It’s no secret that I love maps. Recently, I have been finding places to visit by simply browsing OS Maps online. One place I discovered this way was Turton and Entwistle Reservoir, so when I begrudgingly had to postpone a planned solo walk in the Lake District due to a forecast of high winds, I knew exactly where we would go as a family instead.
We aimed for the Batridge Road Car Park, using the postcode of BL7 0NF for the sat nav. However, when Brian Blessed declared we had reached our destination, there was no car park in sight. Google maps saved the day and we were soon parked up and ready to go. At least we would have been if we had remembered the dog leads! Luckily, Rick is very resourceful and managed to fashion something from bungee cords and their seat belt harnesses, so all was not lost.
Turton and Entwistle Reservoir was created by the construction of the 108 foot tall Entwistle Dam in 1832. Our plan was to walk round, with a small detour halfway round to stroll up Yarnsdale and have a look and Fairy Battery. We set off along the left hand side of the lake, the ducks coming out to meet us, hopeful for some bread. We had only travelled half an hour from our home, but we really felt out in the countryside.
Along the way were little paths into the woods to explore which added more excitement to the walk. Following one of these, we found a little bridge with a beautiful alternative view of the lake. Another trail ran slightly higher than the main path, giving Rowan a chance to lead his Daddy and the furry pair in a race against Mummy.
The path was level and well-made, making it really accessible, giving everyone a chance to appreciate the sunlight catching the trees, some just starting to show their autumn colours.
After about 45 minutes, we’d reached Cadshaw Brook which feeds the reservoir and passing by two foot bridges, we continued on a path alongside the stream, on our quest to find Fairy Battery, but not before checking the pebbles in the water.
Our walk now became tree lined, mostly pine trees, but some broad leaf too and we also spotted mushrooms, these looking likes shell growing out of the tree trunk.
Soon we came to a break in the trees where we spotted the rock face known as Fairy Battery. Now popular with climbers, it was once a meeting place for non-conformist worshippers in the 17th Century.
Continuing on, we were confronted with the imposing rock face of a red quarry wall. The tumbled boulders, moss and trees were just asking to be explored and we spent a while just looking around, despite wall towering above us giving me a slightly claustrophobic feeling.
Eventually, stomachs over ruled, so we found a spot amongst the trees to enjoy our picnic, before heading back the way we came to find the footbridge we had encountered earlier. We crossed over and passed through a gate into the tall pine trees.
We had races along the path, with Rowan using his latest distraction techniques to win (look over there Mummy), until Daddy found a T-Rex footprint so we followed his trail, spotting where his route had knocked some trees over. Eventually, Rowan concluded the T-Rex had gone, so we followed the path out of the trees and back alongside the reservoir.
The path led round the opposite side of the lake and back to the car, but along the way we spotted a wire heron in the water, the Owl’s (of Gruffalo fame) treetop house, more sea shell mushrooms, and the branches of a lime tree arching over the path to seemingly enjoy a drink from the reservoir.
We had a lovely afternoon, walked about three miles and were out in the sunshine for about three hours. If you like the look of this walk, you can find the details here.