meet monthly, usually on the last Wednesday of each month, at 10am
by the village hall.
are not long or
strenuous; 5 or 6 miles on average, each with a different leader. Come along to
see the countryside in all its moods, sometimes
sunshine, often with a shower or two, even perhaps with a carpet of
walkers might pass stone-age remains, badger setts and tracks, and
fascinating old farmhouses and cottages.
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.
are guaranteed a friendly welcome when you join us.
Programme of Walks
- Click on the date link for the walk report.
28 Walter's Mystery Walk
6½ miles/meal FEB 25
Brian Farquhar, Higher Poynton 5 miles Meet
One gradual climb. Either, bring sandwiches, or eat
pub MAR 25
Roger/Jean Drinkwater Rainow/Lamaload 5 miles. Meet at 09.30.
Pub Lunch. APR 29
Meet at the village hall at 10am. We will travel to the
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
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
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
Pym Chair, to take in Windgather Rocks and the highest point in
Tor, for all the patriotic Cheshirites!
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
lunch. The walk will start from the Calton Lees car
park at the far end of
Chatsworth grounds. It will be
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
back, and requires no navigation
skills, if slower walkers want to
walk on the
same day, but without a leader. Edensor has a tea
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
Edges. 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
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
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
'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
The walks on the Monday included part of the Cleveland
Way. Click here for the report and
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.
WEDNESDAYS Meet at the
Village Hall at 10am unless stated otherwise.
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.
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).
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
There is a food choice – either to eat at the pub, or take
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
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.
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
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!
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!
– 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
June 17th - a 5 mile
walk in the lovely Litton/Cressbrook area.
Report on the Walk 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.
Walter 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
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.
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
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 weather
the fault of the group leader who had set the date for
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
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
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
A quick shedding of damp clothing, a quick
drink at the Robin Hood and
we were recognisable and smart again, ready for the –
and sunny? – next walk at the end
of August (26th), to be led by
Steve Reynolds. But thanks to Louanne and Peter for showing
that walks can be interesting and enjoyable even on the wettest days.
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
past Greenstack Farm, crossed Hodgel Brook before arriving at Dunge
Farm Gardens. Then onwards & upwards to Five Lane Ends &
Edge before venturing out on to Windgather Rocks. Here we stopped
packed lunch in a suitably sheltered spot. After admiring the
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
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.
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.
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.
Further on there was a gradual
path, down through the wooded scarp, dotted with occasional sweet chestnuts, to beeline for Baslow and
the Cannon kissing
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
The walking had been on dry, firm tracks in pleasant surroundings, and
seemed to be well appreciated.
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
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
November 25 - David
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.
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
So we were very glad that the chosen pub, The Shady Oak on Long
was warm, cosy, and turned out very well-presented and tasty
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
past the farms of Folds, Eldor Lane, Thorny Lee (with
Father Christmas!), and the intriguingly named Wythen Lach.
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
many thanks, Brian and Alison.
NEXT WALKS -
2010 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.
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.