Looking for something to do over Christmas? Here's a walk we're gifting to you. Starting at The Fox & Goose Inn, Wigley, where you can enjoy food and a drink, and a relatively easy five miles around Linacre reservoirs.
Please note this can be a muddy and slippery walk that also crosses a stream, so you'll need suitable footwear!
If you choose the Fox & Goose as your starting point, they are happy for you to leave your car, but only if you’re calling in for drinks or food.
Starting at the Fox & Goose
5.2 miles (2.25 hours)
From the bottom corner of the car park, walk down the hill from the Fox & Goose and turn left at High Lane, opposite the school.
Follow the tarmac road (ignore the turn for Moorhay Farm) pass between the houses, take the left-hand bridleway (1) that descends to the Linacre Valley (just under a mile), at all points stay on the downhill path, pass between two gateposts and when the path forks at a way marker post (2) go down the left-hand path until you reach a small stream.
Cross the stream (3), turn right, over a stile and the footbridge (4) into a field. Go slightly right, keeping the stream on your right, (do not take the more worn path uphill as this leads to the stream where there is no crossing point when it’s high) and cross another small stream on stepping stones (5).
Continue across this field until you reach another coppice, turn left and after a few metres reach a gate (6) in the dry-stone wall.
Through the gate, take the right-hand path that leads down through the woodland, there are quite a few roots, usually covered in leaves so take care. After a short while you’ll reach a footbridge (7) on the right-hand side, cross this bridge.
Follow this path along the side of the upper reservoir (the first of three you’ll walk around), along some boardwalk to another bridge (8) at the far side. Continue along the path now with the reservoir on your left, this path takes you to the first dam wall (do not cross the dam), continue along the path through woodland (9). You can’t really see the water any longer, but it will be back soon!
As you reach the next dam wall (10) on your left, take the path right (11) down a short decent and up the other side, follow this path with the lower reservoir on your left, to reach the final dam wall, through a fence stile, and at the dam, turn right up a short incline to a wall, and left at the top.
You will now drop through the woods, stay left at the fork of paths and down to a bridge (12) on the left-hand side.
Turn left and walk uphill past the toilet block (13). After a short distance head through the gate (14) on your left and head along the path to the dam wall. Follow the path along the side of the second reservoir, looking out for carvings in the trees.
At the next dam wall take the right fork up some steps (15), staying to the right of the reservoir – ignore the public footpath sign off to the right. Stay on the main path around the reservoir, twisting and turning, and rising and falling a little.
At a sharp corner take the lower bridge, climbing afterwards. Return to the footbridge where you started the circuit of the reservoirs.
Follow the path back through the woods, through the gate in the wall and retrace your steps back to the Fox & Goose.
As you walk back though the field there is an earlier footbridge (remember we came across the second bridge), you can take this and it returns you to the post at point 2. There is quite a steep climb once you’re over the footbridge.
Whichever way you go, by the time you get back to the Fox & Goose Inn you’ll have earned a drink and some food.
PS: If you fancy a longer walk, why not start from Storrs Road, it’s a little over 9 miles but between Christmas and New Year why not book a table, walk up, enjoy lunch, and walk back down. It should just about fill the daylight hours we reckon!
Check out our website for other local walks, use 'Local Walk' in the search bar.
Words & Images: Paul Chapman
Maps Courtesy: OS Open Maps