|OS Route Map →||GPX Route file →|
Date: 20 Apr 2020
Start: / Finish: Altrincham.
Maps: Explorer 277 Manchester & Salford + 276 Bolton, Wigan & Warrington.
|Day 1||Sinderland & Carrington Moss||9.8miles (16km)|
CV (CoronaVirus) lockdown walk from the door #3.
This circuit uses a section of the Bridgewater Way to reach the woodland park paths following Sinderland Brook westwards to the disused rail trackbed through the Carrington estate. Good tracks enable a diversion around part of Carrington Moss before returning on the trackbed to join the Transpennine Trail by lane to Seamon's Bridge.
Carrington Moss is a broad expanse of farmland reclaimed from peat bog that is nigh on flat as a pancake. A trig point right in the middle of it is begging to be bagged for its curiousity value alone and a lattice of good tracks enables a very pleasant walk to it.
The narrow path of the disused rail trackbed through the Carrington Estate is not maintained, not a right of way and is not endorsed by any signage, but is clearly quite well known to locals at its eastern end. West of Brookheys Farm, the trackbed is impassable but a walker path is established on the south side of the line.
The line was used by oil trains serving Carrington refinery whose extensive infrastructure can be seen from the trig point and nearby tracks.
The growth of the foliage in the splendid trees of John Leigh Park was gathering momentum and produced a colourful display in the sunshine, the latest developers being the giant beech trees whose leaves are still in bud.
On the Bridgewater Way (BW) canal we saw the first Mallard ducklings of the year guarded by their parents beneath the overhanging grasses of the quiet opposite bank.
We left the BW at the Sinderland Brook path (marked at this point as Baguley Brook on the 1:10000 map), a pleasant leafy walk that reaches a dead end at a footpath sign with no direct way through to the A56 - we had to follow Malpas Drive southwards and turn right to reach the main road. Walking back up the A56 we resumed the Sinderland Brook path on the west side into De Quincey Park and Woodheys Clough.
The path continues along the brook at the rear of the houses to skirt the north-eastern corner of Malljurs Covert, named Stamford Brook Community Woodland with clear paths on StreetView, but there is no access to it from this side. We turned westwards on the public footpath to Woodcote Farm and found a way down to the rail trackbed from Woodcote bridge.
This is a typical narrow trackbed path enclosed by small trees, saplings and scrubby undergrowth with a few pools left from the bog drainage. It was heartening to see many butterflies, including Orange Tips, Specked Woods, Peacocks, Tortoiseshells and, for the first time for a few years, a couple of Brimstones.
At Brookheys Farm we turned north on a good track below the pylons to find the Carrington Moss trig point benchmarked at 23m, just beyond a track intersection and slightly lower than the path, part-painted red and probably the only trig with a view of a nearby Flare Stack.
We returned to the intersection, turned west to the next junction and south to a bridge over the rail trackbed. At this point we surveyed around the bridge and the trackbed was impenetrable, however a little farther south from the bridge a good walking path is established outside the sunken line of the old railway. The furrows of a ploughed field made a quite artistic pattern in the dark peaty soil.
We followed the trackbed path back to Malljurs Covert, accessible from this side via a smart metal gate and a minor route variation for another walk, and left it on a side track to Sinderland Road. From here we followed the Transpennine Trail on the lane to Seamon's Bridge and back home.