Saddleworth Walk: Pots’n’Pans and Alderman

A Sunday afternoon walk

Sometimes I think we don’t live in the most convenient place, but I can’t see how we could ever drag ourselves away from our beloved Saddleworth hills.

The walk up to Pots’n’Pans from Greenfield is very popular up as far as the war memorial…but go beyond that and the chance of meeting other walkers is more and more unlikely. To this end we set off for a Sunday afternoon walk…starting from Knowle Top, just above our house. It was decided that we should take the most direct (steepest) route up. Bad idea! I think next time I would rather walk further and have to stop for breath fewer times! The only consolation was that a couple of young lads about 12 years old were also climbing to the top and collapsed in a heap in the same place that we did, though, admittedly, not for as long (must be getting old).

You know that you have almost reached the top when you find yourself among big rocks. There is an old quarry working to the right.

quarry
Old quarry workings

Reaching the top, there are a few walkers at and around the obelisk, Saddleworth’s war memorial, but the path beyond is clear.

IMGP7961-Edit
Saddleworth War Memorial, summit of Pot’n’Pans. The war memorial can be seen for many miles around. It was built there because it is the only place that it can be seen from all seven Saddleworth villages whose men are remembered there. Each year on rememberance Sunday, there is a pilgrimage to the top of the hill for the memorial service.

Here there is a choice to walk north-west past the kinder stones and over the hill to drop down towards Diggle…or alternatively to strike out south east to the top of the next hill, Alderman. Once above the quarry, it is possible to see across the tops of the hills towards Alderman, our goal for the afternoon. Now, the hardest part of the  walk is over.

IMGP5086-Edit
Looking across to the top of Alderman, top left. Across the valley, top right is the summit of Alphin and in the far distance, Saddleworth Moor.

The top of Alderman is above us in the distance, but it is a gentle climb over easy ground and will reward us with spectacular views. But before we go up, we have to go down again.

IMGP7900-Edit

IMGP7918-Edit
Dropping down to take the path to Alderman.

Arriving at the top of Alderman, we are treated to a lovely clear view of the Greenfield valley and its reservoirs and Saddleworth Moor.

IMGP7945
Saddleworth Moor in the background, Yeoman Hey and Greenfield Reservoirs.

IMGP7943

Retracing our steps, I stop to take one more picture of the Druid Stone near the Obelisk, before taking the easy route down.

IMGP7967-Edit-Edit
The Druid Stone.
© Christine Widdall