Radcliffe Rotary Way (Link to route planner and maps)
Radcliffe Rotary Way is a way-marked circular route measuring about 18 miles in total. The main theme in setting up the Radcliffe Rotary Way is to connect together various footpaths so as to complete a circuit around the town. The intention is to add a little to the quality of living in Radcliffe (something that the town’s Rotarians are very keen on) by introducing local people to paths that are not particularly well-known or well-used.
Because the route unavoidably passes through some urban areas and crosses main roads in the area, there are several points where parking or bus access is available. The walk passes through lots of attractive scenery, much of it with an interesting history. There was no alternative, without adding miles to the route, to including the length of Gigg Lane, Bury in the route. With a bit of Manchester Road, this is the only relatively long urban section. This guide has information about the route, intended to supplement the way-markers that should guide walkers in both directions around the circuit.
Radcliffe was once a thriving industrial town, with a significant papermaking industry. The Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal that passes through the town was worked commercially until a major landslip occurred in 1933. Radcliffe’s six railway stations (we’ve had reliable information that there was even, albeit briefly, a seventh at Hagside) speak of a busy railway junction in this area as well. There’s also an amazing sporting heritage in Radcliffe. Did you know that Radcliffe once had its own racecourse, or that Gary Sobers (Sir Garfield Sobers) and Frank Worrell (Sir Frank Worrell) two world-class West Indian cricketers of the 1960’s, both played for Radcliffe Cricket Club?
There’s certainly more to this little Lancashire town, now lying in Greater Manchester, than might first meet the eye.
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