland close to Dovestones Reservoir.

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 does include a considerable amount of ascent (535 m / 1755 ft) and descent and crosses high ground, including some rough, trackless terrain. For this reason, it should only be attempted by experienced walkers, with good map-reading and navigation skills, in conditions of good visibility. Parts of the route are likely to be muddy or boggy depending on the season. Because of the varied terrain, the overall walk is not wheelchair or pushchair-friendly. However, the paths around Dovestones Reservoir near the end of the route are step-free and accessible to more users; these are detailed in a separate walk here. We hope to identify and map more accessible sections of the GM Ringway when funding allows.

There are no public toilets or other facilities on the main part of the route, but there is a cafe and farm shop with toilets to the southeast of the start point at Lymefield garden centre. The pretty diversion route via the garden centre is shown on the Plotaroute map. There are also pubs at the start and end of the route in Broadbottom and Greenfield.

How to get there

All stages of the GM Ringway can be accessed by public transport. This stage links Broadbottom and Greenfield stations, each on a different line from Manchester. Although both locations are also served by buses, the route is best accessed by train.

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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