The Chetham Arms Chapeltown 
The Chetham Arms has earned high approval ratings with the Lancashire Dotcom Walkers. Last month we enjoyed our third visit there on an outing organised by one of our number, Stuart. The Chetham Arms is a walkers’ pub for a number of reasons. Firstly it is located in the midst of the West Pennine Moors an area thick with footpaths and bridleways to explore offering walkers and walking groups inexhaustible route choices. Secondly it sells real ale kept in prime condition. Thirdly it has good spaces able to accommodate groups of different sizes. For the times we’ve been there a dining area has been reserved for us easily able to fit twenty or more of us. Fourthly it offers good pub food at reasonable prices. Finally the service has always been outstanding. Setting out from the pub we pre-order our meals and on return once everyone has their drink and are seated the food appears. Possibly because of experience over the years where people of a certain age have a habit of forgetting what they ordered two or three hours previously the staff note names when orders are taken. As the food is brought the waitress will call “Steak and Ale pies for Jim and Peter! Scampi and chips for Bob!” It seems a small matter but this personal touch makes a deep impression. 
Reinforcing its status as a walkers’ pub it has produced a booklet “Short Walks from the Chetham Arms” written by Carl Abbott and Ken Green at £2.00. This superb publication lists 5 walks from the pub exploring the locality and highlighting its historical and natural heritage. The route described below is not in the booklet but has some sections of two walks it features. I recommend readers should obtain a copy by visiting the pub and set out on one of the wonderful walks.
At this time of year Wayoh and Entwistle Reservoirs are very popular with families. The conifered end of Entwistle reminds people they are enjoying the Christmas season while the broad well maintained tracks make the area accessible for all walking abilities.

Fact file

Start. Chetham Arms

Distance 3.7miles 6k or 5miles 8k

Time: 2hours or three hours

Grade: Easy - an ideal family walk

Map: OS Explorer 287 The West Pennine Moors


Map by kind permission of Johnston Press 


1. From the pub turn left onto the High Street which soon becomes Green Arms Road. After 200 yards turn right onto Embankment which leads down to the south west edge of Wayoh Reservoir. From this point choices open up depending on time, weather conditions and the general mood of the walking group (if you're in one). You can go clockwise or anti-clockwise round the reservoir. The route that follows crosses the dam


end and then on the far side takes a footpath that climbs a rise leftwards to gain a superb viewpoint over the water.


Keep on this path as it returns you to water level and on a delightfully varied route brings you to Crow Trees Lane which cuts across the reservoir on a causeway leading up to Entwistle.


Here your way is ahead to follow the shore of the remnant arm as it leads into woods.

2. When you reach a footbridge on the left cross it


and soon after cross a second then bear slightly left taking a rocky track uphill through trees. After a kissing gate


cross pasture to Entwistle Hall Lane. Turn right. The lane leads across a railway bridge


bringing you close to the Strawbury Duck (another pub well known to walkers.) Just before it turn left on Overshores Road which leads down to Entwistle Reservoir.

3. At its south east corner you have another choice - go straight across the dam or turn right and follow the chores of perhaps the most attractive stretch of water south of Lakeland. How can you resist? It will add an hour to your walk.


If time is pressing or someone is moaning cross the embankment road to reach a car park on the far side.

4. Turn left into the car park and pick up a concessionary path on its far side.


This leads through woodland to the shores of Wayoh Reservoir passing below the impressive Armsgrove railway viaduct.


This was completed in 1838 - an early feat of engineering in the Railway Age. As you arrive at the waterside turn right to return to your starting point.