The Salford Trail
The Salford Trail, Walk Only For Copying
The Salford Trail
On to the Trail, Salford Quays to Clifton
From the Salford Quays Metrolink tram stop begin, by walking towards the exit from Salford Quays behind the Copthorne Hotel and over the car-park in front of the former cinema and walk towards the canal side and the former Trafford Road swing bridge. The bridge is now fixed and no longer swings as it once did, to allow ships to pass through.
Walk under the bridge and along the canal at the rear of the office blocks and then the former Colgate Palmolive soap factory, which is now closed.
Carry on along the canal to reach a footbridge, known as Mark Addy’s bridge, which marks the end of the river and the beginning of the canal.
Further along the river is a series of bridges, both rail and road, just after which, is the end of the canal that runs through Salford from Bolton and Bury before entering the river Irwell The canal has been closed for many years, but after much campaigning and final agreement from British Waterways it is soon to reopen.
Walk on and under the next bridge, which is under Irwell Street. This is the last bridge along this section of the river. Just under the bridge where the new buildings are and the steps lead up to street level and Stanley Street next to the Mark Addy pub/restaurant. From this point the riverside walk runs out and one has to travel across the oldest part of Salford. Turn left and
walk on towards Chapel Street then turn right and walk under the railway arches. A little further on lies Sacred Trinity Church. Walk to the left of the church and proceed on under the arches along Gravel Lane, carry on along Gravel Lane to the junction of the road and Greengate. Walk across Greengate to New Bridge Street and just before the bridge there is access back to the river Irwell via a sloping ramp to the left.
The walk is now along the banks of the river for some distance, staying on the left hand side until Broughton Bridge is reached and the path slopes upwards to the road.
Cross over the road at Broughton Bridge and carry on along the riverside walk on the opposite side on the left hand side of the river.
The path eventually comes to the Adelphi Footbridge. Cross the bridge and turn immediately left down the path at the rear of the houses, which leads to the large playing fields surrounded by the bend of the river.
A hard based path skirts round the whole of the field following the bend of the river, walk the complete circle to finish back at the point of entrance. The total distance of this section is half-a-mile.
After leaving the fields, walk straight along Meadow Road for about 220 yards, where Hough Lane Footbridge crosses the river again into Peel Park. Looking down into the water, it will be seen that the river is flowing in a different direction from the previous bridge. This is because the walk has cut across the giant bend in the river.
Turn right in the park and head outwards, now against the flow of the river. At the end of the park and playing fields, cross the road and turn right over the large bridge crossing the river at Frederick Road. Immediately after crossing the bridge turn left into a riverside pathway, where about 160 yards along there is a footbridge, crossing to the opposite side of the river.
After crossing the bridge turn right and follow the river to the next road where the Casino is on the left. Cross the road and pass through the large double iron gates. This may involve passing through the central gap of the gates, which are chained in the middle to avoid full opening. This is perfectly legal as it is a right of way. The measure is just to deter unauthorised vehicular access. You are now inside what was the former Castle Irwell Racecourse.
The path now takes a complete tour of the extremities of the former Castle Irwell racecourse following the whole of the bend of the river. The path can be followed all the way round or a short cut can be taken by cutting across the fields in a diagonal line to save about a mile of walking. The aiming point is the same, i.e. the humped back footbridge that crosses the river facing the blocks of flats on the opposite side.
On the opposite side of the river the walk now takes a loop of two miles, returning back to the same spot. There is the opportunity to cut out those two miles. If not wishing to do so, turn right and walk along side the river in the opposite direction, but this time not along the very edge. The paths are well marked and there are board walks in some places, as there are some wet areas, which are home to many varieties of plants such as Bulrush and Iris etc. at the end of a long board walk there are wood and soil steps, which rise back up to street level. At the top a magnificent view can be had, looking back over the former racecourse and beyond.
Turn left and walk out onto Bury New Road turning left again. Follow the road for 270 yards and then turn left down Blackfield Lane bearing right at the end to emerge at Moor lane in front of St Paul’s Church. Walk to the left hand side of the church and on to Kersal Moor, bearing left across the moor where there are many paths to follow.
At the end of the Kersal Moor paths the road in front is Oaklands Road. Walk down Oaklands Road for about 200 yards and take the rising path on the left next to the nursery school, the path goes round the back of the school and then descends back towards the river Irwell at the point were the hump back bridge was crossed. Turn right and follow the Irwell Valley Way signs onto Littleton Road. Turn right at Littleton Road and about 180 yards along, on the left is a footpath at the side of the playing fields. Take the path to the end where it crosses over the river via a large iron footbridge - Jubilee Bridge - and turn right. Follow the river along past the cemetery to Agecroft Road, cross over the road and immediately drop back down onto the path on the left hand side of the river.
Continue now along the riverside Passing the Forest Bank Prison on the left, the walk is now alongside the river Irwell for about two miles before reaching the Clifton Country Park. The dry bed of the former canal running through Salford to Bolton and Bury can be seen on your left. with some short stretches of it that contain water. After a mile or so the sound of the M62 Motorway will become evident and just before it you will see the Clifton Viaduct over the river Irwell. Just below it is the Clifton Aqueduct, which used to carry the canal over the river. At this point it is a straight walk under the motorway bridge into Clifton Country Park. However the path from here on can be quite muddy for the next couple of hundred yards.
There is an opportunity to take a short diversion just before the aqueduct and viaduct.
On the left a footpath sign shows a path away from the riverside with factories running on either side. Follow the path to its end and rise onto the road outside the factories, turn right and head towards the (now closed) Pilkington Tiles factory with the railway on your left hand side.
********** At present this path is now blocked off due to closure of the factory and there is a diversion in place.
Immediately in front of the factory gate turn left under the railway arch then right, to walk alongside the railway. Turn right at the next arch and go back under as if walking back into the factory yard. This is blocked, but at the fence turn left and take the path into Clifton Country Park. This is the immediate option, but there are other paths that can be taken. Alternatively carry on along the riverside instead of taking the diversion. **************
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Enter the factory and walk straight ahead. This is a public right-of-way, but care should be taken, as fork lift trucks and lorries run through the yard. The pathway leads directly into Clifton Country Park or if you please, near the end of the factory yard another footpath sign points to the right, which leads back to the riverside.
For those wishing to complete a short section of the walk via public transport, this could be an ideal start or finish to the section. Bus Numbers 71 and 73 run between Clifton Junction and Manchester via Pendleton, Salford Shopping City, Ordsall, Castlefield and Shudehill. The Number 71 is an early morning workers service and the 73 running throughout the day as a shopping service. The bus runs directly to the entrance of Pilkington Tile Company and takes one hour between Shudehill and Clifton.
The number 72 is an hourly service between Salford Shopping City, Pendleton and Clifton, Monday to Saturday between 0800 to 1600 from Clifton and 0835 to 1635 from Pendleton. The bus service links up with railway stations along the route.
Back to the walk, Part Two, Clifton to Worsley
There are a number of paths that leave the Country Park to the left, all of them either crossing over or under the nearby railway. The only advantage of choosing the right path is a shorter walk along the A666 to the turn off to the next footpath. The first is at the side of a small pond as you enter the park from under the motorway. Turn left and climb the path, crossing over the railway and eventually emerging behind St Anne’s Church, on the A666. Cross over the road bearing right and turn down Moss Colliery Road at the side of Clifton Court.
At the end of Moss Colliery Road follow the path past a row of cottages on the right and some smallholdings and Clifton Moss Farm on the left. Eventually turning left and taking a path over the M62 Motorway. Once over the motorway turn right and follow the path at the edge of the fields adjacent to the motorway for about 800 yards. At the end of the field the path meets one of the very few stiles on the walk and passes through a yard of Wardley Grange Farm, which is a winter storage for caravans. Keep straight ahead for less than 50 yards and turn left into a wide lane. Follow the lane to its end and cross the A6, turning right and walking towards the motorway overhead. Turn left into Wardley Hall Road just before the Motorway.
Turn left before the hall and walk down to the cemetery. The footpath runs to the left of the main gates and goes round the outer perimeter of the cemetery and emerges onto the East Lancashire Road. Turn right and walk along the road to the crossing, just before the M61 Motorway passing overhead.
Cross the road and take the path directly in front, which crosses the fields Follow the path until it passes through Wardley Woods and ends in a small group of houses with the motorway running alongside. Walk alongside the path adjacent to the motorway until it emerges onto Greenleach Lane, over which, the motorway passes. Turn right under the motorway and turn right on to Roe Green. Keep to the right hand side of the Green to Wardley Hall Lane and turn from it into Lyon Grove and exit at the top right of the Grove through a kissing gate onto the East Lancashire Road. Walk left along the East Lancs Road to Old Clough Lane and cross over to the opposite side via the crossing point there.
Turn to the right and walk along past the Ellesmere Golf Course. At the side of the golf course a footpath runs between it and the motorway access road. Follow the footpath for about 800 yards to the end of the golf course where it crosses the railway. Immediately after crossing the railway turn left along a path that runs at the side of the railway for a short distance before it turns right at the end of a field then take the footpath immediately on the left, almost opposite the gate of the field, which runs through a narrow path with fields on the left and the local fishing club premises on the right. At the end of the path cross the A6 and take up the continuity of the path on the opposite side of the road.
Follow the path through the middle of the field until a coppice is reached on the right and take the path that turns to the left and head towards a short row of cottages. Turn left at the cottages and walk to the end of the lane past the Linnyshaw Garden Centre. Just after the Garden Centre there is a choice of two paths to the right, take the first path.
This path leads straight into the Blackleach Country Park, where its large lake is home to a wide variety of bird species. There is also a Visitors Centre and plenty of opportunities to rest awhile and enjoy the wildlife.
From Blackleach Country Park leave on the side opposite to the Visitors Centre and cross the A575 Worsley Road North. Immediately after crossing drop down back on to the loop line path at the beginning of Grosvenor Road and walk on until an open area is reached with bright coloured pathways in green and red tarmac.
Take either of the two main paths -green, or red - which meander across the open fields heading towards the overhead power lines, culminating at the same spot on the opposite end of the open space.
Pass through the gate onto Cleggs Lane and cross immediately over the road, bearing left for less than 100 yards to the small black and white traffic roundabout, then turn right into the entrance of a large open area of football pitches bordered on the right, by trees
A footpath passes alongside the left of the fields for about 700 yards before bearing left onto a loop line.
The early part of the loop line is fairly new (early 2008) and has been constructed with the help of St Joseph’s R.C. Primary School. Lots of references to the history of the railway that existed before have been created in colourful artworks along the pathway. There are numerous points of access and street name indicators give the identity of the access points. A wooden seating area has been created on the site of the old Little Hulton station 1875 - 1954 and for those interested in industrial history keep an eye open overhead for the small pipe carrying box bridge bearing the name of the foundry of Henry Bayley & Sons, Albion Works, Miles Platting.
It is now a straight walk along a section of the loop line for 1.8 miles to Walkden railway station and the end of the second part of the trail.
Follow the loop line passing under a number of road bridges before passing under a railway bridge then two more road bridges. At this point take the option of exiting the line to the left via the stepped access point and the very short walk to Walkden railway station.
This point may be an ideal place for those doing a short section of the walk to start or terminate. There are outlets from the Loop Line along this stretch and just above is the Walkden railway station and a bus route.
Part Three Walkden to Worsley
A little further on from the outlet to Walkden Railway station another road bridge is encountered, this is the A580 East Lancashire Road, pass under it and about 100 yards further on take a path to the right which climbs into a field via two sets of wooden steps, rising no more than four feet. Cross the field in a straight line to find another path that drops down from the field via steps onto another Loop Line. Turn right and walk along for 550 yards, before again passing under a four way junction of the A580 East Lancashire Road. another 300 yards further on take the footpath that rises to a stone bridge, which crossed the former railway. Turn to the left and follow the path to the end of the field to emerge onto the A580 and cross to the path, which continues directly on the opposite side of the road.
Leaving the A580 behind, carry on for another 550 yards as far the Marriot Hotel and turn right just before it at the side of the golf course car-park. Carry on along the footpath around the golf course. At hole number six a footpath sign gives the direction to walk towards the memorial and exit. When reaching the edge of the course just after a pond, turn left and follow the footpath passing by the field that holds the Ellesmere Memorial and a footpath leading out to the next road, which is the A572 Leigh Road. At most points around the golf course the memorial is visible and can be used as a marker for direction, although it is not approached in a straight line. Turn right onto Leigh Road and about 275 yards along turn left down the road that leads to the Garden Centre. Pass by the garden centre and carry on across the fields to the side of the Bridgewater Canal.
*** At the time of writing December 2007, this path is closed for essential maintenance work and no opening date is given. This is one of the few concessionary paths on the route so the closure is perfectly legal. By walking further along Leigh Road one can access the canal side and the Moorings further on. ***
If it is open, turn right and follow the canal to the marina area on the canal known as The Moorings a canal side pub has the same name. Cross over the bridge to the opposite side of the canal and turn left towards Worsley and go under the road until an iron and stone footbridge is reached. Cross over the bridge on to Worsley Green
Part Four Worsley to Cadishead
A few yards before the Delph is Mill Brow. Walk up Mill Brow and into Worsley Woods.
Pass through the woods alongside the Old Warke Dam. As the end of the dam is reached a black and white Tudor style cottage will be found in the woods, turn right at the side of the cottage and carry on until a flight of steps are reached. Descend the steps on to the Loop Line footpath and turn right. It is now a straight walk of about one mile to its end at Monton. After about 550 yards the path runs through the former Worsley railway station and the platforms can still be seen.
Follow the Loop Line to its end at Monton, turn right at Monton Green and cross the bridge over the canal. Get on to the canal on the right hand side next to the pub named The Waterside. Directly across from the Monton Lighthouse.
Follow the canal for half a mile until a railway bridge crosses over head. Leave the canal behind at this point and turn right taking a path that runs parallel with the railway line, it being on your right hand side for about 950 yards before coming to Worsley Brook. At the brook turn left on either side of it and follow the path over the fields if you turn before the brook there will be a need to cross over a small stone bridge later.
Both paths lead to the same point. At the end of the path turn right and pass under the motorway emerging into Brookhouse Avenue, turn left and then right into Senior Road, At the end of Senior Road where it turns right and becomes Northfleet Road there is a short passage with seven concrete stumps at the end of it. Walk down the passage to emerge on to Verdant Lane at the side of the cemetery.
Turn right and walk at the side of the cemetery until a footpath is reached at the end. As the footpath is approached at the end of the road it appears to be blocked off by a fence, but it is open, with a offset gap in the middle. Once on the path go straight ahead at the side of the cemetery on to the moss land and the outer edge of Barton Aerodrome. Turn right and then left, following the outer edge.
The path eventually runs at the side of Tunnel Farm, turn right and pass in front of the farm house and walk for 200 yards and pass over the motorway. Turn left after passing over and walk for 400 yards with the motorway on the left. After 400 yards the road bears right and straightens out. The name of this road is Twelve Yards Road although its length is just short of two miles, in an absolutely straight line with fields and moss land on either side. Twelve Yards Road ends at Astley Road. The Road is tree lined for much of its length with intermittent gaps of wide open spaces.
At the end of Twelve Yards road turn left at Astley Road. Walk along Astley Road for 1600 yards until a fork in the road is reached. - Note the unusual names of two of the farms along the way. Ebeneezer Farm and Hephzibah Farm. - Follow the right hand lane until a footpath sign is reached on the right hand side, take the footpath across the fields. The footpath continues across the fields for about 940 yards and passes by Rosebank Farm and on to a lane via a stile.
At this point the walk can be shortened for a quick exit route to the Irlam railway station or the A57 road to Warrington and back into Salford by bus. If this is required turn left after crossing the stile and follow the lane for 825 yards until it crosses a railway bridge and then via streets to the A57.
For a medium distance end to the walk turn right and walk 220 yards and turn left at Woolden View Farm. Follow the road for 825 yards until a group of cottages are passed then take a left turn through a gate into a field to follow the Timberland/Glazebrook Trail, which runs parallel with the Glaze Brook for 1,100 yards before passing under a railway. 100 yards further on is the terminus for the No 67 bus towards Eccles and Salford. Alternatively walk another 1,100 yards around the green and passing the Sewage Works on the right to a path, which ends at the A57 and the old stone bridge over the Glaze Brook and the end of the Salford Trail.
For a longer route to this spot from Rosebank Farm. Turn right over the stile and walk straight on past Woolden View Farm and over the M62 Motorway passing Birch Tree Farm, Little Haven and Ring Pit Farm. Before a path through a wooded area, which emerges onto a large peat bog. At the edge of the bog it is clearly signposted showing the pathway as turning to the right and skirting the edge of the bog to a point which is in a direct line ahead, where there is a stile. The Ordnance Survey map shows the path and right of way as a straight line over the bog. Either way is acceptable and walking over peat is quite an experience, with the ground being soft and springy, underfoot.
Cross the stile and follow the path which is across some ‘set aside’ land, which at certain times of year will be in full growth of wild flowers. After about 600 yards an open track is reached. Turn right and follow the track to another wide path between fields with farms on either side. The hard based track now passes a number of farms close together. These are Moss Lodge Farm, Red House Farm, and White Gate Farm on the right and Platt House Farm on the left. Walk to the end of this road and turn left where another farm, Moss Side Farm is just around the corner. Walk along the road for 770 yards to where a signpost points to the right over a metal footbridge and immediately after another signpost points to the left. This is the extreme edge of Salford at its border with Astley. Take the second path to the left past Moss House Farm. The path is now more or less a straightforward route to the finish, running parallel with the Glaze Brook, although not at its very edge, passing Little Woolden Hall crossing over the M62 motorway and through Great Woolden Hall Farm then under the railway line to the bus terminus or to the A57 bridge over the Glaze Brook, just before Hollins Green. Note the partly damaged wording etched out in the stonework of the bridge, declaring it as a boundary of the Salford Hundred and the West Derby Hundred.
If you decide to end the walk here. There are transport links in most directions, Glazebrook railway station is less than a mile up the B522 to the right over the Glazebrook, although the trains are not frequent. Irlam Railway station is just over a mile down the A57 towards Eccles. Bus No 100 passes from, or to Warrington every hour, while the No 67 is every ten minutes or less during the day from the nearby estate or further down the A57.
Cadishead to Salford Quays 10.5 miles.
Although the linear section of the walk finishes at the bridge over the Glaze Brook, Cadishead, it is now possible to add another 10.5 mile section back to Salford Quays to create a circular walk of around 53 miles.
The last section of the walk takes advantage of the recently opened, second phase of the Irlam and Cadishead by-pass and a new road between Eccles town centre and Salford Quays, but taking in as much off-road walking as is possible.
Although this section, before walking it, may seem like an arduous and boring option it has much to offer. It skirts the Manchester Ship Canal for much of the walk, offering many opportunities to study the bird-life, now so well established, with swan, duck, geese, heron and cormorants as common and numerous as sparrows and pigeons.
There are many instances of the old bed and course of the river Irwell, pre ship-canal to be seen, with one section at the side of the Boathouse pub in Irlam still in water and regularly fished and another two sections in water, just before Barton Locks.
The river Mersey entering the canal on the opposite bank can be clearly seen as can some of the original high level rail bridges and the locks give glimpses of industrial architecture well over 100 years old.
The two new road sections have pedestrian and cycle paths and grass verges alongside the main road so are pleasant enough to walk along.
From the old stone bridge over the Glaze Brook at Cadishead walk towards the new A57, Cadishead Way. There is an enticing wooded area just before the road, which can be passed through, but it is small and delivers no great satisfaction or advantage.
The first object of interest on the walk is almost immediate, appearing on the traffic round-about at the junction of the Cadishead Way and Liverpool Road
It is ‘Marge and Steel. A sculpture, which was designed as a gateway feature into Salford from Warrington and is the first of many improvements planned for the regeneration of Liverpool Road. It is symbolic of the Margarine Factory and Irlam Steel Works, one of the biggest in the country, and the contribution made by the local people to the local economy. It is also the first public art on a roundabout in Salford.
The design is based upon an idea developed with the community by artists Marcela Livingston and Liam Curtain, who asked local people about the history of the place where the sculpture is sited. Children wanted a modern superhero theme and adults talked about the Steel and Margarine works that used to be here. Retired workers remembered the tea dances they enjoyed. An idea was developed to portray the dance of these two industries which forged people’s lives together in Irlam and Cadishead.
On reaching the road and the side of the canal walk along the path with the canal on the right and there should be an immediate reward of cormorants, swan, geese and ducks.
Further along the first high level rail bridge is encountered, once linking Glazebrook and Carrington on either side of the canal. The line is now disused and the centre of the bridge is blocked by large steel shipping containers. Just underneath the bridge used to be the Partington Coal Basin
The bridge was once a lower level bridge over the river Irwell and the first station stop after crossing the river was at Cadishead station, which stood just off Liverpool Road diagonally across from the George Hotel.
Immediately after the bridge the road moves in away from the canal side, shortly after on the left, an old shunting engine will be seen, newly painted and renovated. This once served its working life in the C.W.S. soap works at Irlam. It had no fire to stoke and its steam reservoir was charged with steam from a boiler in the factory. This avoided the soot and fumes common to other engines. After the closure of the works it was given to the Local Authority and located in nearby Prince's Park where it became rather neglected and was seen as a hazard to children to the extent that it was destined to be scrapped.
the local Rotary Club "adopted" the engine and the road building firm building Phase II of the Irlam and Cadishead by-pass (Birse) offered to restore and relocate the engine to a display site by the new road.
The road eventually moves back to the canal side again just before the second high level bridge. Just before the bridge look across to the opposite side of the canal, where the river Mersey enters, ending its journey from its beginning at Stockport.
About 140 yards after the high level bridge turn left into Fairhills Road, walk up for about 350 yards and the old bed of the river Irwell, still in water, will be met on the right. There are paths at either side of the water, leading to the same end, so it is optional which to take. Follow the path to its end next to the Boathouse pub.
Turn right at Ferry Road, which passes in front of the pub and emerge out onto Cadishead Way where there is a crossing to the opposite side next to the canal. Here there is evidence of the former Irlam ferry across to Flixton There is now a swing bridge over the Irlam locks to allow safe passage over the canal.
Turn left towards Eccles and walk along the path between the road and the canal. There is a fence between the road and the path and the traffic is quite close and noisy. However, this does not last long and the road and the path soon part company, with the path soon passing into a wooded area, which is quite pleasant to walk.
Follow the path, with the canal on the right until it passes another stretch of the old river bed, which is still in water, passing over the bridge between it and the canal.
About a hundred yards or so after there is evidence of another ferry over the canal to Davyhulme, this is not in use at the moment. Another stretch of water further along is again the course of the old river, but this section still flows, due to the Salteye Brook flowing into it.
The area here is of particular interest if one is interested in the old river Irwell course, as it was the place where a large double bend was cut across by the Stickings Cut, which was entered by the Stickings Lock. This was cut right through when the canal was built and any tangible evidence of it, other than the two sections of river bed in water, would be on the opposite side of the canal.
A little further on again Barton Locks are reached. Walk by the locks and further on the path continues. There are two options here, one is a hard based path slightly away from the edge of the canal, which is marked on the O.S. map as an official right of way and the footpath alongside the canal, which is through a short wooded area, but heading in the same direction, towards Barton.
Carry on under the M60 motorway and past the sewage works until the path terminates a few hundred yards short of the road swing bridge across the canal at Redclyffe Road
A gate at the end of the path leads into Peel Green Road and the end of the off-road walking. Turn right and walk to the end of the road, crossing over at the traffic lights. Just on the right after the lights there is an area leading down towards the canal side and a place to sit for a while. Note the stonemason’s marks in the wall and on the opposite side of Barton Lane, a section of the original Barton Aqueduct, which carried the canal over the river but has now been set in the wall as an historical feature.
Carry on under the Bridgewater canal on Barton Lane, continuing towards Eccles town Centre. Just before Eccles town centre, turn right into Bentcliffe Way, which runs behind the Morrison’s store, turning right at Gilda Brook Road, on to Centenary Way.
Pass by the Centenary Bridge over the canal and follow the road, which is alongside the canal in most parts. The new section of road with cycle path, footpath and grass verges, runs straight through towards Salford Quays, just before which, a set of traffic lights allows a right turn into the new Media City section of the Quays.
Much of Media City is now open to workers and the public and is easily traversed to the new Metrolink tram stop and onward through the Quays to the starting point at the Salford Quays Metrolink stop, where the Salford Trail circular walk ends.