Walk #2: Circular up Botany
From the Community Centre go RIGHT down towards Besthill Bridge and turn LEFT immediately after the bridge – this is ‘Botany’. You’ll see the remains of Besthill Mill area on your left, and the race on the river to your left. Continue along until Bankwood Cottage (new development of Bankwood Mill in distance ahead and normally some black sheep in the field on the left) Then turn RIGHT and go ahead and up with the mill ‘leet’ to your left. Herons often seen here. The path is narrow but, when you meet other walkers, there is plenty of undergrowth at the side to retreat into. When this path joins a farm track, turn LEFT and you’ll see Botany Road train tunnel ahead. The path here is almost always wet and muddy, but with careful treading, you’ll find a way through. Go through the gate stile and then turn RIGHT through a metal ‘open’ stile on to the Trans-Pennine Trail. This is wide, with lovely views, and a bench to rest. Continue winding down towards Long Lane, and cross the bridge to bring you up the road to the Community Centre.
If you can fit in another 10 minutes on this short walk, then immediately after the bridge, cross the road, turn LEFT and continue down until you see the path into Lymefield wildlife area on your right. Plenty of interest here created by Tameside Countryside volunteers. Follow through by the maze outside Lymefield Arts and Crafts Centre, and then turn LEFT down to Lymefield Terrace and then RIGHT along through Broadmills. Keep to the path and turn RIGHT uphill to the centre of Broadbottom, and continue up to the Community Centre.
Walk #3: Circular over Warhurst Fold bridge
From the Community Centre, turn RIGHT and RIGHT again down St. Anne’s Street to the stile entrance to Broadmills on Bostock Road. Go down to the bottom of the slope, turn RIGHT along by the river and then LEFT over the bridge. Continue up the footpath to Woodseats Lane with the river below you on your left. Just past the farm where the tarmac road begins, you will see a farm road on the RIGHT through a small wooden gate. Go through the gate and continue with lovely views of Werneth Low ahead. There may be sheep in the fields. You will reach a pond on your left and the house on your right. Once through the wooden farm gate, turn LEFT, following the same farm track upwards. This returns you to Woodseats Lane (with lovely views of Broadbottom), coming out in the Lane alongside the caravan park. Turn LEFT to return to Broadbottom.
Continue down the steep Woodseats slope to the path back to Warhurst Fold bridge, but this time turn LEFT after the bridge up towards Well Row. Notice the lovely gardening on the LEFT as you go up. Continue up Well Row to the Community Centre.
Walk #4: Broadbottom beach and return
This is a slightly longer walk (about 50 minutes at a reasonable pace). From the Community Centre, turn RIGHT and RIGHT again down St. Ann’s Street, along New Street (RIGHT) then LEFT down Well Row and the path to Summerbottom, which is straight ahead. The path can be muddy. At the 18th Century Weavers’ cottages of Summerbottom, continue straight along Hodge Lane, which follows the river, seeing the preserved mill dye vats on your left. Continue until Hodge Cottages on your right, and turn LEFT down Leyland’s Lane, through the Leyland’s Farm stile. Continue for 700 metres and on your LEFT you will see a new stile for the short footpath to the green bridge by Broadbottom Beach. Lovely views here of a quiet wide stretch of the river.
Return the same way along Leyland’s Lane, but past Hodge cottages take the LEFT turn up Moss Lane (steep but good for you!). At the top of Moss Lane, you can turn RIGHT on to Broadbottom Road and back to the Community Centre.