Having really got into hillwalks during Lockdown, I now intend to attempt one everywhere I go.
I had been to Manchester many times, but I had never attempted one when visiting the city. It was time to remedy that.
In Manchester for three days, I had planned on going up on the Thursday morning, but dull skies and rain put an end to those plans. I needed the weather to be dry for this trip.
It didn’t look like that was going to happen as I got up on Friday morning.
As I went for a stroll around Manchester, the sun burst out, so I thought why not?
Unfortunately, the train from Manchester to Mossley is only once an hour. Not ideal.
Especially as I faffed about wandering around Oxford Road and missed the 10.55am training, meaning I had to wait until 11.55am until the next train.
My flight home was 8.15pm, so I still had plenty of time to work with.
Don’t worry about me, I had a copy of Metro to occupy me.
I wish we had Metro in Northern Ireland. I just love Rush Hour Crush.
Can people walk into Pret without getting horny?
So, where is Mossley?
Just twenty minutes from Manchester, sandwiched inbetween Manchester and Huddersfield.
I did my research beforehand in terms of directions.
Go past the football ground, then look for a pub called The Billy Goat.
I headed upwards from Mossley Train Station, then saw signage for the football ground, followed it.
Hartshead Pike isn’t the most signposted place in the world, I took a bit of a hunch to go up one street, and by fluke I found The Billy Goat.
The starting point for Hartshead Pike is in the Car Park of this pub.
Getting to the top isn’t particularly demanding, around half an hour.
Just walk up, turn left at the field, walk across a field, then turn right onto a road until you pass a white house and there you are.
When you get there, you get some spectacular views of Northern England, and it leads into more pathways such as Oldham Way.
It was definitely worth making the effort, an enjoyable trek.
As I had mentioned previously, I have been to Manchester so many times, it can be a bit samey, so it’s always good to try something different.
There are still plenty of more walks in Greater Manchester, so hit me up with suggestions.
I was beginning to regret missing the 10.55am train, or even being even more prepared and taking a gamble on good weather and getting the 9.55am train.
Even though I still had plenty of time before my flight, I would have loved to have had more time to explore to other walking routes when I reached Hartshead Pike.
I would definitely go back up if the opportunity presented itself when having some spare time on a trip to Old Trafford.
On the way down, I managed to slip when taking a photo, mastering the Down Dog position, and even managing to take a video of myself.
I did delete it, destroying the evidence. And no, I won’t be posting it here.
With Manchester to Mossley being a once an hour service, it was unsurprising that the return journey was only once an hour.
I walked into Mossley Train Station to see how long to wait until the next train to Manchester, there was a drunk woman, who was so drunk, she thought she worked for Network Rail and started giving me timetable and platform information. Very helpful.
It turned out I had over half an hour to kill, so I headed to The Gillery for a lite bite.
I’m not planning on becoming a Pub Reviewer, but I give this a thumbs up.
Just as I give Hartshead Pike a thumbs up, even if there is a sense of regret that I didn’t have time to explore more of it.
It feels great to wake up in a bed that isn’t yours. Oi, that’s not what I mean. Behave yourselves.
After eighteen months without going anywhere, I snuck off to Manchester to see United take on Leeds. Ironically, Manchester in January 2020 was the last trip I had been on.
I only had a short window in the city, so I had to make the most of it, heading for a walk on Friday teatime, especially so with the weather on my side.
A veteran, if you will, of Street Art in Manchester, I know where to go. So, after getting off the train at Picadilly, I headed straight to Stevenson Square, Tibb Street, Northern Quarter and Ancoats to photograph what I could.
The Street Art in the city reflects the personalities of the Coronavirus Crisis (To be honest, it’s more of a Stupidity Crisis if anything) with a mural of Captain Tom on Tibb Street and a shop shutter showing appreciation for the NHS.
Delving into Manchester’s history, there was a mural of Ian Curtis from Joy Division.
One regular artist around Manchester is Akse, a French Artist based in the North-West of England, and once again, his work was prominent on my visit.
As it was outside the City Centre, time constraints meant I couldn’t go and visit it, or check out the work along Salford Quays/Pomona Wharf. I do hope to pay a visit to Withington when I have a longer trip to Manchester at some point in the future.
“NEW YORKE” is the headline of this cover, but it’s nothing to do with America, it’s new Manchester United signing Dwight Yorke, who is also the cover star.
The early pages of the magazine is dominated by players staying at United – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saying he wants to stay and fight for his place, and David Beckham signing a contract to stay with United until 2003.
Around this time, Paul Hayward was a columnist in the magazine, and he uses his column to comment on the number of clubs who are quick to sack their manager.
One United player with a keen interest in the European Cup group stage draw was Jordi Cruyff, who will be facing former club Barcelona.
United are a club who are constantly linked with players, with Andy Mitten writing a full page on the wonderful world of transfer rumours.
Dwight Yorke gets a five page feature, with an Aston Villa fanzine editor contributing his analysis of the player.
There is a look at United’s upcoming European Cup group games, with Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Brondby getting a full page preview each.
Eric Cantona gets three pages as he makes his final appearance at Old Trafford in a friendly to commemorate forty years since the Munich Air Disaster.
Jaap Stam debuts as a columnist for the magazine, expressing his surprise that Patrick Kluivert didn’t sign for United.
If you’re going to a game at Old Trafford, there is a review of pubs in the city for you.
There are reviews of United’s early season games, while the magazine ends with a quiz between Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt, with Giggs winning by 5 to 4.
I went out for a walk on New Year’s Day and found a tenner. That was as good as it got in 2020.
If a see a £50 note lying on the ground on the first day of 2021, i’m just walking on and leaving it.
2020 began with a trip to the Football on the first day of the month. Not too far thankfully, just a short trip to Windsor Park to see Linfield beat Institute.
My second football match of the year, Linfield’s trip to Queen’s University, was not as enjoyable. The less said about, the better, even though it was my first visit to The Dub for a match.
I had to wait nine days for my next football match, as Linfield won at Cliftonville, before a disappointing 0-0 draw at home to Dungannon Swifts.
It wasn’t all football, as the middle of the month saw my first concert of the year – Badly Drawn Boy at Black Box.
The first of many concerts in 2020, with Paul Weller and Lightning Seeds already booked for late March. Um ….
That was then followed by a trip to Manchester, primarily to see United take on Burnley. While I was there, I managed to sneak in a trip to Salford City v Accrington Stanley (a first visit to Moor Lane), as well as Street Art in Manchester and Salford Quays.
The month ended with two more football matches, Linfield’s 8-1 win over Glenavon, which was followed by a 3-1 defeat at Larne, my first visit to Inver Park since 2005.
Of course, no trip to Manchester would be complete without a walk along Pomona Wharf to check out the Street Art.
Well apart from the last time when I decided to visit Rochdale and check out the aftermath of Rochdale Uprising.
I usually stay in Salford Quays when I go to see United, so I can just walk over, but as I was staying in the City Centre, I needed to change my plans.
I decided to head over on the afternoon of the match, to make the most of my Day Ticket on the Metrolink.
The area was still untidy, but not as bad as it was previously, I got some photos of new pieces, including a Hello Kitty.
Closer to home, a listing in Island Arts Centre’s new programme is for a Hit The North event to be held in Lisburn in late April. Very interesting, I shall be keeping an eye out for this and checking it out.