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Walking Group 2010
Programme of walks Latest Walk Report
2010 Walking Away Walking Group Archive
Guidance for walk leaders Walking Risks

The proposals for the 2011 away days have been sent out by Walter.
Click HERE for details.  He would like a prompt response.

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 Pike

They 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

2010 Programme of Walks - Click on the date link for the walk report.
* NB walk not on last Wednesday

JAN   27      LOUANNE & PETER COLLINS - A Bollington walk.  Meet at 9:30

MAR  31     STEVE REYNOLDS   6 mile walk around Thorpe in Dovedale.

APR   28     WALTER MASON  A walk up Shutlingsloe from Wildboarclough.

MAY  26     RICHARD & SUSAN CLARK   A five mile walk between Old Glossop and the                                    Longdendale valley.

   A 6 mile fairly flat walk in Delamere Forest.


JUL    28     DAVID LLOYD   
  A 5 mile flattish walk in the Parsley Hay area of Derbyshire.

will take us to Errwood Hall car park, for a 5 mile route which will                        include a steady ascent of 900 feet along Shooters Clough to Shining Tor.

SEP     29   BRIAN FARQUHAR    Meet at 9:30.  
A flat 5 mile walk from Grappenhall.  Pub Meal.

OCT    27   MERLYN/JOYCE YOUNG   Meet at 9:30 and bring a packed lunch, for a 5½ mile walk
                   in the Lindow Common and Morley areas.

NOV   24    RUTH/DAVE SMITH  Combs Area

 This walk will be 4 miles at Rainow going up and along                         Kerridge ridge, with a pub meal which will need to be booked in advance.  Meet 930,
                   to go to the Robin Hood pub.

JANUARY 27        Louanne & Peter's Bollington walk.
Report on the Walk
  For the first walk of 2010, twenty two walkers braved the somewhat   damp conditions for a five mile ramble led by Louanne and Peter       Collins, starting from the Adlington Road car park, Bollington.

  The walk took us north along the Middlewood way, then across         fields, skirting Styperson Pool, climbing eventually to Long Lane.       On a good day this would have given fine views across the Cheshire   Plain. The evidence of mining in the area caused some interest.

The 22 walkers returned to their starting point along the canal towpath, and finished the day with a convivial lunch at the Vale Inn; an added attraction being its own microbrewery.

Louanne and Peter Collins

FEBRUARY 24        Brian & Alison's Manchester canals walk.
Report on the Walk
Alison and Brian Allerton had a winner with this city centre canal walk.  They expertly led 27 of us, along the Rochdale, Bridgewater and Manchester Ship canals from Piccadilly Station to the Lowry Theatre at Salford Quays.

Students of industrial heritage had a field day as we passed a series of canal locks, mighty rail bridges, lifting and swing bridges and the massive array of docks.  There were touches of human interest too, from the horse assistance posts and stones grooved by tow ropes, to the old lock-keepers house.

But modern architecture was around too, from the new footbridge by Piccadilly Station, reflected views of the 711 foot high (235m) Beetham tower  block, to the varied shapes by the Lowry Centre.  Even wildlife was not entirely absent.  No promised herons, but a cormorant and a pair of (bald= white faced) coots swam amongst the canada geese, herring gulls and a swan.

At Piccadilly station Brian by tunnel Beetham reflection
Railway architecture Lockkeepers House
Lifting Bridge
Trafford Road Bridge
Approaching Salford Quays Cormorant
Coots Sam with Stretch Limo

After a fascinating 4 miles, we happily went our various ways; to the outlet shops, the many eating places, perhaps the War Museum or the metro back to town.  There is no truth in the rumour that Sam brought us back in his stretch limo!

Walter Mason 

MARCH 31        Steve's "Dovedale" walk.
Report on the Walk
Steve Reynolds had a group of ten for his walk, who made a democratic decision to forgo the long drive to the pleasures of Dovedale because of the possible snow forecast on the Peak District roads.  Instead we gathered at Roman Lakes and set off by the River Goyt.  Strawberry Hill was ablaze, not with strawberries, but with daffodills, as we dodged the puddles on the track to Greenclough Farm. There we headed upwards by bridleways, quiet roads, and steep paths to the plain wooden cross on Cobden Edge, a beacon point of 327metres, or 1009 feet.  Hardy church people of Marple might have been making pilgrimage to the cross for early service on Good Friday morning, two days after us.

We were not so hardy, so lingered only briefly to scan the extensive, but misty view towards Cheshire and Manchester, before moving on to Cobden Edge Farm and Whetmorhirst.  There the footpath went elusively through a picturesque house garden, before following the stream bank down to Gibb Lane and Tarden.  Then it was an easy descent from the Golf Club House and Linnet Clough Scout Camp, past banks of Ransom (wild garlic) and Bottom’s Hall to an early sandwich lunch by the lakeside.

Group by Goyt Strawberry Hill Approaching Cobden Edge Cross
View from cross Path through garden By wild garlic banks View of lake from lunch spot

The rain had been minimal, but the air was
unseasonably cold, so we were pleased that Steve had kept an alternative up his sleeve as we thanked him for his very pleasant 4 mile walk.

Walter Mason 

APRIL 28        Walter's Shutlingsloe climb.
Report on the Walk
A group of 14 walkers tackled the 1659 feet (506 metres) of Shutlings Loe, “The Cheshire Matterhorn”, in ideal conditions.  It was dry underfoot, with a milky sun and balmy breeze, and the steady climb from Wildboarclough with its steep last section was worth it with the extensive views from the summit trig. point.

After carefully descending a short rough section, we picked up a grassy sheep track, which easily us led down to the alternative footpath, and a retreat towards the valley and Bank Top Farm.  A very pleasant track led northwards to the valley road, where a stroll on the road was followed by another track past attractive cottages to St. Saviour’s Church.  This was open, so we had a brief visit to view the surprisingly large interior until hunger pangs caused a return to the Crag Inn.  Food was slow to come, but eventually welcome.

All seemed to enjoy the 3 - 4 mile route, and we appreciated the occasional sounds of lark, curlew, and pheasant, and glimpses of an unidentified bird of prey and an unperturbed heron in this quietly beautiful part of Cheshire. 

MAY 26            Old Glossop to Longdendale
Report on the Walk
Richard Clark led a group of 17 from the interesting surroundings of Old Glossop, to explore a new area for many.  We were led up past Cote Lodge, up alongside a waterfall and the Swineshaw Reservoirs and over the fields to Little Padfield Farm and Padfield (home of The Peels Arms with its Hole in the Wall test and certificate).

After a coffee stop with lovely views of the Longdendale Valley, we descended to the former railway line, now converted to long distance trails – the Trans Pennine Trail or Longdendale Trail are both on this track.  Then a little further to skirt Bottoms and Valehouse  Reservoirs – part of the famous chain of 5 Longdendale reservoirs, and continued as far as the heavily wooded  Deepclough.

There we had to climb some fairly rough semi-moorland, to join the Woodhead Road. A left turn took us past Blackshaw farm, where several horses had young foals, into a short stretch of pleasant woodland, and past a large enclosure with hens, small pigs, and displaying peacocks.

A short diversion past Shire Hill Hospital soon brought us to our cars opposite the Wheatsheaf, where a locally brewed beer proved popular.  Our food order was soon with us, and was well cooked and enjoyed – as we had all enjoyed the varied 5 mile walk, and thanked Richard and Sue for leading us.  The promised heavy showers on the Pennines had held off, and the cool grey day had been good for walking.

JUNE 23            Delamere Forest
Report on the Walk
Only a select group of 8 did the Delamere Forest walk, perhaps deterred by the risk of missing the England-Slovenia game.  After a birthday bun from Walter, we walked past attractive Hatchmere cottages, one harbouring swans and cygnets, and looked at a carved log by the lovely mere.

Then the route went by Flaxmere, no longer a real mere, and a
quiet lane, then branching off on shady footpaths and across open farmland, before picking up the Delamere Way.  This brought us
to Harthill Bank on the less frequented eastern edge of the forest, with tall pines and beeches, not dissimilar to Alderley Edge.

   After a brief coffee stop, we
   skirted a large forestry car park, now
   no longer free parking, before crossing Station Road and going down to
   Blakemere Moss.  This used to be an extensive wooded and boggy
   scrub land, but has been flooded and made into a large shallow mere.
   But no rare geese here, the mere has been taken over by hordes of noisy
   gulls resting and nesting on the semi-submerged tree trunks.

After eating our packed lunch in a suitably scenic spot, we circled the mere, quiet during our Wednesday walk but often busy at weekends, until we came under the high wires and ropes of the latest sporting challenge, Go-Ape.  None of us dashed to try it!

   Instead we continued round the mere, before venturing
   onto narrower paths leading into the denser trees of
   Hunger Hill.  We speculated on a Welsh takeover of            Cheshire, as piles of logs were guarded by bilingual signs      in Welsh and English, before completing our 5/6 miles,          which had been made very pleasant by trees sheltering us      from the warm sun.

Soon we were back, and in time for the football game after all!

JUL 28             David's Parsley Hay Walk                                                                         
Report on the Walk
David Lloyd led 15 of us on a 6 mile walk from the Parsley Hay car park (just off the Buxton/Ashbourne road), which made good use of former railway lines.  First
we went towards Hartington (with its restored signal box) and Ruby Wood, before following field paths past Stanedge Grange Farm.  Two Dutch visitors were helped
in getting their cycles over high stiles (the 'walkers only' sign not having been seen!), enabling Walter to practise his Dutch language skills!

Soon we passed Newhaven, and had a welcome lunch stop near Friden Brick Works – thriving after 118 years and still making their Derbyshire high quality silica refractory firebicks.

The return route was on the former Cromford – Whaley Bridge railway, once a pioneering contoured and inclined plane railway.

The whole route had attractive views and magnificent displays of wild
flowers (harebells, rose bay
willow herbs, vetches, toadflax and many more) with a sprinkling of butterflies, including the common blue.

The occasional showers had not spoiled David’s very enjoyable walk.

AUG   25    JOHN McCARTNEY    Shooters Clough to Shining Tor
Report on the Walk
Walter Mason led 13 walkers to the summit of Shining Tor, following a route planned by John McCartney.  Unfortunately, an injury to John’s wife Barbara had prevented John from leading the walk himself.
After a fairly steep and testing climb out of Errwood Hall car park, the gradient eased as we climbed above Stake Side towards the Cat and Fiddle, disturbing a few grouse in the process, before turning (after a coffee stop) onto the smoothly relaid path to Shining Tor.  At 1834 feet, this is now the highest point in Cheshire, since the Longdendale stretch to Holme Moss was removed from Cheshire in boundary changes.

The return route was easy going on consecutive slabs of paving down the long ridge to Cats Tor (lunch stop) and Pym Chair, then a short stretch on the Roman road “The Street”.  A narrow path, rather tricky in places, took us past the Spanish Governess’ Chapel on a secluded valley before we selected the wooded path past the now derelict Errwood Hall back to our cars.

The weather had been kind, pleasantly warm for walking and with occasional sunshine, and all seemed to enjoy the very pleasant route with fine views that John had originally selected for us.

SEP  29   BRIAN FARQUHAR    Grappenhall
Report on the Walk
Despite gloomy reports of rain and blustery weather, sixteen hardy members gathered at the village hall, before heading off for the 5 mile walk around Grappenhall.  Parking at the Parr Arms, we went down a cobbled street, past St Wilfrid’s Church and the old village stocks, and walked along Canal Bank to Australia Lane, treading on damsons on the way.  Local knowledge is that Australia Lane is so called because this is where emigrants used to embark on the first stage of their journey to the antipodes.

We walked for some distance through fields along a narrow track,
which was bordered by a very old
hedge – the knowledgeable
among us reckoned it was at least two or three hundred years old
– containing, amongst others, hawthorn, crab-apple, elderberry
and holly.  Behind the hedge was a very deep ditch, reputedly that
which gave Grappenhall its name, for it means quiet place by a
ditch or drain.  After a while we passed through a kissing gate onto rough pasture land bordered on the right by woods.  We passed a number of badger setts, picking the last of the blackberries on the way, before coming on to a tarmac road for a short distance where we stopped in a lay-by for coffee.  Those of us that didn’t bring
our own took advantage of the ‘buttie wagon’ in the lay-by.
   Our break over, we continued through fields bordered by oak
   trees and hedges, past Grappenhall Hall which had once been
   the home of the Greenall brewing family, but which is now a        boys’ school.  Going through another kissing gate, we entered
   Grappenhall wood, which was planted to commemorate the
   millennium.  It’s amazing how quickly the trees have grown in
   those ten years.  Leaving the wood, we came back onto Canal
   Bank alongside the Bridgewater Canal, and headed back to the
   Parr Arms for a very welcome and enjoyable pub lunch.
   Next to the Parr Arms is St Wilfrid’s Church, which dates back to the 16th century, although some of the relics it contains go back even further to Saxon times.  The church itself is very interesting and apparently there is a carving of a cat which is said to have been Lewis Carroll’s inspiration for the Cheshire Cat of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”.  Unfortunately, time wasn’t available for us to see the inside of the church, but it could be well worth a visit, perhaps one that could be of interest to the Pubs and Churches group.

OCT 27   MERLYN & JOYCE YOUNG   Lindow Common and Morley areas.
Report on the Walk
   Merlyn and Joyce Young led 14 members for about 6 miles around Lindow Common; Bridle Paths; Morley and Quarry Bank Mill, Styal. We set off at 10.15 from Lindow Common car    park for a day in glorious autumn sunshine, crossing Lindow Common towards Black Lake.  This area, a Site of Special Scientific Interest being a Lowland Wet Heathland rich in flora and fauna, is managed under Cheshire County Council to promote this habitat.  Soon we reached Black Lake whose name comes from the Welsh (Celtic) LLYN DDU whence the name Lindow originates.  We crossed Racecourse Road, a former Gipsy Race track, and entered the crisscross tree lined bridal paths surrounding the area on Lindow Moss, famous for Lindow Pete, the Iron Age man discovered in 1983
during peat extraction.
Ross Mere
The group were treated to the next surprise of Ross Mere, a lake which formed as result of sand excavation and is now leased by
the Prince Albert fishing club.  This area appeared serene with autumn gold reflections from the surrounding woodland and cattle grazing at the water’s edge.  We made our way across fields and roadways to Morley Green for a coffee stop and a short visit to Cheshire Smoke House.  The walk then followed a short busy
Styal Garden          minor road before entering a  muddy farm track leading  to our lunch stop at Styal  Mill, which came as a surprise to a
 few.  Leisurely lunch was  taken on the 
meadow overlooking the  River Bollin with time for  brief sightseeing.  We returned  following the River Bollin and old  track ways back to the car  park.
 Everyone agreed that the weather, history and beautiful scenery
 made it a very enjoyable day thanks to Merlyn & Joyce.

NOV 24   RUTH & DAVID SMITH   Combs area.
Report on the Walk
Christmas came early, as the walking group were taken to the Hanging Gate pub near Chapel-en-le Frith by Ruth and Dave Smith.  24 set out on the fairly short (3½ mile) walk, first over the frost on the fairways of Chapel Golf Club, then a tricky boggy section with one or two awkward stiles by the appropriately named Marsh Hall Farm.  The old farm buildings had been sympathetically improved, with many fascinating features.  Incidentally, there are almost a dozen “Halls” in Chapel-en-le Frith, perhaps a vestige of its origin as a royal hunting forest.
A gentle climb skirted Marsh Green and Down Lee farms, before we turned right and along the railway path down to Combs village, with wide views from Ladder Hill round to Mount Famine and beyond.  A quick right and left saw us walking the still heavily frosted fields to Combs Reservoir, quietly beautiful in the low winter sunshine.  A stroll up the lane below the dam, and along Tomlane and Manchester Road soon saw us back at the Hanging Gate, where Mike and Margaret Snape awaited us.
Thoughtfully, Ruth and Dave had booked a quiet upper room for us, as news of the pub’s fantastic Christmas decorations had even attracted 2 coach parties! The food, too, was fantastic as we enjoyed our 2 and 3 course pensioners’ specials!
A happy birthday chorus for David Lloyd, and many thanks to Ruth and Dave, left us all happy and looking forward to the real Christmas when it comes.

DEC 15   GERRY & JAN CHARTRES  - Rainow and the Kerridge Ridge.
Report on the Walk
22 joined Gerry and Jan Chartres for their December walk.

From the Robin Hood Inn in Rainow, our 4½ mile route dropped down through the village, then peeled off with glimpses of an attractive water-featured garden by Hayles Clough, and along the narrow paved route once used by mill workers, to Waulk Mill farm.
It swung around the north end of Kerridge Hill, before climbing a newly laid stepped path through woodland, leading directly to White Nancy, a favourite feature once a folly built by the Astleys of Ingersley Hall (now Savio House), but today inappropriately decorated with a Che Guevara portrait.

A chill mist hid much of the extensive views, but after coffee and a photo stop, Gerry led us along the Saddle of Kerridge, which surprisingly unmarred by the quarries of the west side, to the trig point at 313m (1028 feet) with a little unmelted snow.  The descent undulated between spoil of former coal mines, and needed a little care with a muddy, occasionally icy, surface.

We returned part way along the lower part of the ridge, then skirted Hough-Hole Farm and up the lane back to the Robin Hood, and well earned drinks.  The new landlord was evidently still finding his feet, and although the food was good, those without starters were definitely feeling peckish until main courses finally arrived.

It was the last walk of the 2010, and we were grateful the Chartres had chosen a good route in a nice location for our Christmas walk.  Steve Reynolds added to the occasion with some well chosen words as we looked forward to 2011 and more good Wednesday walks, plus a few Tuesday ones too.

Group Leader - Walter Mason