In a Vase on New Year’s Day – dogs, woods and walks 

‘It’s never too late in life to have a genuine adventure’ Robert Kurson, author (1963– )

Happy New Year everyone, may your 2018 be happy and healthy.  We’ve been down south to visit my Mum, and only got back to Salford for Hogmanay, so I decided to pick plants from both gardens. I cut some Cornus (dogwood) from my mother’s garden which has bright red stems and variated leaves, and when I got home, I cut some Hypericum from my front garden.  My garden is very wet and blown about, but there are crocus and narcissi poking though the soil, and the hellebore are flowering so they will probably get their chance next week in a vase.

This was one of the first vases My Chap bought me; it has appeared a few times in In a Vase on Monday as has the Hypericum,  in flower though ;-).  There’s a few shoots poking through too, so that seems appropriate for a new year too…

Please have a look at Cathy’s vase this week, over at Rambling in the Garden who hosts IAVOM, as well as contributions from gardeners around the world.

My Mother’s Garden – frosty December 2017

I’ve written a few times about my mother‘s garden, she’s lived in the house since it was built in the 1970s – there’s many happy memories of food, paying games and relaxing in the garden with the family. My mum is the gardener in the family, my Dad mostly dug holes for plants, mowed the lawn and grew herbs. I get my love of gardening from my Mum.

The soil is clay so that’s why much grows in pots and a North facing garden just like ours in Salford. There’s usually a great many fuchsias in pots on the terrace – as usual they’re living in the garage over the winter (there’s a window). My Mum has a gardener to do the heavy work, and pruning now, as she’s been retired along time.  My Chap and I do get roped in when we are visiting though.

2 January 2018 – frosty Berkshire garden (including Dogwood)

2017 into 2018

We had a very quiet Hogmanay, it’s been a very tough year with loss, health troubles, especially my osteoarthritis, but I’m on the mend now and am much more myself. But 2017 was the Best of Times too. I married the love of my life 🙂

We have adventures planned and are expecting more of the Best of Times in 2018. I’m not one for new year resolutions, because I believe if you want to make a change just do it!  So that’s what I’m doing 🙂

At least #Onehouroutside

We don’t really have much planned for the rest of the Christmas holidays, but we will be out on local walks #OneHourOutside.

I was inspired by Sarah, the Urban Wanderer, who lives in Manchester ( to write about some local walks Thanks Sarah, she’s got many walks on her website – please have a look.

Worsley Woods Walkapproximately 3 miles – no steps just inclines

One of my favourite walks takes us up the Bridgewater Canal from Monton, to Worsley Green, (and Worsley Woods) along Worsley Road and back along the old railway line – National Cycle Route 55 to Monton Green.

The route – see photographs 

  • Start at the tow path on Parrin Lane on the bridge opposite the lighthouse (yes we are 30 miles from the sea). There’s a fancy new sign so you can’t miss this entrance onto the canal.
  • Walk north – past the shire horse (1). The canal will be on your right (2).

2 January 2018 – Shire Horse (1), Bridgewater Canal looking towards Worsley (2)

  • It’s about a mile to Worsley village – there you’ll find the Packet House (built 1762 – grade 2 listed), the mock tudor decoration was added in the 1870s (4) Nail Makers cottage, Worsley Court House, the Delph and Worsley Green.
  • You’ll know you’re in Worsley when you see the boat yard on the right.
  • alternative routes to Worsley Road
    • Walk over the metal bridge (it called alphabet bridge can you guess why?) onto Worsley Green and onto Worsley Road – you’ll see the monument to the Duck of Bridgewater on the green.
    • Walk onto Barton Road on your left past row of cottages and turn at the dentist and a footpath will take you across the front of the Packet House along side the canal spur that leads into the Delph (5) and the coalfields at Walkden.  There are over 60 miles of canals and the coal was moved using small skiffs called starvationers before being loaded onto the more familiar narrowboats for the journey to the city centre.
  • How many late 18th century and early 19th century building can you see?

2 January 2018 – Packet House (3) and warehouse (4) both split into homes – I took these photos in the summer 😉

  • The canal forks at worsley, the left fork takes you to Boothstown and beyond – and past more iron figures and the site of RHS Bridgewater and formerly Worsley New Hall.

The Delph (5) at Worsley, early 19th century home (6) Nail Maker’s House (7)

  • There are both 200 year old worker’s cottages, 1870s mock tudor, modern and 1970s houses. The estate agents used to be a tea shop so it’s long been an area for visitors.

2 January 2018 – Mill brow from Worsley Road, 200 year old cottages on Worsley Road, Worsley Green and monument.

  • The monument in the middle of the green is the remnants of the old clock tower that called the worker’s to their shifts. Originally it was in the middle of an industrial complex.
  • Walking up Mill Brow will also lead to an entrance to Worsley Woods (there are three ways into the woods off Worsley Woods) but I’ll write about that another time.
  • Once you’re on Worsley Green, turn right along Worsley Road, keep going until just past Greenleach lane (on other side of the road). There’s a sign to Monton.

2 January 2018 – old station house, Roe Green loopline marker, ‘platforms’ at the former station at Worsley

  • Turn right by the old station house, and follow the track down to the former station past a 1970s house. There are remnants of the station platforms.
  • Follow the loop line back to Monton going left/south (you’re on both the Parkrun route and Cycle Route 55).

2 January 2018, bench looking towards Worsley from Monton, Unitarian Church at Monton Green, Parkrun finish marker

I think I’ll need to take more photos and take an alternative walk – there are so many options for walks, cycling or runs.  Apologies for the poor light in these photos but it was a gloomy day.  In the winter, in Salford, it feels like you’re living inside a tupperware pot 😉 

Key points 

  • There’s a great many thing to see along the route, as it’s a very historical area.
  • There are a number of information boards along the route.
  • Most of the paths are shingle so it’s easy walking.  There are steps in a number of places from Worsley Woods into the loopline or up onto roads.
  • There are many footpaths around the woods – more info belowpe

History of Worsley

  • The Bridgewater Canal (was built 1761) to bring the coal from the mines at Walkden into Manchester to feed the Steam engines of the Industrial Revolution.  There are approximately 60 miles of underground canals under Walkden, accessed via the Delph.
    Manchester was the first industrial city.
  • Worsley would have been very industrial right up until the early 20th century. Many of the warehouses are now homes and the worker’s cottages sell for hundred of thousands.
  • It was the first navigation Canal in Britain and it made the Duke of Bridgewater very wealthy, but it was a big risk to build it.
  • The canal is brown/orange because of the iron oxide seeping in from the rocks/mining; it doesn’t affect the marine life. and you’ll see plenty of people fishing.

2 January 2018 – loop line, 1km/4km Parkrun marker. View to West with Bridgewater Canal in distance

Finding the route

  • Part of our walking route is Worsleywoods Parkrun route – 5km every Saturday at 9am. My Chap runs this most weekends.
  • Part of the route is National Cycle Route 55 – the ‘loop line’  from Monton to Roe Green. It’s a former railway line closed in the 1960s – Worsley station is commemorated, and the old station house is a private residence now.
  • Iron sculptures have appeared along the Canal, recently as part of a new heritage fund plan, to upgrade Worsley and the Delph (the entrance to the canals under Walkden).
  • The Bridgewater Canal is the southern boundary of the new RHS Bridgewater Garden which opens in 2019. It is being constructed on the site of Worsley New Hall (1845-1949).  I am so excited about this, the plans look wonderful.
  • There are car parks at Dukes Drive, Monton (free), next to the ‘loopline’ (cycle route 55) and also opposite Worsley Court House (pay and display)
  • Buses – 33, 68.  Trains – Patricroft station is about half a mile from the Monton Green.

More information and maps

Food and drink – just suggestions, I haven’t been asked to write about any of these places

  • Monton – there are many pubs, newsagents and coffee shops my favourite is vintage ambience
  • Worsley – secret garden tea rooms, George’s restaurant, Bridgewater Hotel (a pub), John Gilbert (a pub).

Carpe Diem 

I finished The Blurt Foundation #blurtmerrycalmness for December and now started #savouringJanuary2018 on Instagram. Come and join in.

Please follow @gabrielletreanor too – she has lots of good advice on mindfulness

Follow me on Instagram @becmonton56 and Twitter: @becinmonton

As I said at the start of this post, I don’t really do resolutions. I’m try to be more #mindful, continuing with yoga and walking including #onehouroutside, gardening and more fun in 2018.

My Chap really wants a dog, as he’s had one his whole life except when we’ve been together, but we work too long hours so it wouldn’t be fair…. I think an older cat might arrive soon though…

We are planning more adventures, big and small, too 🙂 One day at a time,

Carpe Diem 

Love Bec

Xx xx xx

12 thoughts on “In a Vase on New Year’s Day – dogs, woods and walks 

  1. Cathy

    The hypericum berries look most luscious don’t they? I was puzzled at first seeing them with the cornus until I read the post. Having different walks on your doorstep is a great incentive to get out and do them – the one you have shown us looks really interesting and i have always had a fondness for urban canals, as they often take you right into the heart of a town or city. Although we both do various physical activities separately we have been making an effort to go for some walks together too, aided by the Fitbits we bought each other for Christmas, which counts steps


    1. Bec Post author

      Thanks Susie 🙂 its a lovely walk and lots of different options – just a bit of a gloomy day but hey that’s manchester for you 😉 My Chap is investigating the cat sanctuaries so I hope we can get one soon, love Bec xx


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