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Walking Group in 2009
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2009 Walking 'Weekend' Walking Group Archive
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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

2009 Programme of Walks - Click on the date link for the walk report.
JAN   28       Walter's  Mystery Walk    6½ miles/meal
FEB   25       Brian Farquhar,  Higher Poynton  5 miles Meet 10.00am.
                     One gradual climb.  Either, bring sandwiches, or eat in pub 
MAR  25       Roger/Jean Drinkwater     Rainow/Lamaload
5 miles.  Meet at 09.30.
                     Pub Lunch
APR   29       Gerry/Jan Chartres
.   Meet at the village hall at 10am.  We will travel to the
                     Errwood reservoir, to get to The Street car park for 1030. Bring packed lunch.
                    The walk will be 5/6 miles, mainly on firm paths, with 3/4 climbs, but few stiles.

MAY  27      John McCartney     Wednesday 27th May – A leisurely 4 mile walk from Great
                    Hucklow.Meet at the Village Hall, 9.30 am.
                    This easy 4 mile walk is mainly on the level  along good tracks, with a couple of
                    short, gentle ascents.There are few stone stiles.
                    Eating arrangments:  Bring a pack lunch  and eat it in the village after the walk
                    (seats available), or have pub lunch in the Queen Anne (We can reserve places
                    before setting off)

JUN   17*  
  Ruth and Dave Smith - meet 10am, bring sandwiches, for a 5 mile walk in the
                     lovely Litton/Cressbrook area
- but some climbing as we return from the valley.

JUN   28/29/30 Ravenscar,    Steve Reynolds
JUL    29       Louanne Collins -
Birchin Edge and monuments, near Baslow.
AUG   26       Steve Reynolds -
  Windgather Rocks and Shining Tor.  An 8 mile quite hilly
                      walk from Pym Chair, to take in Windgather Rocks and the highest point in
                      Cheshire, Shining Tor, for all the patriotic Cheshirites!
                      We will meet at 9.30 am, with packed lunch, at the village hall.

SEP     30       Walter Mason - Chatsworth.  
Meet 9.30 at the village hall bringing packed
                      lunch.  The walk will start from the Calton Lees car park at the far end of
                      Chatsworth grounds.  It will be about 5
½ miles, with one moderate climb
                      (about 400 feet) to start, then mainly easy walking in the Chatsworth estate,
                      first in the woods above Chatsworth, then return by the river.
                      An easy 2
-3 mile walk can be made from the same start point, to Edensor and
                      back, and requires no navigation skills, if slower walkers want to walk on the
                      same day, but without a leader.  Edensor has a tea shop and toilet!

OCT    28       Sam Chappell - Hayfield Circular.  Meet 9.30, bring packed lunch, to travel to
                      Hayfield for a 6 mile walk skirting Lantern Pike, and passing Carr Meadow
                      and the Shooting Cabin, before returning to Hayfield by the Snake path.

NOV   25       David Lloyd -
From the Little Mill Inn, Rowarth towards Cown and Coombes
 Meet at 9.30, pub lunch.
DEC    16*     Brian/Alison Allerton,
A 4 mile walk with a pub meal afterwards. Meet at
                      10am, Village Hall, to travel to the Shady Oak pub on Long Hill (Whaley
                      Bridge - Buxton road).  There is a Christmas menu with choices but
                      alternatives are available, including soup/sandwiches.

                      Importantly, Brian does need to know numbers for the meal by 11th December,
                      with choice of dishes (to help the landlord).  Please email or 'phone Brian or
                      Walter for a copy of the menu and with your requirements.

* NB walk not on last Wednesday

Walking Away 2010
We are once again planning an away 2/3 day walking break for 2010.  This will be in the Cotswolds staying overnight on Monday 28th and Tuesday 29th June at Dumbleton Hall Hotel, nr Evesham.  This is a traditional 19th century Manor House with 34 ensuite bedrooms, set in 19 acres of gardens and woodland with a private lake.  The hotel is surrounded by stunning views of the Malvern Hills, Bredon Hill and Broadway Tower.   The cost will be £60 per person per night.

Whilst we have made a provisional booking for the group we need to firm up on numbers ASAP.  Can you please confirm whether or not you plan to join the group for this break and if so whether you require a double, twin or single room?

They are unable to accommodate us on the Sunday night as they are at this stage fully booked with a wedding party but if people wished they could possibly stay on for an additional night(s) from the Wednesday if they so wish.

We will advise regarding deposits as soon as booking is confirmed. 

Jean and Roger Drinkwater

2009 Walking Weekend

The walking 'weekend', planned by Steve Reynolds took place from Sunday to Tuesday 28th - 30th June.  The location was the Raven Hall Hotel at Ravenscar, N. Yorks.  It’s between Scarborough & Whitby at the south end of Robin Hood’s Bay.  The walks on the Monday  included part of the Cleveland Way.
Click here for the report and pictures.

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.

2009 Walks.

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

JANUARY 28        Meet at 10am  for Walter’s mystery walk.
Report on the Walk

Our first walk of the 2009 season, led by Walter Mason, was billed as a Mystery Walk of 6 to 7 miles. It proved to be more of a “Mist” ery!  We gathered at the village hall in decidedly poor visibility.  Twenty one members set out, growing to twenty two, when Walter’s wife joined us part way round.
This was a very “green” walk, as we abandoned our cars at the outset, and walked from our meeting point. Crossing the A6, we cut through the estate, past the Woodside tennis club and into the Bollinhurst Brook valley.  Almost immediately we experienced sections of muddy conditions, which were to be a recurring feature throughout much of the walk, courtesy of heavy overnight rain.  We entered Lyme Park to join the trail through Elmerhurst Wood, and made our way along to the timber yard for a coffee stop.  This was taken alfresco by most, but perhaps one or two took advantage of
the warmth of the coffee shop!
Our break over, we continued through the park towards the East Lodge, with distant sightings of Red Deer en route.  The mist continued to prevail, but there were some breaks of blue on occasion.  From East the higher reservoir was very low, and lower down we noticed, in passing, that the old water treatment works had been transformed into a luxury mansion, with multiple garages.  
The final part of the walk led back through the lower part of the park, past Ryles Wood and Middlecale Farm to join the Macclesfield Canal, and eventually our starting point at High Lane. Muddy boots abandoned, we drove to the Dog and Partridge for an excellent carvery meal to successfully round off an enjoyable day.
Thanks Walter.                                                                                           
                David Lloyd

FEBRUARY 25       Brian Farquhar,  Meet at the village hall to travel to the car park in Higher Poynton (across the road junction from Boars Head pub, just below the canal).  The walk will start from there at about 10.20am, and will be about 5 miles. There will be a slow climb in the early stages towards Lyme Park before a gradual descent by woods and stream to West Gate and the fieldpaths below, heading for the Miners’ Arms and the Middlewood Way. There is a food choice – either to eat at the pub, or take sandwiches, depending on preference.
Report on the Walk

Thirteen members turned up for the 5 mile walk, which started at Nelsons Pit in Higher Poynton, and was led by Brian Farquhar.  Leaving the car park, we walked up Lyme Road and along a fairly strenuous uphill moorland track, past the first of many old stone farmhouses on the route. Passing through a kissing gate, we entered Lyme Park, where we paused to watch volunteers rebuilding old dry-stone walls.  Just before Lyme Hall, we turned right through another gate, leaving the open moorland for the sheltered dell of Pursefield Wood, where we had a coffee stop.

After a short rest, we carried on through the wood, eventually coming to the lodge at West Parkgate, where we left the Park and turned left through the hamlet of Green Close.  We had a short stop here to admire the old Methodist church built in 1861 and the old miners’ cottages. Going ahead on a tarmac road for a few hundred yards, we turned right onto Redacre Hall farmtrack, but just before reaching the farm we crossed a stile on our left, into a field, and along an almost non existent overgrown footpath.

Eventually we reached Lockgate Stud Farm, where we could have taken a short cut to the Macclesfield canal, but as everyone seemed fresh and keen to go on, we crossed a stile into another field.  Unfortunately this field was very boggy and few of us got across without sinking ankle deep into the mud!  Passing through a gate, we swung right at Woodend farm, along a footpath and down onto the canal side.  Walking along the towpath, we came to Lyme View marina, where we left the canal, up onto the road to the Miners Arms.

The Miners Arms was originally a 400 years old farm building, which had been turned into a pub in the mid nineteenth century to cater for the thirsty miners of that period.
What’s good enough for the miners was good enough for us, so we stopped here for a leisurely lunch from their ‘credit crunch menu’.

As we left the pub it was just starting to rain, so we headed back along the Middlewood trail for the last part of the walk, to the Nelson Pit car park, from where we had set out.

Many thanks to Brian for leading his “maiden” walk!

MARCH  25  Roger/Jean Drinkwater.  Rainow/Lamaload 5 miles.  Meet at 09.30.  Pub Lunch.
Report on the Walk

The eight who ignored the dismal weather forecast, of heavy showers driven by a fierce nor’westerly wind, were rewarded by a very pleasant walk in the meadows, stream valleys and foothills round Rainow and Lamaload.  Roger and Jean Drinkwater led us into a new area for many.  The showers were infrequent and not too heavy, and the wind was often helpfully on our backs.  Skylark and curlew greeted our passage, and we had good views towards Kerridge and White Nancy, Waggonshaw Brow and Cat’s Tor, and distant glimpses of Shining Tor and the Cat and Fiddle road.  Moles appeared to have been working overtime, but the many sheep were undeterred as we passed Ginclough, Brock Low, Valeroyal, and skirted past Thornsett farm.

Although the paths were damp, we were spared the mud of the past two walks, as we returned in leisurely fashion to the Robin Hood, on Stocks Lane in Rainow, for some very well presented meals.  The Cheshire chat and repartee lasted well into the afternoon, and Roger and Jean were well praised for their walk!

APRIL   29       Gerry/Jan Chartres - Errwood reservoir,  packed lunch.  5/6 miles.
Report on the Walk
A group of 16 joined the walk of Gerry and Jan Chartres at Errwood Reservoir Dam, on a perfect walking day with warm sunshine. The walk ascended by Jep Clough, then contoured along past Oldfield farm, up and down Mill Clough, skirted Oaken End farm,  before heading down to the woods above the River Goyt to start our return. The bluebells were hardly showing colour, but there were wood anemones, sorrell, and celandines in abundance.
After a welcome lunch stop by the footbridge, we walked along by the river, up and across the Fernilee dam, then followed the woodland paths by Fernilee Reservoir, back to The Street car park. Many thanks to Gerry and Jan for their first walk as leaders, and for choosing firm dry paths for a forgetful bootless Walter!

Walter Mason

May 27th    – A leisurely 4 mile walk from Great Hucklow.
Report on the Walk
John McCartney led 21 of us on a very pleasant round from Great Hucklow. The weather forecast, for once, wasn’t pessimistic, so we had a persistent drizzle for much of the way. But the tracks were firm, and the meadows green and comfortable under our feet, as we passed through Grindlow hamlet and Foolow village. Then we skirted Stanley House and Silly Dale, before returning to the welcoming warmth of the Queen Anne pub, with tasty and very well presented meals.

On the way we had passed an array of horse troughs, a succession of attractive farmhouses and dwellings, the ubiquitous sheep and lambs – but, in spite of the warning sign, and fortunately – no bull! The views were extensive, but inevitably misty, and we saw in the distance the attractive upper reaches of Cressbrook Dale near Litton, the venue for our next walk on June 17th ( a week earlier than usual, because of the late June weekend).

So, many thanks to John and Barbara for their planning of this walk in a new area for many – and finding such a good pub for afterwards.

Walter Mason 28 May 2009

Gardens1 Gardens2 Gardens3 Gardens4 Gardens5
Gardens6 Gardens7 Gardens8 Gardens9

June 17th - a 5 mile walk in the lovely Litton/Cressbrook area.

Report on the Walk
12 go forth!Ruth and Dave Smith drew the short straw, as a bad weather report proved depressingly accurate. The usually dry dales greeted us with slippy limestone, and even with patches of mud, more akin to winter conditions. But the twelve of us did have summer warmth, and a mass of unusual vegetation and June flowers to admire, in the very attractive Tansley, Cressbrook, Ravensdale, Water-cum-Jolly and Millers dales.

Lunch StopWalter had a fruitless time searching for the now rare yellow mountain pansy, but others had more luck with the varied colours of the common spotted orchid, masses of common rock rose and biting stonecrop, and an occasional early purple orchid. There was a lingering scent of wild garlic (Ransoms), and seedheads of cowslips were in abundance.
We passed the pretty Ravensdale cottages, on our way to the converted mills of Cressbrook and Litton, and an improvised and sheltered lunch stop.
CottageCressbrook MillNow upmarket apartments, Ellis Needham’s Litton Mill once housed inhumanely treated children as its workforce, while the glorious Georgian facade of Joseph Arkwright’s Cressbrook Mill used to contain much luckier and well cared for apprentices. 
We left the overhung limestone climbing crags of Water cum Jolly Dale, where the River Wye was muddy and swollen almost over the riverside path, and climbed Litton Slack, past the New Houses and  cemetery, and back to our cars.
Ruth & DaveSheltered from the rain, the ladies of Litton were busy preparing their well dressing for the weekend opening, but for once our group seemed reluctant to linger and investigate, and anxious to return to hot showers.
Such a shame for Ruth and Dave, who on any other day would have received far more thanks for this lovely and classic limestone walk. But was the wea
ther the fault of the group leader who had set the date for                                            this walk???
Walter Mason 17 June 2009

July 29 – Louanne Collins – Birchin Edge and monuments, near Baslow.
Report on the Walk
On the day the British Met Office declared the barbecue summer dead and buried, 8 intrepid U3A walkers led by Louanne and Peter Collins decided to test that declaration with an “easy” 5 miler near the Buxton and Matlock Bath spa areas.

Three watery hours after our start from the Robin Hood pub above Baslow, we agreed completely with the meteorologists, after seeing a varied set of rain, from fine, through steady, to heavy – but all continuous, and very wetting!  Those same meteorologists, by the way, had forecast the downpours to blanket the North West and miss Derbyshire – but we can all make mistakes!

Through the raindrops, and unmolested by tourists or fair weather picnickers, we got close to the battleship–like rocks of Birchin Edge and the monuments to the British heroes Nelson (a slender needlelike column) and Wellington ( a sturdy cross on a layered gritstone outcrop).

Views were misty and tenuous and the ground inevitably soggy and occasionally boggy, but our spirits held firm, even jovial, as we descended from the edge, proceeded along the old Chesterfield Road (now a track), picked our way through the woods down Jack Flat, and climbed up by Gardom Edge on our return to the Robin Hood.  Neolithic field systems abound in this area, so were our ancestors a hardy lot if they thrived on these damp fields in the days before supposed global warming?

A quick shedding of damp clothing, a quick drink at the Robin Hood and we were recognisable and smart again, ready for the – surely hot and sunny? – next walk at the end
of August (26th), to be led by Steve Reynolds.  But thanks to Louanne and Peter for showing
us that walks can be interesting and enjoyable even on the wettest days.

Walter Mason

August 26 – Steve Reynolds – Windgather Rocks and Shining Tor.
Report on the Walk
On a wet & very windy last Wednesday in August, 7 hardy members set out from Pym Chair car park.  We had already decided not to walk up Shining Tor as it was literally blowing a gale so we set off down the road towards Jenkin Chapel.  We took the track past Greenstack Farm, crossed Hodgel Brook before arriving at Dunge Farm Gardens.  Then onwards & upwards to Five Lane Ends & Taxal Edge before venturing out on to Windgather Rocks.  Here we stopped for a packed lunch in a suitably sheltered spot.  After admiring the view we set off back to Pym Chair. However, the rain came with a real vengeance so that last mile & half was a real battle against the elements.  Finally arriving back at the cars it was unaminously agreed to dry out in the comfort of the Swan Inn at Kettleshulme.

Although the walk turned out to be much shorter than planned, everyone seemed to enjoy the day.

Steve Reynolds

September 30 - Walter Mason - Chatsworth.
Report on the Walk
In contrast to recent walks, surprisingly hot sunshine greeted 17 walkers at Calton Lees car park, Chatsworth for Walter's 6 mile walk.  The hot sun didn't last, but it stayed fine as we crossed the One Arch Bridge and climbed steadily to Beeley Hill Top, there to gently ascend through the bracken, pausing for a coffee stop, on the way.

coffee stop in brackenscenic lunch stoptower

Into Stand Wood on the upper part of the Duke of Devonshire's estate, we had a scenic lunch stop by Swiss Lake, before passing the Emperor Lake (reservoir for the famous Emperor fountain) en route to the 15C Hunting Tower, with its regal connections.
view from towerkissing gateapproaching Chatsworthpassing Chatsworth

Further on there was a gradual path, down through the wooded scarp,old mill
dotted with occasional sweet chestnuts, to beeline for Baslow and the Cannon kissing gate. Disappointingly, we turned sharply for an easy return by Bar Brook and the River Derwent, passing Queen Mary's Bower (Mary of Mary Queen of Scots), Chatsworth House and the Old Mill (with derelict underflow water wheel), back to our cars.
The walking had been on dry, firm tracks in pleasant surroundings, and seemed to be well appreciated.
Walter Mason

October 28 - Sam Chappell - Hayfield Circular.
Report on the Walk
After meeting at 9.30 at High Lane, 15 walkers assembled in the Sett Valley Trail car park on the edge of Hayfield Village, once a busy industrial centre producing cotton, paper and printing calico.  The weather was perfect.  It was warm and sunny with temperatures approaching 18°C for the whole of the walk.

The toughest part of the walk was the walk up to Lantern Pike, but the reward was a short coffee break and superb views taking in Cown Edge, Middle Moor, Kinder and Mt Famine.

The next section was much easier with a good path from Lantern Pike past Blackshaw Farm and on to Carr Meadow where we had a very agreeable lunch break on a grassy bank beside a stream and in full warm sunshine.

The easy route down to Carr Meadow lost us most of the height gained on our climb up to Lantern Pike so that the next section was a gradual ascent on open moorland to the shooting cabins on Middle Moor (1060ft).  The views from here were of Lyme Park, Chinley Churn, and Alderly Edge.

The final section followed the Snake Path through a series of refurbished kissing gates dating back to 1897, the purpose of which was elegantly demonstrated by Ruth and David.  Finally we returned to the centre of the village via Kinder road after a really lovely day and a walk on varied paths and tracks with wonderful scenery.

Thanks to Sam Chappell, the Walk Leader, and for his description of this walk.

November 25 - David Lloyd.  A walk with pub lunch from the Little Mill Inn, Rowarth towards Cown and Coombes Edges.  Meet at 9.30.
Report on the Walk
With a forecast of blustery, possibly heavy showers, fifteen of us collected at the Little Mill Inn, Rowarth for David Lloyd’s walk.  A rough path led us to the village, with the former post office marked with an attractive plaque, before we climbed the broad grassy ridge towards Coombes Edge.

After a rest or two, we completed the 700 foot ascent, found a coffee stop well sheltered from the strong wind, and then it was flat or downhill all the way.  First we continued along the impressive westerly ridge, then returned along on the eastern side, now called Cown Edge, with extensive views all round – although punctuated by low cloud and distant misty showers, which all seemed to pass us by.

Mindful of our prebooked meals, our leader kept to minor roads and tracks for a speedy return, still with lovely views, and soon we were ensconced in a cosy room at the Little Mill, where David’s wife met us, and all enjoyed a tasty and good quality “Golden Years” two–course meal.  A hot warming soup followed by Steak and Ale Pie were among the popular choices.  Many thanks to David for a excellent route and a good pub venue.

December “Christmas” walk.

This will be on Wednesday 16th December, a 4 mile walk led by Brian Allerton with pub meal afterwards.  Meet at 10am, at the Village Hall, to travel to the Shady Oak pub on Long Hill.  There is a Christmas menu, which most of us are likely to have, although there are alternatives available.
Report on the Walk
19 joined Alison and Brian for the last walk of 2009.  And our poorish luck with the weather continued, as a light drizzle eventually came quite wetting.
So we were very glad that the chosen pub, The Shady Oak on Long Hill,
was warm, cosy, and turned out very well-presented and tasty meals.
5 others joined us at the pub for this Christmas meeting, and the whole atmosphere was very pleasant.

Earlier we had walked just under 4 miles, skirting round Ladder Hill, past the farms of Folds, Eldor Lane, Thorny Lee (with parachuting Father Christmas!), and the intriguingly named Wythen Lach.

  We caught glimpses of the lovely scenery around,
  but thick mists blocked out most of the views.
  Brian’s route held its
challenges, as 2 or 3 large         pools forced us to use initiative.  But the walk was   otherwise reasonably easy and just right for the        day.  So, many thanks, Brian and Alison.



2010 will soon be upon us, with interesting new walking routes to discover, the first by Louanne and Peter Collins on January 27th. Details to follow.

Contact Roger and Jean Drinkwater quickly, if wishing to go on next June’s away trip.

Thanks to all those who have walked with us during 2009, especially the walk leaders for the various months, who have recced routes and discovered nice pubs for us en route. And, another thank you for the appropriate present you kindly gave me.

Walter Mason