Mega-Grip Walk, Run, Mountain Bike Routes

'Doing the Diggle Dixie' Mountain Bike Route (or pleasant walk) Start at G.R.006/08

- just over 5 miles- but tough with plenty of gradient - really a quiet lane ride. Maps SE00/01 and SD 80/90

A scenic mountain bike route along moor edges leading out from Diggle, on the Pennine fringe near Oldham.
Good views down into Yorks , and Lancs and beyond - Derbyshire.
Car Parking - at the end of Sam Road - also further on the car park to the excellent Diggle Hotel .
Terrain - technical difficulty = 5 (on a 10-point scale)- very hilly but not a lot of mud
5% on road 60% on lanes 35% stony track It is all rideable and all legal!

Tek-Stretch Pants, for Walking, Running, Mountain Biking and Climbing

There is nothing better

Diggle Dixies were crossbred between dwarves and pixies (there is an awful lot of inbreeding in these villages).
The Dixies still inhabit the tunnels between Diggle and Marsden - if you believe that you will swallow anything!

Dixie1.gif (11608 bytes)

Photos and links to some of the better pubs coming soon

1. Loosen up by turning Right out of the car park and Right again over the bridge (resist the urge to go straight to the Pub).Turn right yet again dipping down past the little church at Kiln Green. Slip into a lower gear to ascend the lane for 500metres ( views to your left up the Diglea Valley and the rugged grit blocks on Ravenstones Edge ).
After a short down then a little up, bear right and spin down 400 metres over the railway to 'The Hanging Gate

2. Stop at the main road - straight across, to the left of the pub, and up the little pull , where the lane goes left towards the road. Across at a downward angle and fork right into Sandy Lane after 20 metres. Gradually uphill here, around the flanks of Harrop Edge, (ignore rough tracks on your right, unless you fancy a tough technical challenge - if you do risk it will be OK. as it will still get you onto the Edge), after half a mile, and before you drop down to Dobcross, a tarmac lane comes in at an acute angle on your right - take it and climb steadily up Long Lane almost a kilometre of steady climb - follow your nose - even when the tarmac runs out. The last 300 metres are stony track (about time -you may say!).
At the top, turn left, over the ruts caused by rainstorms, and level out onto Lark Hill - until the cross-roads.

3. Turn right, heading north now for 2 kms - along Harrop Edge. Fine views now down into the Castleshaw Valley and the village of Delph (of 'Brassed Off' film fame). The track is cobbly, straight and gradually uphill. After it levels out, a short, sharp descent to wake you up, ignore lanes to your left and right - keep right on until you hit the A62 at an angle. The cluster of cottages in front rejoice in the name Bleak Hey Nook - like something out of Dickens. The pub is shut The horse and Jockey was on of the great character pubs of the area, time had passed it by, the mould on the walls in the' Gents' was two foot deep and had claimed the life of several unwary, Pennine Way hikers.

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4. Skip right, onto the road then immediately left off it again, up behind the pub on Bleak Hey Nook Lane.
The lane goes straight up now (ignore the Bridle way on your right), on tarmac, a gradual climb, with the A62 running parallel, on the right below you. swinging round right, past isolated houses and a bungalow, on this lane that runs up and under Millstone Edge (The Pennine Way is on this edge). The route gets very stony and rutted now, do not bear right, keep on and up above Globe Farm - the excellent little bunkhouse and camp site beloved by Pennine Wayers and cycle tourists.
After 1 km it level out - at the point that you merge with the Pennine Way. Drift right and then down 100 metres to the A62 at the Standedge cutting - this section has a few nasty ruts - try to avoid amusing the folks sat in the car park. Turn right.

5. First go down to the big gate on the A62, after the small reservoir -- YOU HAVE A CHOICE AT THIS POINT --
Choice number ONE - a rough, technical (but legal) descent, through the gate, on the left, down to the old house in the bottom - 200 metres. Kick right, keep the wall on your right hand an the grassy bank on your left - boggy and tricky for 1 km until the finger post and gate. This is where you merge in again with Choice two.
Choice number TWO ( this is still steep, but in no way technical - as it is on tarmac all the way.
Ignore the gates and take the fork left, off the A62, just before 'The Floating Light' pub, as it drops away from the main road.
Dropping down with views of Diggle, and the Tame valley in front, on a clear day the hills above Leek can be picked out.
Take care now not to miss the turn left. It comes quickly after about half a kilometre - there are two little lanes within 20 metres of each other -you need the second left lane. Now comes a very steep hairy descent, watch for the spring water,
especially if there has been a frost. 300 metres and you can give your brakes a rest. A short, level stretch takes you to the bridle way post that marks you are rejoining choice One and Boat Lane. This lane was initiated by the barge workers last century, as they would lie on the boats and 'leg' the barges through the tunnel. This would mean that someone had to take the barge horses over the tops to Marsden - hence 'Boat Lane'.

6. The pleasant cottages have been renovated from the farm that previously housed a real character many years
ago . He had been a local 'rag-and-bone' man, who was well-liked by everyone, especially the kids of Mossley.
After a killing his wife in the Cinema car park one night ('it was a very bad film') he did a long prison spell then he lived as a recluse on these moors. Turn right, the next section is an exhilarating descent (about 1 km) to the tunnel entrance.
Turn right to Car Park or finish here at The Diggle Hotel - Pubs are definitely the best place to finish - and this is a belter!.

Gerry Royle

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