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Hartshead Pike Exploring Tameside's Iconic Landmark

Hartshead Pike: Exploring Tameside’s Iconic Landmark

I admit, I’m more accustomed to navigating city streets than traversing rugged trails. Yet, there’s something irresistibly compelling about Hartshead Pike, a beacon of Tameside that beckons even the most unlikely hikers (like myself) to its summit.

Originally a beacon site used to signal impending danger or celebrations during mediaeval times, it was later crowned with a distinctive tower in the 19th century. 

This tower, often shrouded in myths of local legend, stands not only as a historical monument but as a guardian of the gateway to the North.

Each step up Hartshead Pike is a step back in time—past the industrial age that reshaped the landscape around Ashton-under-Lyne, through eras of conflict and celebration, to the very essence of Northern resilience and beauty. 

So, let’s discover together why Hartshead Pike isn’t just a hill, but a high point in the rich tapestry of Tameside’s heritage.

Things to Know

Location: Hartshead Pike, Mossley, Greater Manchester

Transportation: Easily accessible by car with a parking area near the base of the hill. Local buses serve the nearby villages, requiring a short walk to reach the base of the pike.

Parking: Free parking is available at the base of the hill.

Rules and Restrictions

  • Littering: Visitors are required to take all trash with them to preserve the natural beauty.
  • Pets: Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a lead to protect the wildlife.
  • Fires: Open fires and barbecues are prohibited on the hill.

How to Get There

By Car: Hartshead Pike is most easily accessed by car. From central Manchester, it’s a straightforward 30-minute drive via the M60 and A635, leading directly to the nearby parking area.

By Public Transport: Regular buses serve the surrounding villages. From these stops, it’s a scenic walk to the base of Hartshead Pike. This option is ideal for those who enjoy a bit of a trek before reaching their destination.

Where to Stay Near Hartshead Pike, Manchester

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Address: 51 Stockport Road, Lydgate, Oldham OL4 4JJ

Phone: +44 1457 872566

Pricing: £££

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Perched charmingly in the Pennines, The White Hart Inn at Lydgate serves up a hefty slice of the idyllic English countryside, with a side of luxury. 

Each room here offers a masterclass in rustic elegance, while the award-winning restaurant dishes out culinary marvels that are almost too pretty to eat—almost. It’s a retreat for the soul, especially if your soul loves stunning vistas and food that’s straight out of a fairy tale.

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Address: Westwood Leisure Park, Oldham OL1 2QL

Phone: +44 161 624 2802

Pricing: ££

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Forget what you know about typical chain hotels; the Holiday Inn in Oldham adds a dash of panache to the mix. Here, the beds promise the sleep of the righteous and the service makes you feel like the guest of honour at a gala.

It’s a prime spot for adventurers looking to dive into Manchester’s vibrant scene or explore the serene landscapes of Oldham. Perfect for those who enjoy a sprinkle of local flavour with their creature comforts.

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Address: Broadoak Road, Ashton-under-Lyne OL6 8QD

Phone: +44 161 330 2764

Pricing: ££

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Staying at The Broadoak? It’s not just a bed for the night, it’s proper mint. It’s like stepping into a classic Brit novel, only with a bit of a modern twist. 

Each night here feels like you’re part of a story, all cosy and plush with that old-school charm but don’t worry, it’s got all your modern comforts sorted too. Proper good mix, that.

Known for its lively atmosphere and even livelier evenings, it’s the perfect haunt for those who seek tales, ales, and a memorable stay.

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Address: Hawthorne Lane, Ashton-under-Lyne OL6 9AJ

Phone: +44 161 330 2875

Pricing: £

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If the idea of reconnecting with nature while staying comfortably tickles your fancy, Hawthorne Caravan & Camp Site is your spot. Nestled snugly away from the city’s bustle, this campsite offers a patch of peace with a dollop of adventure. 

It’s perfect for those who love their creature comforts but wouldn’t say no to a night under the stars. Bring your tent, your caravan, or just your adventurous spirit—Hawthorne is ready to charm your socks off.

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Address: Pamir Drive, Ashton-under-Lyne OL7 0PG

Phone: +44 161 674 0155

Pricing: ££

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With modern, stylish, and buzzing with energy, Village Hotel Manchester hotel nails ‘urban cool’.

Imagine tech-savvy rooms perfect for digital nomads, and a gym that feels more like a club than a place to work out. Seriously, it’s where you want to be if you love being in the thick of things.

Whether you’re in town for work or just for a bit of fun, the Village Hotel makes sure you’re enjoying every minute. Trust me, as a true Manc would say, it’s absolutely mint!

Where to Eat in Hartshead Pike

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Address: 15 Pike Street, Mossley, Ashton-under-Lyne OL5 0EH

Phone: +44 1457 837421

Pricing: £


While there are no food vendors directly at Hartshead Pike, visitors should plan to bring their own snacks or meals. If you’re looking for a flavorful detour, Henos is just the spot. 

It’s like a surprise party for your taste buds, serving up bold flavours that pack a punch and might even make your grandma blush!

Whether you’re craving the fiery thrill of street tacos or the comforting embrace of homemade soup, Henos turns casual dining into a riot of taste. Don’t walk in expecting ordinary—this place is anything but.

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Address: 34 Manchester Road, Mossley, Ashton-under-Lyne OL5 9AA, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 338 5555

Pricing: ££


San Giorgio is where Italian flair meets Northern charm, serving up dishes so authentic you’ll wonder if you’ve teleported to Italy. 

The pizzas are a masterpiece of crispy crusts and bubbling cheese, the pastas are draped in sauces that whisper secrets of old Naples, and the tiramisu? It’s a dessert rebellion in your mouth. 

If you’re looking for Italy in Hartshead Pike, San Giorgio is your culinary passport.

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Address: Old Mill Park, Ashton-under-Lyne OL6 9RW, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 161 330 4077

Pricing: £££


Step into Old Mill Restaurant and step out of time. Located in a wind-whipped mill, this spot serves up British cuisine with a twist—think historical drama meets modern flair. Here, the roasts are so tender, they practically apologise for being eaten, and the steaks? 

They’re history on a plate, seared to perfection. For a taste of the past served with a side of now, the Old Mill isn’t just a meal; it’s a time-travelling feast.

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Address: Hartshead Pike, Ashton-under-Lyne OL6 9AQ

Phone: +44 161 330 2555

Pricing: £££


Ego at The Hartshead Inn isn’t just a dining spot; it’s a masterclass in Mediterranean bravado perched right on Hartshead Pike. Here, each dish sails from the kitchen like a yacht in the Riviera, decked out in the freshest, zestiest ingredients. 

Imagine sipping on sangria under an imaginary Mediterranean sun, while indulging in tapas that pop with flavour, or diving fork-first into risottos that are creamy oceans of delight. This place doesn’t just serve food; it serves moxie and sun-soaked memories on a platter.

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Address: 20 Market Street, Ashton-under-Lyne OL6 6BX

Phone: +44 161 330 4077

Pricing: £


At Spice Of Life, the globe’s spice routes converge in the heart of Ashton-under-Lyne. This culinary gem doesn’t just serve meals; it serves expeditions into the bold heart of flavour country. 

From the sizzle of a perfectly balanced vindaloo to the aromatic whispers of an expertly crafted biryani, each dish is a passport to palatal pleasure. 

Here, spices are not just ingredients; they’re the stars of the show, turning every meal into a festival of taste that promises to be as exhilarating as it is satisfying. 

What to Do at Hartshead Pike

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The centrepiece of Hartshead Pike, the historic tower, is a magnet for walkers and history buffs. Lace up your boots and take the well-trodden Hartshead Pike Trail that leads you straight to the top. 

The climb isn’t just about reaching the summit; it’s about soaking in the panoramic views of the surrounding countryside that stretch all the way to Manchester and beyond on a clear day. 

It’s the perfect spot to catch your breath and maybe snap a selfie with the tower, which has stood watch over the area for centuries.

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The woodlands and fields surrounding Hartshead Pike are a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Bring your binoculars and keep your eyes peeled for the various bird species that flit through the trees and the occasional deer darting through the underbrush. 

I once spent a mesmerising half-hour watching a woodpecker doing what it does best—talk about a live-action nature documentary! It’s a peaceful way to connect with nature and enjoy the quieter side of the Pike.

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Grab your picnic basket and head to one of the many scenic spots around Hartshead Pike for an alfresco meal with a view. 

There’s something special about munching on sandwiches while the hills roll out in front of you like a lush, green carpet. It’s also a local favourite for family outings and romantic dates alike. 

Just remember to pack a blanket and maybe an extra layer—those hilltop breezes can be brisk, but they’re part of the charm!

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Nothing beats the sunset views from the top of Hartshead Pike. As the day winds down, watch the sky turn into a painting of vibrant oranges, pinks, and purples. It’s a prime spot for photographers or anyone who appreciates a good dusk spectacle. 

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve just sat there, camera in hand, trying to capture the perfect sunset shot. It’s like the sun puts on a show just for those at the Pike.

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Delve into the history of Hartshead Pike by visiting its renowned tower. Built in the Victorian era, this landmark is not only a treat for the eyes but also a capsule of local lore. 

The plaque near the base provides a brief history, and if you’re lucky, you might meet one of the local historians who love to share tales of the tower’s past. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the area’s heritage, making it more than just a physical climb but a journey through time.

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Once the sun sets, the adventure doesn’t have to end. Hartshead Pike is a fantastic location for stargazing on a clear night. With minimal light pollution and a wide-open sky, it’s a stargazer’s paradise.

Bring a blanket and a thermos of hot chocolate for a cosy night under the stars. It’s amazing how the universe seems just a little more reachable when you’re sitting on the top of a hill, gazing up at the Milky Way.

What to Do Nearby Hartshead Pike

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Just a short stroll from Hartshead Pike, Mossley Market is an absolute must-visit for those who love a good throwback. It’s like stepping into a different era, each stall brimming with unique finds from decades past. 

I once stumbled upon a classic vinyl collection that had me spinning records all week. The atmosphere buzzes with energy as collectors, fashionistas, and the plain curious mingle over retro gems. 

Whether it’s a quirky piece of furniture, vintage clothing, or some rare knick-knacks, you’re bound to find something that catches your eye. It’s not just shopping—it’s an experience that transports you back in time.

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A mere hop, skip, and a jump from Hartshead Pike, the Park Bridge Heritage Centre offers a delightful mix of industrial heritage and natural beauty. It’s a place where you can really feel the pulse of history through the stories of ironworkers and their families who once thrived here. 

I love bringing friends here, especially for the guided tours—they always marvel at how the past can feel so present. The walking trails are equally fantastic, weaving through old structures and alongside streams, often accompanied by the chatter of local wildlife. 

It’s ideal for anyone looking to soak up some local history while enjoying a peaceful day out in nature.

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Right next to Hartshead Pike, Ashton-under-Lyne Golf Club offers a lush, meticulously maintained course that invites both seasoned golfers and beginners to enjoy a day on the greens. 

The landscape is stunning, with well-placed bunkers and challenging fairways that promise a good game. It’s a spot where I’ve lost more balls than I care to admit, but each game ends with a laugh and plans for the next round. 

The clubhouse is just as inviting, with a friendly atmosphere and a fantastic 19th hole where you can recount your near misses and spectacular shots over a well-earned drink. 

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Just a quick drive from Hartshead Pike, Daisy Nook Country Park is where nature shows off. This tranquil spot is ideal for anyone looking to escape the urban grind and immerse themselves in the great outdoors. 

I’ve spent countless afternoons wandering along its picturesque paths, spotting everything from bustling squirrels to serene herons. The park also hosts a variety of seasonal events that can spice up your visit, from Easter egg hunts to festive winter markets. 

Whether you’re after a peaceful walk, a family picnic, or a bit of wildlife watching, Daisy Nook is a local treasure that never disappoints.

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Nestled near the banks of the Ashton Canal, just a short ride from Hartshead Pike, the Portland Basin Museum is a gateway to the past. This restored 19th-century warehouse packs a punch with its interactive exhibits and historical displays that bring the local history to life. 

I always find something new to marvel at, whether it’s the intricately recreated Victorian street or the engaging tales of the textile industry. It’s a place that makes learning fun and accessible, perfect for a family outing or a curious solo adventure. 

Plus, the canal-side setting offers a scenic backdrop for a reflective stroll after your museum exploration.

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A stone’s throw from Hartshead Pike, Astley Cheetham Art Gallery is a cultural gem that art lovers should not miss. This gallery might be small, but it’s packed with character and a diverse collection of artworks that span centuries. 

Each visit feels like a private viewing, especially with the thoughtful curations that rotate throughout the year. I remember being particularly struck by a temporary exhibit that featured local artists—it was inspiring to see so much talent from the community. 

Whether you’re an art aficionado or just looking to add a splash of culture to your day, this gallery offers a quiet, contemplative environment to appreciate the finer things in life.

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