Famed for its hilly terrain and named after the monument that lies at the very top, Hartshead Pike provides stunning views of Ashton-Under-Lyne, Mossley, Saddleworth, Lees and Oldham.
The Hartshead Pike walking route, although mostly just a simple hill climb, is a relatively easy walk with accessibility for wheelchair users and fantastic views.
Once you reach the top, and if it’s a clear day, you can see across the whole of Manchester, Cheshire and even as far out as Snowdonia in Wales.
You can start the walk from just near Mossley train station, climbing on up past Luzley Brows and Luzley Hall to Mossley Cross. You continue to Hartside Pike before descending back to the town via Broad Carr.
In fact the hill is accessible from a range of points dotted around its base – with walking paths in Mossley, Lees and Ashton – it’s very accessible.
Although the name Hartshead Pike is generally used to mean the tower, it was originally the name of the hill itself.
The monument itself is a Grade II listed building and was built in 1863 to commemorate the wedding of the Prince of Wales to Princess Alexandra of Denmark.
There’s been a structure on the hill since the Roman occupation of Britain, where it acted as a warning beacon and signalling station.
It continued to be lit right up until the 16th Century when it was badly damaged by lightning. You can see the remains of the old tower still, just near the newer structure.
In the ‘30s, the tower was actually used as a sweet shop, but was permanently closed when the Second World War broke out. Locals decided to brick up the entrance and deny the children their sugary treats.
Once you’ve reached the top, give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy the stunning views. If you’ve gone on a clear day you’ll have unparalleled views of the city of Manchester in the distance – so bring yourself a good camera to capture it all.
Weekend Walk: Hartshead Pike
Starting point: Lees, Mossley or Ashton
Time: 1 Hour
Elevation: 267 metres