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We meet monthly, usually on the last Wednesday of each month, at 10am by the village hall.
Walks are not long or strenuous; 5 or 6 miles on average, each with a different leader.
Setting Off from Hartington July 2006
Come along to see the countryside in all its moods, sometimes bathed in sunshine, often with a shower or two, even perhaps with a carpet of snow!
Our walkers might pass stone-age remains, badger setts and tracks, and fascinating old farmhouses and cottages.

Eccles PikeThey will certainly enjoy sweeping views over the Cheshire plain, Peak District panoramas of hills and dales, and gentler scenery by canals and parkland in Lyme, Alderley and Ladybrook.

You are guaranteed a friendly welcome when you join us.
Do come!

Group Leader: Walter Mason

2008 Programme of Walks - 30/1 Mystery Walk; 27/2 Styal area; 26/3 Strines area;
30/4 Swettenham; 21/5 Mottram St. Andrew area;
25/6 Taxal, Windgather, Fernilee;
13-15/7 Walking 'Weekend'; 30/7 Combs area; 27/8
Grindleford/Padley area; 24/9 Strines/Brookbottom; 29/10 Ashford in the Water; 26/11 Castleton; 17/12 Mellor        
2009 Walking Weekend

Plans are being prepared by Steve Reynolds for a walking 'weekend'.  This will take place on Sunday & Monday 28,29 June.  Location is the Raven Hall Hotel ( at Ravenscar, N. Yorks.  It’s between Scarborough & Whitby at the south end of Robin Hood’s Bay. The main walk on the Monday will include part of the Cleveland Way.
Indication of  hotel cost is £49 per person per night for a double room including dinner.

If you are interested, please e-mail Steve by 16th November with a copy to Walter, so that rooms can be booked.

Any walking group members who have changed their e-mail address recently, or who haven't received e-mail reminders of walks, please send
their updated e-mail address to Walter Mason.

2008 Walks.

ALL WEDNESDAYS  Meet at the Village Hall at 10am unless stated otherwise.

JANUARY 30        Meet at 10am  for Walter’s mystery walk, which won’t be more
                               than 4 miles, and should be walkable by all – could be a couple of
                               inclines and occasional mud though!  There will be somewhere for
                               a meal or light refreshments.

Report on the Walk
Bright sunshine brought 34 curious walkers for Walter’s mystery walk This led them from Wyevale garden centre up through the woods to the site of Marple Hall, home of the Bradshaw family from 1658, but demolished in 1960 to make way for Marple Hall School. Our party passed through the estate to the semi - mansions of Dale Road, and descended past the canoe centre to the wooded valley of the River Goyt.

Several herons entertained us by Lower Dale farm, but we walked on to the weir and ford opposite Chadkirk. This is the spot where Sustrans want to build a cycle bridge, recently featured on TV. Good for the cyclists, perhaps less good for nature lovers, in that the cyclists would have to appropriate some public footpaths, and would make a currently peaceful area much less so. Recent storms had breached the weir, and left their mark with one or two fallen trees. 

Finally our group climbed up through the woods and down again to Otter’s Pool, and the pleasant surroundings of Wyevale conservatory restaurant, who just about coped with our numbers and our varied demands. It had been an easy walk with only the odd patch of mud, and although the large group held together well, on a route with stiles or sterner ground, we could have been straggling and scattered.

It was great to see a record turnout, but it did raise the possibility of logistical problems for the future, if we frequently have such numbers!

FEBRUARY 27      David Lloyd will take us for a 5 mile walk in the area of Styal and
                              the woods by the river Bollin. Meet at 10am and bring packed lunch.
                              The walk is fairly flat, but there will be several sets of steps.

Report on the Walk
Once again we were very fortunate with the weather, and 24 turned up for the February walk.
Starting from Twinnies Bridge, between Wilmslow and Styal we meandered along the "apprentice" path to Greg's Mill and a coffee stop. The walk continued down river, but not all downhill, as there were a couple of areas where the river bank has to be negotiated up and down lengths of steps.

The River Bollin had to be crossed and recrossed several times, and after the last bridge there was a suitable picnic spot, with lots of fallen logs to sit upon. The sun came out and it was very pleasant.

On leaving the river, we negotiated a number of field paths, wooded glens and boardwalks, bringing the group to the final river crossing and the car park. Most people enjoyed the walk, although one or two might have found it a little long.
Thanks to David Lloyd for leading the walk, and for providing the report.

MARCH 26       Meet at 9.30am for an intermediate 4 mile walk in the Strines area.
                          There is a steady climb of about 400 feet part way round the walk
                          and some of the tracks, which are rough and uneven, become very
                          muddy after prolonged rain.  There is the opportunity to have lunch
                          at the Sportsman after the walk.  Leaders Barbara & John McCartney.

Report on the Walk
In March, 22 of us joined John McCartney. We walked past the millpond and distinctive dovecote of the former printworks, past Strines Hall, and up the long muddy incline to Brookbottom hamlet. Rumour does tell of Morris dancing at the Fox Inn, but not on this drizzly day. A gentle contour with sweeping views over the valley of the river Goyt led us to Mellor golf course, where we turned down Linnet Clough past wide swathes of ramsons (often incorrectly called wild garlic ).  The chopped and cooked leaves of ramsons (allium ursinum) have been used to flavour dishes and sauces, but are rated inferior to cultivated garlic (allium sativum).

Bottoms Hall, Roman Lakes and the Roman Bridge took us quickly back to the Sportsman for enjoyable and substantial meals. Thanks to John for his very pleasant walk.
APRIL 30             Led by Rae and Ray. Meet High Lane 10.00am with packed lunch, for directions to the start, for a promised lovely 5 miles mainly flat walk at Swettenham, dry and safe to walk on!  There will be a possible opportunity after the walk, either to visit Quinta arboretum (£2 donation - but free to RHS members), or for a drink in the pub (if well dressed, and still open!).

Report on the Walk
Ray and Rae took 23 of us to Swettenham for a very pleasant walk in the well kept Cheshire countryside.  We left the Swettenham Arms (a former nunnery, reputably with a secret tunnel through to the nearby church), and walked quiet lanes and the attractive bridle path across the fast flowing River Dane through to Brereton Heath Country  Park.

This former heathland was extensively quarried for its high grade silica sand to be used locally in glass making and in the Midlands for iron foundry casting.  The quarry has now become a lake surrounded by pleasant birchwoods and open glades, and as is nowadays common in country parks, with an occasional wood carving.

While the rest of the country was suffering heavy downpours, we were blessed with fine weather for walking, and for eating our packed lunches.  The walk was not overlong, but one or two did get up sufficient thirst for a jar or two in the Swettenham Arms.  Many thanks to Ray and Rae for their walk.

MAY  21*              
The May walk will be on MAY 21ST (a week earlier than usual).  Richard and Susan Clark will lead a fairly easy 4½ mile walk with some slopes, with a pub lunch afterwards at Mottram St. Andrew.  Meet at High Lane at 9.30am.
If going directly to the start, the pub is the Bulls Head/Osteria Mauro restaurant, Mottram Cross, Mottram St. Andrew - grid ref SJ 881784 - park in the rear car park.

Report on the Walk
Eighteen of us (including a visitor from Liverpool) enjoyed the walk led by Richard and Susan Clark.  They took us to the pleasantly undulating meadows and woods between Mottram St Andrew, Hare Hill and the ridge of Alderley Edge.  Late bluebells sprinkled the undergrowth, fishing ponds were all around, and there were lovely views of the distant Cheshire plain and the nearby hills of Lyme and Sponds.

In one field were cattle with calves, of a breed we couldn’t identify, but they tolerated our passage.  Other walking groups passed to and fro, one had some old University friends of our Chairman John, and there was even a group from Formby.  Occasional rough ground and an awkward stile or two were the only blemishes on a very pleasant walk with a very pleasant meal to follow at Osteria Mauros (formerly the Bull’s Head).  Many thanks to Richard and Susan.

JUNE  25               Brian/Alison Allerton
– meet 1000am High Lane, with packed lunch for a 6 miles fairly hilly walk, which starts on the Long Hill road out of Whaley Bridge, at a lay by on the right soon after leaving the traffic lights.

Report on the Walk
Brian and Alison took 14 of us on an interesting walk in the Taxal, Windgather, Fernilee area. The walk climbed up to the beautifully situated St. James Church in Taxal, and past the former Chimes of Taxal restaurant (remember it?) which is now a private house, before finding a lovely concession path ascending Taxal Edge and further to Windgather Rocks.

A descent through the fringes of the Goyt forest, still devastated in places from past storms, led to the tracks leading round to Fernilee dam. Then it was an easy descent past Fernilee, with clusters of Fragrant Orchids and an occasional Ragged Robin in the damp meadows by the river Goyt, until a last short climb through Shallcross Wood led to our cars.

Very mixed weather had kept us on our toes, but the clear views and fresh countryside gave us a worthwhile walk, hillier than most, but a good warm-up for those going on the Grasmere weekend. 

Many thanks, Brian and Alison.

Based at Glenthorne, Easedale Road, Grasmere.
Click for the report and pictures

JULY  30  Walter Mason – bring bus passes and packed lunch, and meet at 9.45am for a choice of 5 or 7 mile walks. We will catch the 9.59am 199 Buxton/Skyline bus as far as Dove Holes, and return by 199 bus either from the Hanging Gate at Combs, or the Jodrell Arms at Whaley Bridge. One longish hill at the start, but then a lot of downhill on good roads/paths, with just one stretch which is fairly rough, possibly muddy.  If going straight to Dove Holes, aim to be there for 1036am.

Report on the Walk
A leaden sky and occasional drizzle greeted the 16 walkers, who boarded the 199 bus to Doveholes.  Doveholes is not the prettiest village, but a climb past the grey houses surprised our group with close views of the sharp ridges of Lady How and Castle Naze, and a panorama across to Chapel-en-le Frith, Kinder and Rushup.

After a coffee stop, Walter led us down past the modernised buildings of Ridge Farm, and
through the beech trees to Chapel-en-le-Frith station (Walter’s grandfather had been stationmaster there circa 1910 to 1930, and the family lived in the Station House, now a restaurant).

After sandwiches, now in warm sunshine, we followed railway paths to Combs, to link up with the waterside path round Combs reservoir.  3 walkers headed for the nearby bus stop, but the other 13 continued up to Tunstead farm onto a little used field path to Cadster House and farm (Brian Allerton’s mother was born here in 1909).

Then it was down to the Whaley Bridge outskirts and the bus home.  By common consent, an attractive 7½ mile walk on new countryside, and the use of bus passes a useful tool for the future.

AUGUST 27          Don Heap's walk in August will be 4½- 5 miles in the Grindleford/Padley                                       area with some hills.  Meet at 9.30 am with a packed lunch.

Report on the Walk
Recent heavy rains had left Grindleford paths excessively muddy, so Don Heap switched the August walk to firmer terrain locally.  Don led 10 of us past Disley St. Mary’s, up the gradual climb of Green Lane (not so green these days!), with sweeping views over Kinder and Lyme.  Thick grey clouds kept dry as we followed Mudhurst Lane, had a coffee stop, and did the steeper climb to Bowstonegate.

Then it was downhill to Knightslow Wood, with glimpses of familiar Red Deer and surprisingly light-coloured Sika (?) Deer, on opposite sides. After a pleasant sandwich stop by the lake, Don took us through the Arboretum (new to several), with a few Autumn leaves beginning to show, down the Elmerhurst trail, and back to our cars at Disley station.  All 10 enjoyed Don’s walk, very suitable for the day with the misty air obscuring the distant views.

SEPTEMBER 24   Sam Chappell About 5 miles in Marple Ridge/Strines/Brookbottom area (Possible shorter/easier variation).   Meet at 10.00 am.
Two alternatives for food - either pre-order sandwiches
the day before from the Fox Inn @ £2.80/£3  - 0161 427 1634, or bring packed lunch, and just buy a drink at the Fox on the day.

Report on the Walk
Lucky were the 13 who joined Sam Chappell’s “maiden” walk.  They enjoyed a lovely walk in the picturesque Strines valley.  From Marple Ridge, we descended overgrown Plucksbridge Road (however did we drive cars down there 40 years ago?), went over the canal and down to the Roman Bridge and Lakes (there used to be a massive mill here – scenically it is a blessing in disguise that it burned down years ago!).

Peak Forest Canal By the River Goyt Roman Lakes Just checking

From Bottoms Hall (Old Hall), we climbed the ancient track towards Gibb Lane, but turned across Mellor Golf Course, with stunning views to our right, on our way to the charming hamlet of Brookbottom, and its welcoming Fox Inn.  There the sun came out as we had our lunch stop.

Bottoms Hall

A warm and pleasant amble down to Strines village followed, where the millpond dovecote is now being disturbed by an unwelcome housing scheme, before we had to climb up to the High Peak canal, past the ancestral 17C cottage of David Lloyd’s wife.

Down to StrinesBack under the canal

OCTOBER 29       Louanne Collins   Meet 9.30, with packed lunch, to walk in the                                                     Ashford-in-the-Water/Monsall Head area.

Report on the Walk
19 joined Peter and Louanne Collins and undeterred by dire BBC warnings of  dangerous icy roads, we zoomed through the High Peak to Ashford-in-the-Water.  A clear blue sky and frost-free landscape greeted our walkers, as we threaded the limestone field paths and narrow muddy lanes, with a gradual ascent to a surprise aerial view of the Monsal viaduct.  The narrow path above steep slopes led to a drinks stop at the picnic tables of Monsal Head viewpoint.

Then a steep, but easy descent dropped us down to the dale and a footbridge crossing over the River Wye, well swollen from weekend rains.  The grassy walk by the river was suffering from too much damp and too many pedestrians, but the views of the weir and the Monsall Dale woods were superb.  “Peaks’ Autumn Leaves Are Golden And Brown”, said the poem on a passing bench!

After a lunch stop at White Lodge, we skirted Dimin Dale (or Demon’s Dell), which was settled 4½  thousand years ago by Beaker folk.  Then a climb into Shacklow Woods, with one or two slippy stretches.  Back down to the River Wye, there was interest from fish jumping in the extensive fish ponds, from the Magpie Sough – the drainage tunnel from the former Magpie lead mine (once navigated by one of our members!), and from the Shacklow Mill – with its unusual two water wheels, one on either side!

Ready to get going again The climb up I see no fish!

But soon we were back at Sheepwash Bridge in Ashford-in-the-Water, having very much enjoyed Peter and Louanne’s walk.

NOVEMBER 26    Ruth and Dave Smith – Meet at 9.30am, for a short and relatively easy walk                                   in Castleton, followed by a pub lunch. 

Report on the Walk
At the start
On a grey drizzly day at High Lane, 25 went with Ruth and Dave Smith to a surprisingly sunny Castleton for our 3 mile stroll.  But not for long, as the mist overtook us by the stream to Hollowford Road, and we swung round on some muddy paths to Dinscar Farm, and by Odin Sitch (stream) to the remains of Odin Mine.

The stream to Hollowford Road After Hollowford Road Dinscar Farm

Grindstone near Odin MineWe passed the protected grindstone and joined the former
Manchester/Sheffield trunk road, closed in 1977 because of persistent severe subsidence (the slippage below Mam Tor).

As we hit some heavy drizzle, Ruth and Dave streered us along an easier route on the quiet road below Treak Cliff back to assorted meals at the Castle Hotel, where we thanked them for
a well-judged walk.

Inside the Castle Hotel Inside the Castle Hotel Inside the Castle Hotel

DECEMBER 17 *   Steve Reynolds   The walk will be 4/5 miles from the Devonshire Arms,                                        Mellor, followed by a pub lunch.  Meet at 9.45

* NB walk not on last Wednesday

2009 Walking Weekend

Plans are being prepared by Steve Reynolds for a walking 'weekend' at Ravenscar next summer. Those on email will be circulated with details when finalised.  Any walking group members who have changed their email address recently, or who haven't received email reminders of walks, please send
their updated email address to Walter Mason.

Visit  –  Alderley Edge Copper Mine – Paul Stubbs, Derbyshire Caving Club

Walter Mason