White Coppice

 

Great Hill on the northern edge of the West Pennine Moors is not that great – at least when it comes to size – at 381m 1276ft – even by Lancashire standards it is a modest height. However because of its commanding position overlooking the Lancashire Plain it offers one of the best viewing platforms in the north. In this sense it is great. This circuit takes you over Great Hill and down to Roddlesworth Woods before returning by way of Withnell Moor. 

 

Start: White Coppice Cricket Ground. PR6 9DE 

Fact file

Distance: 7½ miles 12k

Time: 3 - 4 hours 

Grade: Moderate - the walk starts with a sustained climb to the summit of Great Hill.

Map: OS Explorer 287 West Pennine Moors

 

Map by kind permission of the Johnston Press
Directions:  

1. The walk begins at one of the most attractive village cricket grounds in the country.  The walk takes the track past the pavilion

 

and leads up to a gate.Through this and then in a short distance after a second gate

 

turn left on a broad track that swings upwards on a steep slope into the moors.

 

After ten minutes becomes a lot easier.

 

¾ of a mile after starting the climb join a track with a Ramblers Association signpost. Turn right in the direction of Belmont Road. This track takes you through the ruins of Drinkwaters Farm

 

before arriving at the base of the summit ridge. Take a footpath which breaks to the left of the main track and then after a stile follow a paved path to the stone shelter.

 

From this height much time will be spent identifying features on the landscape spread out like a table cloth below. Continuing the walk ignore the paved path but keep ahead on the ridge negotiating very boggy ground

 

and then follow the spur down a gully on a more defined path. On the far side of the stream cross a stile

 

and then aim for a farmhouse on the Belmont Road.

 

As you near it at a wall corner follow the wall on its right which will bring you opposite Piccadilly.

2. Cross the road (with care as it seems to encourage speedy drivers) turn right and then in 100yds turn left on a footpath in the direction of Hollinshead Hall.

 

At the junction of paths turn left onto the Witton Weavers Way. (The ruins of Hollinshead Hall are to the right.)

 

On the main track follow it as it bears left climbs a brow and to a junction

 

and then begins a gentle descent on a rocky track

 

to reach Halliwell Fold Bridge in the midst of the wood. Cross the bridge over the River Roddlesworth and then pick up a poorly defined footpath left off the main track leading right to Abbey Village. This leads back to Belmont Road. 

3. From the footpath signpost

 

cross to the farm drive obliquely right opposite. As you reach the main yard of the farm bear right on a track between farm buildings.

 

As you reach fields cross to a metal gate to the left of conifers.

 

Through this bear right to a field corner picking up a rutted track. Soon leaving this keep ahead to a wooden stile

 

and then after crossing this keep ahead to a second. The way begins to drop to a gully with a conifer plantation. After a ladder stile and a footbridge

 

and then crossing a second ladder stile on the far side keep ahead to a waymark post 200yds further on.

 

Here turn left. The next mile takes you across the northern edge of Withnell Moor in a westerly direction. After crossing another deep gully keep ahead to a wooden gate. Through this continue until you reach a wall

 

at a path junction. Turn right and with the wall on the left follow it to a large isolated building. Cross a stile on the right and then traverse a pasture bearing left to reach a lane.

 

Breathe a sigh of relief - the hard part is over. 

4. Turn right and follow the lane downhill.

 

After 300yds turn left through a wooden gate

 

leading into Wheelton Plantation. Keep on a broad track

 

which in 20 minutes brings you to a bridge across a water channel - the Goit. Cross this and turn left over the bridge to follow the Goit

 

back to White Coppice. As you near the village bear right on a path which after edging round a pasture leads onto the cricket ground.