Thursday, 23 March 2017

137-145 - Stockton, Liverpool and Manchester - 14th-16th March 2017

Green walk
Sometime in 2017 I was asked if I would attend an event in Blackpool, it was a weekend event and although I have already visited the highpoint of Blackpool I decided there and then that I would try and head up a few days early so that I could visit a few more highpoints while I am up in the north of England.
My basecamp for a few nights was to be the Travelodge near St Helens, just to the north east of Liverpool, it was the perfect spot as it was surrounded by many high points. My first destination was about 8 miles to the south west of Manchester, I left my hotel and headed down the M6 and then along the M56 to the town of Altrincham, where I easily found my first high point, this was in a road called Green walk and I was able to park my van right on the road that marked the highest point of Trafford. Green walk is the location of a few large houses and a rather old and lovely church of which I had a walk around. On the way to Green walk I had passed a sign for a national trust property so as a NT member I decided to call in and have a look around.

The Church at Green Walk
Dunham Massey Mill
The property was called Dunham Massey and I only visited the gardens, it is quite large with a deer park and some beautiful areas to walk around. I stayed here for an hour or so and then headed off to destination number 2. This next highpoint was situated south east of Manchester and after a drive along some motorways, through a few towns and villages then finally along a series of country roads I arrived at a parking place near the village of Mellor. It was a short walk from my van past a farm and along a few more country tracks then eventually I was walking along some steep paths uphill to to the highest point of Stockport, Mellor Moor. From the trig point on top of Mellor Moor I had amazing views all around, to the east was Kinder Scout, then to the north was Manchester and Stockport, it had turned out to be a beautiful sunny day so it was lovely to stop here and take it all in. A short walk back to the van and it was then a drive back to the hotel for some dinner and a relax.
Mellor Moor

Mellor Moor
Mellor Moor
















The next day started out with a Little Chef breakfast and then I was on my way just a short 15 min drive to my first destination of the day. Just to the west of the small town of Billinge lies 2 high points, I parked my van in a small parking spot and headed off to find the first of 2. Billinge hill is home to several transmitter masts and right on top sits a stone tower, the views from this point were amazing, it was not particularly sunny at this point however I could see right across Liverpool and across the Mersey all the way to Snowdonia, I was quite impressed with the views from here, apparently it is a well known spot to watch fireworks from on November 5th. The Summit of Billinge hill is the highest point of St Helens.

Billinge Hill
Looking towards Billinge hill 2











Back to the parking spot and before leaving I had to cross the road and walk down a small driveway to visit the second highpoint in the area, this one also part of Billinge hill is the highest point of Wigan. Highpoint number 3 was about a 30 min drive westwards, Finding my way to the M58 I joined it for a while before turning off to find Melling mount, the highest point of Sefton. This one was not as attractive as the last 2, the home of a garage and a run down pub but still it was good to tick it off.

Melling Mount
Knowsley Safari Park
My next highpoint was a bit of a problem, about a 15 min drive to the south of Melling mount is Knowsley Park, the highest point of Knowsley, the problem is that it sits deep within a private estate. I have done a bit of research and it seems the land owners are very reluctant to let people come into the park to find the high point. the nearest you can get is to visit Knowsley safari park and drive around the Lion enclosure but that is an extra £15, I wasnt going to spend half the day looking at animals on my own so I decided to park nearby and take a short walk to get as near as I could. The entrance of the Safari Park would have to do and I have always said that if I can't get to the high point then I would get as near as I could.
Woolton Hill
John Lennon's house
I have never been to Liverpool so on the way to my next destination I decided to take a short detour through the city and along the Mersey, a quick top off to see the famous river and then I was just a stones throw from Woolton hill, the highest point of Liverpool. Woolton hill was quite nice, although it was just a road there was a rather cool water tower here. Another interesting thing about Woolton hill is the fact that just around the corner is a property called Strawberry fields, sound familiar? it should do because just along the road a short distance was John Lennon's childhood home. I stopped off here for a quick look and then it was time to make my way to my last 2 highpoints of the day to the north of Manchester.

Heaton Park

Heaton Park is a large park to the north of Manchester and is home to Heaton hall, a golf course, boating lake, farm and of course the highest point of Manchester. I found Heaton park a rather lovely place, I had a good walk exploring the stately home and many of the gardens. It was sunny so I enjoyed my first ice cream of the year plus I found the highest point called the Temple, mainly because of the temple situated right on the top. Apparently this circular structure was once used as an observatory and still had a working fireplace inside. I was treated to some more views here, mainly looking east and south over Manchester and again over to Kinder Scout and the surrounding hills, nearby within the park was the golf course which was once the deer park. I spent quite a long time at Heaton park wandering around but after a while it was time to head off and find my last high point.

Heaton Hall

Newcome Drive
Heading back west toward my hotel I took a small detour to find the high point, this one could be found in the small town of Little Hulton, around 5 miles south of Bolton, Newcome drive is the highest point of Salford and being it was just a housing estate is was not too exciting but again it was good to tick it off my list. It was at this point in my 2 days of visiting hills that the heavens finally opened and it rained, I was just lucky to get back into my car and avoid getting wet so that was great. I headed back to my hotel after completing 9 high points over the last 2 days.

When I got back to the hotel and I looked into the hills I had visited I realised I had passed a milestone, Mellor Moor was my 139th high point, as I have 239 in total it means I now have less than 100 to go, in fact I am now down to just 93 hills to visit to complete my list, does that mean the end is in sight?

Here are the details of the hills I have visited during this trip

Name Highest point of  Height in metres
Green Walk  Trafford   67
Mellor Moor Stockport   327
Billinge Hill St Helens   179
Billinge Hill  Wigan   169
Melling Mount Sefton   36
Knowsley Park Knowsley   100
Woolton Hill Liverpool   89
Heaton Park Manchester   108
Newcombe Drive  Salford   116


2 comments:

  1. I always thought the highest point in Manchester was the Gardener's Arms pub at the top of Moston lane.

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    1. Thanks for bringing this to.my attention. According to the official Ordnance survey list Heaton park is the highest at 108 m however I've looked at the Gardner's Arms on the map and it appears to be the same height so maybe i will do that on my next visit just in case :)

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