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Pennine Waterways
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Pennine Waterways
Ashton Canal
Hollinwood Branch Canal - what next? (2)
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Beyond the bridge is Tesco's Superstore and a gap by the side of it where the canal once ran. Trying to restore the canal looks impossible and so I decided I would turn back on my expedition. Then I remembered that same feeling in Stalybridge 28 years ago. This time I must continue!
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A short distance further is Greenside Lane Bridge, which still exists. Maybe things are not so bad after all!
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The canal cannot be followed until Cliffords Bridge (now Sunnyside Road). This was originally a swing bridge (and a footbridge). Beyond here the canal route can be more easily spotted. The route is infilled and is a grassy, public footpath.
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canal route beyond Sunnyside Road. Photo: Bob Gough
The canal route beyond Sunnyside Road.
Photo: Bob Gough.

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Footbridge over the railway. Photo: Bob Gough
Footbridge over the railway. Photo: Bob Gough.
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Shortly after crossing the railway, the footpath follows the line of the towpath through the Medlock Valley all the way to Daisy Nook Country Park.
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Quite a lot of this stretch of the canal is weeded up, and partly in water. Some of it shows the effects of mining subsidence (the towpath wall has been raised up).
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A little further, past some playing fields and a rather forlorn running track, the canal skirted Lumb Clough and crossed the railway on an aqueduct. Now there is only a modern footbridge. (left)
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The canal in the Medlock Valley. Photo: Bob Gough
The canal in water in the Medlock Valley. Photo: Bob Gough.
Motorway crossing and footbridge. Photo: Bob Gough
Motorway crossing and footbridge. Photo: Bob Gough.
When I last walked along the Branch, the M60 had not been built. Now this motorway slices across the canal, and only a footpath bridge was constructed. There is no canal, and getting the Branch restored here looks expensive!
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Once again I wanted to turn back. But just a short distance further is the 'fairy-tale' location at Daisy Nook: aqueducts, a junction, four locks (two as a staircase pair), all forming an amazing sight.
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