Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Hollinwood Branch Canal 3 - Stannybrook Road to Crime Lake

This post picks up where Hollinwood Branch Canal 2 - Droylsden Junction to Stannybrook Road left off, trying to cross a rather nasty road. The character of the path now changes from quiet Site of Special Scientific Interest into the popular Daisy Nook Country Park. There used to be a hump-backed bridge here to carry the road over the canal, but it is long gone.

Once you successfully cross the road and avoid being hit by the 4x4's in the car park you reach a little building which contains a small tea shop - somewhat of a rarity on most traffic free cycle routes in the Greater Manchester area.

The next thing you see at the end of the car park is this narrow boat shaped play area, sadly the nearest you get to a boat on this whole canal.

A little way beyond there is a small patch of water and then the entrance to what used to be called Dark Tunnel, but it was opened up into a cutting following mining subsidence.

The tunnel section is tarmacked over and infilled.

Past the tunnel, there is another short stretch of water before reaching Woodhouses Aqueduct over the River Medlock.

It has quite a spectacular curved shape.

Next you meet the remains of a lock, and then the canal turns sharply to the left.

Here there were a set of staircase locks.

The canal climbed steeply here past a basin to the canal junction.

This is Waterhouses Junction, the start of the Fairbottom Branch Canal. Here you can join the Fairbottom Branch Canal and Tramway - Waterhouses Junction to Park Bridge.

From here the Hollinwood Branch is in water. The path now goes over this outflow. The route through the water is perfectly ridable on an ordinary bike.

The path then goes under this footbridge

and over a small aqueduct

before the canal widens into Crime Lake.

This was apparently created by accident.

At the end of the lake is the site of Crime Bridge. This has now been filled in and marks the end of the usable section of canal, the next section is rather difficult to follow.

You can exit here onto Cutler Hill Road, though the gap is narrow. If you follow the path round the lake to the car park it is probably easier for larger pedal cycles to exit.

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