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Worsley Old Hall Old Rail Trail

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Worsley Old Hall Old Rail Trail
Author: pubwalker, Published: 24 May 2014 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Worsley Old Hall Old Rail Trailstar1 Worsley Old Hall Old Rail Trailstar1 Worsley Old Hall Old Rail Trailstar1 Worsley Old Hall Old Rail Trailstar1 Worsley Old Hall Old Rail Trail
Greater Manchester, Salford
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Worsley Old Hall Old Rail Trail
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot Worsley Old Hall Old Rail Trail
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0002_sunny_intervals Worsley Old Hall Old Rail TrailToday's weather
13 °C, Partly cloudy, Wind: 8 mph S
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A 4 mile circular pub walk from Worsley Old Hall in Worsley, Greater Manchester. Worsley Old Hall is a beautiful country house pub with important historical connections, the perfect place from which to discover the local area. The walking route takes in the immediate area of Worsley including the golf course, the old rail line and Worsley Woods nature reserve, with plenty of opportunity to enjoy the flora and fauna.

The walk is almost entirely flat, with just a couple of short slopes. The paths are a mixture of tarmac and stone/dirt the latter of which stay generally firm but can have a little bit of surface mud after rain. There are no stiles or gates on route, just some steps, staggered barriers and a couple of squeeze gaps. The walk crosses a golf course so please show respect for the golfers by allowing them to play their shots before you cross and take care to avoid any stray golf balls. Approximate time 1.5 to 2 hours.

Worsley is a small town in the metropolitan borough of the City of Salford within Greater Manchester, just west of Junction 13 of the M60. The walk starts and finishes from Worsley Old Hall, a pub which sits within the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel and Country Club complex. The complex is accessed from the A575 Walkden Road. Approximate post code M28 2QT.

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Walk Sections

Start to Hole Six
Start to Hole Six

Start point: 53.5055 lat, -2.3907 long
End point: 53.5075 lat, -2.4041 long

Standing in the Worsley Old Hall pub car park, with your back to the entrance drive, walk ahead passing the pub to the left with some hotel buildings visible through the trees to the right. You will come to a metal vehicle gate ahead. Squeeze through the gap alongside this and keep ahead for just a few paces to reach a T-junction with a tarmac path, with the golf course ahead. Turn right along this tarmac public footpath.

As you reach a junction within the path, continue on the main tarmac drive which swings left and heads steadily downhill. At the car park turn left and follow the tarmac lane which passes the greenkeeper’s compound and then dwindles to a stone track. The track leads you through the centre of the golf course. Please show respect for the golfers by keeping noise to a minimum and keep your eyes peeled for any flying stray golf balls.

The track leads you between the two tees for Hole Two, through a narrow belt of trees and then straight across a fairway (Note: allow golfers to play before you cross and take particular care of any stray balls here). At the far side, do NOT follow the tarmac path which swings left, instead keep straight ahead on the narrow stone path into trees. Follow the path winding along for some distance, with the main A580 road audible (and sometimes visible) to the right. The path emerges from the trees to reach a junction of paths alongside the tee for Hole Six.

Hole Six to Cycle Path
Hole Six to Cycle Path

Start point: 53.5075 lat, -2.4041 long
End point: 53.5122 lat, -2.4126 long

Turn right along the main tarmac path and, after just a few yards, fork right on to the narrow stone path which follows the hedge line on the right. Follow this path out to reach the pavement alongside the main A580. Turn left along the pavement heading for the traffic lights at the crossroads. As you reach the first line of traffic lights, turn right to cross the main road. (Note: this is a designated crossing point, but there are no pedestrian controls so make sure you watch the flow of traffic carefully to allow you to cross safely). Once you are across the A580, turn left to cross the smaller side road, Newearth Road. Now keep ahead, skirting past the red brick wall, down the small residential cul-de-sac, passing a pub on the right.

Follow the road to the mini-roundabout at the end, where you’ll see St Mary’s Church of Ellenbrook on the left. Keep right here and follow the pavement to the next roundabout. Cross left over Ellenbrook Road with care (at the designated crossing point) and then keep ahead along the Newearth Road pavement to reach the pedestrian crossing.

Cross over here to continue along the right-hand pavement. Just a few paces later you’ll see a combined footpath and cycle path (National Cycle Route 55) signed to the right. Turn right through the wooden staggered barrier to join the cycle path.

Cycle Path to Tunnel
Cycle Path to Tunnel

Start point: 53.5122 lat, -2.4126 long
End point: 53.5119 lat, -2.3929 long

The pretty path leads you up a short slope and then levels off for its straight journey between trees. The path is, in fact, an old rail line that has been converted to a recreational path. The point at which you joined the path was Ellenbrook Station and you are heading in the direction of the old Worsley Station. Follow this path for some distance.

To understand the role of the old railway in the area it is worth understanding some of Worsley’s broader history. Now part of the City of Salford, Worsley was previously part of the extensive Manor of Worsley. The centre of the estate was Worsley Park, where the pub is located, and the most famous of the Lords of the Manor was the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, also known as the Canal Duke. The Canal Duke owned many coal mines in the area and had the foresight to commission a canal to improve the local transport system. The Bridgewater Canal, said to be the first true canal in Britain, was opened from Worsley to Manchester in 1761. In fact the canal strategy was discussed at several meetings held within Worsley Old Hall.

This railway, the Tyldesley Loopline, was opened in 1864 to provide a link between Eccles (on the Manchester-Liverpool line) and Wigan (on the West Coast line). A key function of the line was to support the surrounding collieries in conjunction with the Bridgewater Canal. Stations were created at Worsley and Ellenbrook amongst other places. Worsley Station was particularly elaborate to reflect the importance of the village due to its links with the Bridgewater Estate. The station had two first class and two second class waiting rooms and a booking office. The line was closed in 1969 and today provides a valuable wildlife corridor which is alive with bird song in the spring and summer months.

Stay ahead on the main path (Cycle Route 55), ignoring any routes off left or right. The main path is generally the one which stays alongside the right-hand fence line. Some way along, you will be forced to dog-leg left and then right (still on Cycle Route 55) and you will pass under Broadway Bridge. Take a moment to glance up to see the beautiful arched bricks on the underside. Having passed the cast iron pipe bridge which carries pipes over the stream to the left, you’ll come to a red-brick wall ahead (with a road junction beyond). Follow the path with the wall to the right and go down the slope to reach the entrance to the old rail tunnel on the right.

Tunnel to Beesley Green
Tunnel to Beesley Green

Start point: 53.5119 lat, -2.3929 long
End point: 53.5109 lat, -2.3821 long

Turn right and follow the path through the old railway tunnel. The tunnel does have some lighting, but take care with children and dogs as the surface can be slippery and/or littered. At the far side continue on the woodland path, still signed as Cycle Route 55.

A little way along you’ll come to a crossroads in the path. Simply keep straight ahead across the small stream with a pretty weir across to the left. Continue just until the next crossroads of paths, with steps up the banks each side. Turn right here, up the steep flight of steps, go through the staggered barrier and keep ahead on the path which passes between properties.

You will emerge out to a residential road. On the building opposite you’ll notice a blue plaque, part of the Worsley History Trail. This was once the home of Richard Clark, an important member of the Methodist faith. Turn left along the pavement and after just a few yards you’ll reach the T-junction with Greenleach Lane. Turn left along the pavement and, as soon as it is safe to do so, swap to the right-hand pavement. Turn right into Beesley Green.

Beesley Green to End
Beesley Green to End

Start point: 53.5109 lat, -2.3821 long
End point: 53.5055 lat, -2.3903 long

Keep right at the fork, heading for the old cottage with timbered gables and tall chimneys. Before you reach this cottage, fork right again onto the stone path into Worlsey Woods. As you reach the tree line, on the right you’ll see a beautiful carved wooden sculpture of a butterbur (a riverside plant that was once used by Native Americans as a remedy for headaches but that is actually toxic for the liver).

Follow the path down the slope, go through the staggered barrier and you’ll reach a junction. Turn left, signed for Old Warke Dam. This local nature reserve covers about 28 hectares. Along the woodland trail you’ll pass several more carved sculptures of woodland plants. Down to the right you’ll be able to see a pretty stream, Kempnough Brook. As you reach a fork in the path, bear right crossing the bridge over the brook.

This path will lead you towards the M60 motorway, and the traffic noise will be growing steadily louder. Ignore the path down the steps to the left, instead swing right (passing the primrose sculpture) onto the fenced footpath with the M60 to the left. Keep left at the first fork and the path will steadily swing right away from the motorway. The path leads you past St Mark’s School on the left and you’ll emerge out to a residential road.

Keep straight ahead along this until you reach the T-junction with the main A575. Turn right and you’ll see the entrance drive for Worsley Old Hall on the opposite side of the road. For your own safety, continue further along the pavement and cross over using the designated crossing point, then return back to the entrance drive. Follow the drive (taking care of any traffic) back to Worsley Old Hall for some well-earned hospitality.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2014 by the author pubwalker and may not be reproduced without permission.


3 responses to "Worsley Old Hall Old Rail Trail"

Enjoyable easy walk, very pleasant pub, lovely day out, well done.

By Yggdrasil315 on 2015-04-08 18:04:37

Really enjoyed the walk

By stacey86193 on 2015-05-25 13:11:35

Great walk, enjoyed a stop off at the Woodside on the way round.

By kkcdad on 2016-08-14 17:31:54

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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