All Line Rover trip Day 4: Manchester & Glossop

In September 2022, I travelled around Britain for a week and a half using an All Line Rover train ticket. This is the fifth of eleven special posts giving a day-by-day narration of my trip. I also wrote an introduction to the trip, discussing my plans and goals, before I left; and will follow up my day-by-day narration with standard posts about the nineteen individual map areas I visited on the trip which are new to the blog. [1]

Interactive map

Here’s an interactive map of my All Line Rover trip! By default, all 11 days of my trip are shown: press the icon in the top left to see the route for individual days of the trip only.

Key to colours: Purple = train, dark blue = metro/underground, pink = tram, green = bus, orange = walking, medium blue = ferry

Day 4: Manchester & Glossop

After four long, busy days in to my All Line Rover trip, I’d planned in some more restful time for this day: I’d be staying in Manchester two nights, and could have a relaxed day in between. As it happens, my parents had been interested in joining me somewhere on the trip, and we decided that Manchester was a good option, so they’d be arriving in the mid-afternoon to spend the rest of the day with me – they’d in fact booked the flat that I was staying in both nights, which was a two-bedroom place where they could stay too.

The somehow simultaneously fun and a little prison-like internal covered courtyard of the block of flats I stayed in in Manchester!

I therefore had the morning and early afternoon to myself, and decided that I would do some more relaxed local exploring, getting a train eastwards on the line towards Glossop and Dinting, which I’d heard good things about, and where I thought I could fit in a nice walk. Rather than return to Piccadilly station where the trains start from, for a bit of fun I thought I’d walk to the nearby Piccadilly Gardens tram stop instead and get a tram out eastwards a few stops to Velopark, where I could walk to Ashburys to join my train one stop out of Piccadilly.

After a luxuriously unhurried awakening and breakfast compared to the previous days of the trip, I set out at quarter to nine to head over to Piccadilly Gardens, which is a major bus/tram transport interchange. Unfortunately, it turned out that the trams on the line to Ashton-under-Lyme, which I wanted to take, were disrupted, so I ended up taking just a one-stop tram ride to Piccadlly station and getting on the train there after all – still though, that was my third tram system of the trip ticked off!

A grey morning from Dinting Viaduct

The Glossop line is a little odd, in that the far end splits at Dinting into two short branches, one each to Glossop and Hadfield, with a triangular track layout at Dinting station itself. Rather than having separate services, in the off-peak, the trains from Manchester all head through Dinting to Glossop first, then over to Hadfield, then again to Glossop, before finally returning to Manchester having passed Dinting four times! (Though stopped there only twice.)


Glossop seemed a very nice town, with grey stone houses overlooked by the hills of the Peak District. Arriving there, I popped into M&S to buy some lunch for later, before setting off on the walk I’d chosen: I’d head southwards out of Glossop to walk up the curiously-named hill Harry Hut.

The route of my walk up Harry Hut from Glossop

It was a good walk! I was soon out of the city and ascending through first hilly pasture and then open moorland. Harry Hut is not much of a peak, being only prominent by 20 metres or so on the gradual slopes of Mill Hill – which itself being mostly a small prominence on the gradual slopes of Mill Hill, which itself is not all that prominent on a subsidiary peak of Mill Hill, which itself is only a 50-metre lump on the slope up to the Kinder Scout plateau a few miles to the east of Harry Hut. Still, the views were great despite the grey day, over undulating, green-and-purple moorland to the east, south and west, and back to Glossop and Hadfield to the north.

Given that I was low on clean laundry, I’d worn a linen shirt rather than my sporty synthetic quick-drying thing, which I ended up regretting as, despite it being a grey, cool day, it was humid and still, and I got a little damp once I started my ascent! Oh well.

From the peak, I had a short descent westwards to the A624 road, where I caught the 61 bus southwards. The 61 is a great bus for rail day trips in the Peak District as it connects three railway lines: starting at Glossop, it passes New Mills with its two stations – New Mills Central on the Hope Valley Line between Sheffield and Manchester, and New Mills Newtown on the route to Buxton – before continuing on to Buxton itself. I’d been recommended the bus route when I posted about my upcoming trip on Railforums, so thank you to the users there!

One of the more scenic bus stops I’ve waited at!

I’d be getting a train back into Manchester from New Mills Central, but had twenty minutes for a quick explore of the town first. I knew nothing about New Mills before visiting, and was very pleasantly surprised. It is, as you might expect, a mill town, sitting on the River Goyt, which passes through the town in a picturesque steep gorge. A walkway has been installed in the gorge, taking you high above the river, seeing the old mills themselves on the other side. It was very pretty!

The River Goyt in New Mills

As I was on the footpath approaching New Mills Central station, I smelt gas somewhere, so thought I’d do my day’s civic duty and reported it to the gas emergency service. It took a little while to get across to the operator both where the footpath was, and that I was just passing through, it wasn’t my house, I didn’t live anywhere nearby and wouldn’t be present when they arrived, but it worked out in the end, and I got on my train back in to Manchester.

New Mills Central station

I got back in to Piccadilly at about 1:30pm, and with a couple of hours yet until my parents would arrive, I got a tram across the city centre to Victoria station, [2] for one more activity I had planned for the early afternoon: I’d booked onto a tour of Chetham’s Library at 2pm.

The tour was great! Chetham’s Library is very cool – it’s a public reference library to this day, in that anyone can make an appointment to go and read things from their collection, and has been so since its foundation in around 1650, making it the oldest public library in Britain. I briefly had to excuse myself from the tour to answer my phone to a gas engineer on site where I’d reported the leak at New Mills, but they just wanted me to confirm the location, having already found the leak, so that way okay!

The library is housed within what is now Chetham’s School of Music, a private secondary school, the buildings of which started out as an ecclesiastical college in the 15th century. It’s a really beautiful site, both the library space itself with its original dark wood shelving, and the rest of the old college: we were shown ints cloisters, dining hall and various other spaces, all still used by the school and library. We were told how the library has been used by various notables through history, including John Dee and Marx and Engels.

A small chained library, one of several set up in local churches, as part of the same charitable foundation that established the library

After the tour, I’d had quite enough activity for my “rest” day, and after another short tram hop and walk through the city centre, I got back to the flat, met my parents, and had a relaxed afternoon and evening with them, showing them my photos of the trip so far, before Father Dearest cooked us his perennial (and very nice) pea and potato curry for dinner!


[1] The individual map area posts will duplicate the contents of the special trip posts, but unlike the latter they won’t form a continuous narrative, since they’ll skip things I did in map areas I’ve already posted about. They will, though, newly contain narration of anything I did on previous visits there – since some of these are areas which are new to the blog, but which I visited before starting my blog in 2017.

[2] I could have got the free bus, but I’d already bought a day ticket for the trams, so thought I’d make use of it!

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