Walk completed August 28, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Day 42 – Glossop to Bleak Hey Nook – 12½ miles

Lonely signpost
Today was quite a varied day. I started out in Glossop, which is a suburb of greater Manchester. A long walk through town along a highly-trafficked road (but with a sidewalk) eventually took me into a residential area. Finally reaching the end of the development, I passed a farm. From there, the trail led through a series of pastures, through a nature reserve, and eventually into heather covered moors. It doesn’t matter how close you are to an urban area (Manchester was in sight to the west), moors always seem like desolate, lonely places. In fact, if I had fallen and broken my leg, a dog walker would have come along within a few hours, but as there was nobody there at the time, the moor looked bleak and wild.

Coming down off the moor, I again landed in suburbia, and I followed a moderately trafficked road past the high school and down to the River Tame, next to which was the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, which I followed all the way to its end. Actually, the canal doesn’t end, it merely goes through a five-mile tunnel – that people operating the narrowboats go through in total darkness (except for whatever lights they have on their boat) for two to three hours. The tunnel isn’t wide enough for boats to pass each other, so boats go one direction in the morning, and the other in the afternoon. When I passed by the Diggle portal in the afternoon, the gates were closed to traffic headed north. 

Artistic gate
Before the boats had engines, they could not be towed by mules through the tunnel because there is no towpath inside. The boatmen had to lie on their backs on the top of the boat and walk upside down on the tunnel’s roof to propel the boat forward. A depiction of how that was done is on the gate.

Since there is no towpath in the tunnel, I was relegated to a narrow country lane to reach today’s destination – Bleak Hey Noll. I don’t know how the name was derived, because the view from my room is the usual picturesque quilt.

Roger and Brenda
I saw nobody in the pastures or the moors, and in town everybody averts their eyes or focuses on the walkway in front of them. I guess that’s to be expected, because Manchester is a big city. On the towpath, I met two cyclists, Roger and Brenda. They were stopped when I first joined the towpath, so naturally, I stopped to chat. They then passed me. Sometime later, they passed me again, having stopped for a coffee. After they reached the end of the towpath they rode over to the Diggle Hotel (I suppose for another coffee), and I met them again just as I stepped off the towpath. How can you not make immediate friends with folks you bump into time and time again? I figure that they earned a picture on my blog for their perseverance.

© 2011 Ken Klug


  1. "The usual picturesque quilt" - getting a little blasé, Ken?

  2. 42 days and still taking the most beautiful pictures....thanks Ken. Hope you have more beautiful scenery ahead of you. Enjoy your walk, still cheering for you Sir Lost-a-lot!

  3. Great going, and no signs of wilting, just quilting. I reckon you'll be halfway there in about 5 days. Sound right?