Cherry blossom in Hare Hill Park (Photo: Paul Haywood)

Littleborough

Cherry blossom in Hare Hill Park (Photo: Paul Haywood)

Littleborough shelters beneath the slope of Blackstone Edge and has a history of both wool and cotton weaving.  It retains its village atmosphere and the stone-built heart of the town looks much as it did 100 years ago with many fine buildings, including the Coach House Heritage Centre (formerly The Falcon Inn) and the Roundhouse (now home of The Wheatsheaf).

Church street, Littleborough (Photo: Paul Haywood)

Church street, Littleborough (Photo: Paul Haywood)

Hollingworth Lake is a short walk from the town. It was originally built as a reservoir to serve the Rochdale Canal, but became popular as a tourist resort frequented by mill-workers from Bradford and Manchester during the 1860s.  Nowadays it’s popular with families after a bit of seaside atmosphere and water-sports enthusiasts.  Look out for Olympians in training…

Know what the locals know…

There is a stone memorial to a monkey  in Hare Hill park.    It is believed Mephisto was the pet of the Newell family, who owned Hare Hill House in the 1800s.

Mephisto the monkey's memorial, Hare Hill Park.

Mephisto the monkey’s memorial, Hare Hill Park (Photo: Paul Haywood)

The Summit Tunnel on the railway line between Littleborough and Walsden is one of the oldest railway tunnels in the world.  And when it was completed in 1841, it was also one of the longest, at over 1.6 miles long.

twite-says

Visit the Coach House Heritage Centre to read up on local history and find out what’s on in the area.

See the world’s largest working steam mill engines at Ellenroad Engine House.

Pop into George Kelsall’s Bookshop for a browse at a wide range of secondhand and antiquarian books.

Enjoy homemade cake and a coffee at Rebecca’s.

Follow the packhorse route to Blackstone Edge, taking in the ‘Rain’ stanza stone.  Have a pint in the White House on the way and call in for tapas at The Rake on the way back.

The Rain Stone at Blackstone Edge.

The Rain Stone at Blackstone Edge (Photo: Sarah Mason)

Visit Hollingworth Lake. Go to the water activity centre and get out on the water or visit the Country Park Visitor Centre and pick up a trail guide. Either way, round off your trip with some chips from Mr Thomas’s.

Pick up some local produce at the monthly Littleborough Farmer’s Market and Craft Fair, held the second Sunday of each month.

Get up on those hills. Ride part of the Mary Towneley loop or go for a hack with Dickey Steps Riding School.

For more information and ideas on where to stay:

There’s info for visitors at The Coach House (01706 378481) or at www.visitrochdale.com . Littleborough Local is the community website – www.littleboroughlocal.co.uk