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Walk: Around Jumbles Reservoir
JUMBLES reservoir was opened in 1971 and swamped a large complex of old mills at Horton as well as a number of bleach works which once affected Bradshaw Brook.
It now provides 10 million gallons of water for Bolton but is not used for drinking. This enables angling, boating and other water based activities to be enjoyed.
From the information centre which is worth a long look not forgetting the splendid little cafe.
Follow the obvious track which twists and turns its way between trees which look at their best at this time of the year with the lovely autumn colours. Look among the undergrowth to find the remains of old houses which were lived in by the mill workers before the reservoir was built.
At the approach to a substantial footbridge look up to the right to find a little cul-de-sac leading to a bird hide. Cross the bridge and follow the winding undulating track.
Cross a second substantial footbridge over Bradshaw Brook and look out for a sign indicating that Turton Tower is just over half a mile away and if you have time this is well worth a diversion.
This is a half timbered Tudor house constructed around a 15th century Pele Tower built as a defence against the Scots when the two nations were seperate countries and usually at war.
Turton was bought and restored by the Kay family in the 1840s.
The sons were great sportsmen and had one of the best football teams in England and employed professionals to play for them.
They also held tennis tournaments to rival Wimbledon and all these are commemorated in the tower which is now a museum.
My route ignores Turton but bears left and follows a track by the side of the reservoir.
Cross a small footbridge over a tiny fast moving stream. The word Jumbles derives from Dumbles which means a fast running stream through a woodland. Pass a sailing club on the left.
Next pass an area called the Grange with its impressive complex of riding stables.
At yet another footbridge cross over Bradshaw Brook. The path first descends and then climbs steeply through a wooded area.
On my walk the rain at this point had started to fall heavily (what’s new in 2012?) and I passed a very wet looking heron which seemed to ignore both me and my equally wet black labrador who accelerated when in sight of the car park!