Last Saturday in the glorious cold mist and frost we took a walk up to Boggart Hole Clough up in Blackley. It is only a shortish walk from out house so nice and handy or a bit of exploring further to the north/east of the city.
We have mentioned visiting Boggart Hole Clough many times in the past, but never really found our way there though one thing and another. So finally making our way there was quite exciting and interesting. We know the areas around there pretty well having lived in this part of the city for 10 years, but have never really done it on foot.
To say we chose a beautiful morning is an understatement! The frost was thick on the floor, the mist floating in the distance and the cold autumnal sun glowing through the golden leaves on the trees. It was stunning! Getting wrapped up makes it all the more enjoyable too as you feel nice and cosy, but have the biting cold on your face telling you that winter is definitely on the horizon.
The frosty leaves and misty backdrop made the walk pretty much Christmas card perfect. Plus, it gave me the opportunity to give frost shots a try on my phone too.
Quiet and Crisp
We arrived at the park through the Old Bank Avenue entrance which takes you through a small grassed area but the disused park building and into the paved wooded area. After the bland start, the trees give a welcoming feel to the park and the path leads you straight onto your wander.
There are plenty of routes that you can take in the park which cover more than just the path areas. This is a plus for any park because you can visit multiple times and always find a new way to experience and explore the area. Not only that, there is the lake area as well as a football pitch, cafe and hilly routes too. For somewhere so unassuming, there is a lot to see and do. Plus it is beautiful too, which is always a bonus!
At around 10 am in the morning when we arrived, the park was really crisp and quiet – you know that kind of silence that only comes in the cold or on a snowy day. That kind of quiet. It did get a little bit busier as we wandered, but only by a few dog walkers or people out with the kids. It made for a very calm and relaxed walk.
Check out the virtual tour that I made to get the full picture
Ways to adventure
With this being our first visit and having realised just how close it is to home, we didn’t want to explore every avenue in one visit so we stuck to the main path. This meant that we could scope out all of the other places that are ready to be discovered on our next trip. One of which we certainly hope will be in the snow …fingers crossed!
As you can see from the pictures, there are plenty of little avenues and routes ready to whisk you away on another adventure through the trees up into the hills or, as we found on one of them, to the main road! All very exciting through and definitely brings to life the size of the park!
A whole other part of the park
As we meandered around the park, following the pathway and enjoying the sunshine flowing through the bare branches, we realised that we were heading towards another part of the park.
As we turned yet another bend, we could have been in a completely different park! Not only was it frost free, there was a road running through, a large sports area and flat football fields. It was also much busier than the wooded part of the park with kids playing football, others scooting along and dogs wandering and exploring the exciting smells.
Perfect picnic spot
It turned out that the sunshine made the perfect place t sit down and have our picnic. The sunshine keeping us warm, the open space providing fresh views and the fun of people watching and greeting large dogs, small dogs and all those in between too.
Local Nature Reserve and Lakeside Cafe
To our surprise the already expansive park opened out onto a beautiful frozen lake! And a cafe too – which was open! (not that we needed it after picnicking, but useful to know) There were quite a few people enjoying a brew or a can outside the cafe, so it was certainly proving a popular place to visit in the park.
Full up from our own picnic, we opted to walk around the lake and watch the birds on the ice. When I was in California recently, I really appreciated how they had ‘please keep the wildlife wild’ signs as it helps to keep them more natural, which I think is very needed when you see that the Canadian Geese no longer migrate from Manchester! Seeing that they had the same rule at Boggart Hole Clough was great. It is nice being able to picnic without scavenging birds and they also get to live a healthier life without white bread!
To be honest, we were a little bit envious of the people who get to live in the flats overlooking the park – what a glorious view! And to be so close for a wander too…
We completed our tour of the lake and decided to head back to the woodland area. It would place us in a good position to walk to Manchester and explore some of the other parks en route down Rochdale Road.
Back to the woodland
As we walked back to the woodland the sun began to drop making the frost thicker and the mist cooler. In the cold air we enjoyed watching the grass stiffen with renewed frost, sliding on icy hills and taking photos of the cool atmosphere.
From what I can tell from our micro adventure around Boggart Hole Clough, we have barely even dented the surface of the park available to enjoy! We did a fraction and saw so many other walkways, paths and steps that look very exciting indeed.
Here’s to more adventures
Our adventure had certainly been fun. We got to discover a new park that is nearby, have a browse around the nearby districts as well as have fun sliding around on the ice! I know that we will be coming here more often in the future as it is so handy and there is so much to see and explore. I just can’t wait to see what it is like from season to season – not to wish Autumn and Winter away, of course…
I hope you get outside to explore today! Even though it is not so frosty, it is lovely and crisp!
Have you visited Boggart Hole Clough? What did you enjoy about it when you went? Or, what was your favourite part from my adventure there?
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Boggart Hole Clough
Charlestown Rd, Manchester M9 7DH
Features: Free parking, Football Areas, Hard Paths, Hills, Cafe, Lake, Wildlife, Toilets (when the cafe is open), Woodland, Lots of Benches, Family Friendly, Dog Friendly