usually meet on the last Wednesday of each month and on the
second Tuesday of every other month, at 9:30am
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.
30 Jun to 2 July,
2013 2 Nights Away Break in Keswick. Cost
£114 per person (£30 extra for
singles). For details of accommodation and walks contact Walter
JANUARY 25Louanne and Peter’s Lindow
walk. Report on the Walk The
first walk of 2012 attracted 21 walkers to enjoy Louanne and
Peter’s Lindow walk. This was flat and gentle on a mild and
cloudy day, with just some sticky stretches from the previous
From the car park, we did a quick circuit of Lindow Common, passing by
Black Lake, then headed along Newgate. A right turn took us past Lindow
Moss, and then across a former landfill site, now attractively
landscaped but still with a working methane burner to cope with
generated gases. The well-cared for war memorial at Morley Green was
next, before the route took a succession of minor roads, including past
Oak Farm and Moss Brow Farm, finally taking a coffee stop near Pownall
The next stretch was on made footpaths and bridges, along the
River Bollin and tributary streamlets to Twinnies Bridge, and then a
final length on The Carrs and by school playing fields back to our
It had been a pleasant walk, and a really easy start to the New
Year. So we all thanked Peter and Louanne, before heading for home, for
a picnic, for a carvery, or for whatever.
FEBRUARY 14John McCartney’s Valentine’s
Day walk. Report on the Walk Perhaps
the alternatives – table tennis, tennis, “colour me
beautiful”, and half term demands for grandchildren
– meant that only an elite group of walkers enjoyed John
McCartney’s Valentine’s Day walk.
Thick ice still sealed most of the canal, but snow had departed from
the fields as we walked up the gentle gradients from Higher Poynton
towards Four Winds, Lyme Park and then Plattwood Farm back to the
canal. It was a misty, still day and apart from one or two short
stretches, it was quite firm underfoot on the familiar tracks and paths
chosen for the 4½ mile route.
All in all it was a very pleasant walk, rounded off by a convivial
carvery in the Dog and Partridge – even if, on the day, John
didn’t have to part with too many Roses (chocolates)!
22Jan and Gerry, Peak Forest Tramway and
around Eccles Pike. Report on the Walk Gerry and
Jan Chartres had prepared meticulously for their 4½
mile walk from Buxworth. But the weather forecasters had other
ideas, and an abysmal forecast of heavy rain deterred several. In the
event, most of this very pleasant walk, was dry, and the threatened
rain only arrived when the Navigation Inn was in sight with an easy
downhill stretch to go!
A group of eight followed the easy going of the former Peak
Forest/Bugsworth Tramway, with glimpses of sleeper bearings on the
route, and black swans on the former mill ponds alongside. At
Charley Lane we started climbing, and then went up several field paths,
past Hallhill Farm (with panoramic views) and Lidgate Farm (with
crowing cock), before contouring on a lovely green bridleway, and then
a footpath below Eccles Pike.
With heavy rain approaching, signalled by thick mist on the westward
horizon, we wisely took the lane down to Portobello and Crist, then
over a highlevel footbridge, with the Buxworth bypass deep below, back
to the Navigation where two others joined our party. A lovely day
was rounded off with very satisfying meals, and we were very grateful
to Gerry and Jan and their hard work.
MARCH 28Walter Mason’s Greenfield walk. Report on the Walk The
17 walkers driving slowly through the continuous built-up area of Hyde,
Dukinfield, Ashton and Staly bridge, en route to Greenfield, might have
wondered where on earth Walter could possibly find a pleasant walk for
them. Three quarters of an hour later, the majestic horseshoe of
mountains surrounding the three reservoirs fed principally by
Greenfield and Chew Brooks, gave the answer.
A glorious day with a cloudless sky and warm sunshine allowed us to
admire the changing scenery as we took a quiet path by the trees above
Dovestone reservoir, and then followed the access track by Yeoman Hey
and Greenfield reservoirs into the heart of the hills. Occasional
coltsfoot were scattered on the banks of the feeder channel.
Encouraged by a local lady with local knowledge, 5 of our number
used stepping stones to continue on the far bank of Greenfield
reservoir, while the rest of us retreated on the easy near bank to join
up over the dam for a lunch stop. There had been many cars and
people in the car park, but here all was quiet. No car or people
noise to disturb us; just the occasional sound of a pheasant in the far
Then we returned by firm tracks on the opposite side of the reservoirs,
with equally nice views, and just the occasional damp streamlet to
negotiate. There was additional interest in the yacht club area,
with new copses of dedicated saplings, and for Merlyn, a re-discovery
of relics of the former thriving scout site, abandoned when the
Dovestone reservoir was constructed.
A perfect day was rounded off by welcome visits to the
Fairclough’s ice cream van, parked conveniently alongside our
cars, and everybody seemed very happy with their walk.
APRIL 10Walter Mason’s Dunham Massey walk. Report on the Walk 7
joined Walter (standing in for Brian Farquahar) on an easy 4½
from Dunham Massey. The sky was dark and threatening as we turned
away from the car park onto the pleasant byway of Brickkiln Lane,
leading to the charming hamlet of Little Bollington.
A narrow footbridge over the River Bollin, and a cobbled path led to
the famous Bridgewater Canal, on a raised embankment above us.
The first of several heavy showers caught us on this exposed
stretch, before we
descended to join School Lane by Little Heath Farm, and
passed the old
Some field paths circled round to Dunham Town, past a lawn-mowing
scarecrow,and over high steps into the deer park with a
swan by Smithy Pool. Then the way was parallel to Charcoal Road,
before turning to head through a tree nursery and deer sanctuary, and
eventually joining a long and impressive grassy drive, past a lone
heron, back to Dunham Massey Hall and our varied eating arrangements.
The car park was quite full on our return, yet on our walk we had
seen very few people. We had got wet two or three times, then
dried out in between; but it had been a lovely gentle walk in spite of
the heavy April showers and minimal sunshine.
SAM & IRENE
– Combs Area Report on the Walk The
weather could have been worse – but not much worse, as 11
stalwart walkers led by Sam and Irene Chappell set off in the pouring
rain, and headed for the little hamlet of Rye Flatt. Staying with
the track, we headed upwards to Alstone Lee, and shortly after left the
farm track, to descend by way of a field track towards Broadlee Farm.
It was here that Pam did a back flip off a little wooden footbridge
right into the stream, closely followed by Roy, who jumped in to help
only to find himself knee deep in the stream. Fortunately,
neither Pam nor Roy were the worse for their ordeal, and the group
continued up the ever increasingly steep but easy path to the
White Hall Outdoor Centre. The wind, blowing hard and behind us
now, provided much needed assistance up the last steep stretch, before
we stopped for coffee in the shelter of a high wall.
With much of the hard work done, we turned North, straight into the
driving rain, to begin our return down
to Combs. The route took
us past Hazelhurst Farm, and then Haylee-Farm, where tiny
lambs were trying their best to find shelter from the heavy rain and
the cold wind. It was
downhill all the way now, and relatively
easy going, except for three quite difficult stone stiles.
The party arrived back in Combs after about 2 hours walking, a wet but
very cheerful group, to the welcoming warmth of the Beehive pub, who
very quickly served a very good lunch.
Sam and Irene Chappell
MAY 30Merlyn and Joyce Young’s Three Shire Heads walk. Report on the Walk Merlyn and
Joyce Young led a group of 20 from Wildboarclough to Three Shire Heads,
a favourite place for many, and steeped in folklore.
The gentler sun and a somewhat cooler day was a godsend, as we ascended
700 foot or so by Cumberland Brook to Danebower Hollow, all part of
Lord Derby’s lands.
Then we were higher than Shutlings Loe! There were
widespread views, but a thick haze was hiding the distant places.
A gently descending track led to the Leek – Buxton road,
over an awkwardly placed safety barrier and down to the infant River
Dane, whose stream valley displayed many relics of a quarrying and
A winding path followed the growing stream down to Three Shire
As we walked along, grouse, skylarks, buzzards, lapwings and
cuckoos were enlivening and serenading our progress. After lunch,
we reluctantly left the picturesque pools and waterfalls, on a stony
path climbing and rounding Cut-thorn Hill. Then it was a relief
to have a downhill path across grassy fields, and to go down a minor
road past Crag Hall, with its multi-horsetroughs, back to our cars at
Thanks to Merlyn and Joyce for a toughish but lovely 5½ mile
Drinkwater – Teggs Nose walk. Report on the Walk With
the agreement of the 5 walkers, Roger Drinkwater proposed a longer 7
mile walk from Tegg’s Nose. This enabled a lovely circuit from
the quarry faces, down Ward’s Knob, past Teggsnose and Bottoms
Reservoirs and on woodland paths by Greenbank and Trentabank up to the
Forest Chapel for a well earned lunch.
After a look at the church, we followed Charity Lane, before
veering left onto a forest path descending slowly towards Hacked Way
Lane, then field paths to Clough House Farm. No right of way
through the farm, so a short detour was needed on rough hillside, down
to stepping stones, which led to the steep Saddlers Way back to
A good thousand foot of climbing had tested our stamina and the
low clouds had spoilt some of the distant views, but it had been a
lovely walk on good paths through lush vegetation and woodland.
Lots to see - jays, buzzard and swallows, the small
butterfly-like Chimney Sweeper moth (black with white wing tips), a
fragrant orchid and masses of yellow rattle. But for me, the
highlight was a field full of yellow mountain pansies. Normally
so rare and not seen for years and years, but near Ward’s Knob,
and encouraged by sheep-free, minimum cow grazing, and perhaps other
tricks, countryside management had produced a lovely vista of charming
So, lots of thanks to Roger for his walk.
Castleton. Report on the Walk Eighteen
members walked on a day when the weather tantalised with hints of
sunshine and threats of rain. The sun obliged on occasion but the rain
On assembling outside the Castleton tourist office our party proceeded
through the village and began the long trek up Cavedale. After
the recent heavy rains the path was running like a stream and gave us
the impression we were "canyoning" rather than rambling,
At the top of the dale we had a well earned coffee stop before
continuing to Windy Knoll and lunch in the shelter of the quarry.
One or two members of the group did think of doing a spot of caving to
work their lunch off, but one look at the cave entrance soon made them
change their minds.
After lunch we continued past the Blue John Cavern and the Treak
Cliff Cavern with "loo" and ice cream stops at both. This section
of the walk presented us with panoramic views of the Hope Valley and
the Great Ridge. The last part of the walk was through the fields of
the Longcliffe Estate and back into Castleton.
JULY 25 Report on the Walk 10
accompanied Alison Allerton on a very pleasant walk from Rainow church
(Brian was still recovering from a “fight” with a stone
wall!). An easy pace took us to Snipe House Farm, with direction
signs pointing “this way”, “that way” and
“the other way”! But we continued (“the other
way”) to Lamaload Reservoir and followed clockwise on the
reservoir circuit until branching off at Lower Ballgreave Farm in the
direction of Walker Barn.
A welcome lunch stop coincided with the sun breaking through, and
then we had to puzzle our way through Vale Royal, where we were meant
to feel like interlopers for following the path past the up-market
conversions, and on above Gulshaw Hollow. After Hordern Farm, the
route zigzagged down, skirted Newbuildings Farm, went over Berristal
Road and used a footbridge to cross the infant River Dean and rejoin
our outward route.
The 10 of us really enjoyed the attractive valleys and varied
landscape of the Lamaload area, and thanked Alison for leading the walk
and giving her expert opinion on the various wild flowers on the way.
Noteworthy was a rosy “bacon-and-eggs” variant of the
usually bright yellow Bird’s-foot-trefoil, one of the
AUGUST 7 Report on the Walk Chairman
Steve Reynolds took 9 walkers on a 5 mile “green” walk,
starting with a succession of paths, through the Ley Hey Park area of
Marple, onto the canal lock staircase. Recent rain had caused a
bank to collapse at lock 7, closing the canal for a time. Even
more recent rain soon wet our heads, and continued till midday.
Fortunately the canal path was often sheltered by trees, and the
many shades of green scenery were just as attractive in the wet.
We passed St. Chad’s Well, with the well dressing still looking
good 12 days after flower arranging volunteers ( including group
leader’s wife Freda) had prepared it. Chadkirk garden was a
lovely place for a coffee stop, before we continued across the newly
opened bridge (for “green” cycling) and up the new
bridleway towards Marple Hall.
In spite of the rain, we turned back towards Otterspool to
view the “green electricity”
Project – completed, but not yet operational until payback terms
for shareholders could be agreed. The corner at the start of Mill
Lane, once heavily wooded, now looked rather desolate. Hopefully
Mother Nature will soon help it recover, and hopefully the large
shingle bank under the bridge won’t shift and clog the screws, as
happened at New Mills.
Meanwhile we continued back along
Vale Road, to re-cross the new bridge, but this time to go left on the
very muddy footpath past Lower Dale Farm, and then the track which
passes Marple Dale Hall. Distant glimpses of Oakwood
Hall aroused our curiosity – a fascinating history - mill
owner’s place, girls school, TPT aquisition,
grammar school – now beautifully renovated, and currently yours
for a cool £1,850,000!
Then we were soon back to Steve’s house. The walk
seemed to be enjoyed very well and spirits were high,
especially as we had sheltered conveniently during the worst of the
rain, so many thanks to Steve.
AUGUST 29 Report on the Walk "Gusty
winds and heavy rain"! That was the forecast for the August day, when
nine of us decided, despite the forecast, to go on the 5½
mile walk planned by Jan & Gerry
Chartres. This walk was around
reservoirs in the Longdendale valley near Tintwistle, just north of
We were all prepared for the worst in full waterproof gear, but in the
event we only had rain for a short time at the start, and a little more
after lunch, so all said that they were pleased they decided to go.
The reservoirs are a linked chain of five, which stretch for 6 miles
along the valley, and we walked around the three at the south-western
end. When they were built around 1850 to 1880, to supply
Manchester and local towns, they formed the largest expanse of man-made
water storage in the world!
We started at the Valehouse dam and walked along a paved access road,
which had originally been a tramway used to transport stone from local
quarries to build the reservoirs. The "Coffee stop" overlooked
the Rhodeswood reservoir, then we crossed the next (Torside) dam, on
the Pennine Way, and climbed up to the Longdendale Trail, which
also forms part of the Trans Pennine Trail. This is a
disused railway line, now adapted for walking, cycling, and horse
riding, rather like our own Middlewood Way.
Packed lunch was around a bench with extensive views across the water
to the hills and moors on the far side, with expanses of bright
coloured heather, and even a waterfall visible. Some of our
members were able to tell us interesting facts about the area from
their previous walks.
The final part was on paths close to the shore of the first in the
chain, "Bottoms Reservoir", named after the Sidebottom family, whose
mill was demolished to build the dam. There are a series of
interesting information boards around the reservoirs, which are owned
by United Utilities.
It's a fascinating area and very popular for local people
with dogs or young children on good weather days. Well worth a
SEPTEMBER26 Report on the Walk Led
by Ruth and Dave Smith, eleven waterproofed clad folk set off for a
walk “Close to the Edge”, starting from Kettleshulme
(“Katil’s Island” – dating back to Viking
times, and standing on the Salt Way which led from Cheshire salt towns
Leaving Kettleshulme, after road and track walking, crossing of a
swollen stream, and some steady climbing, we reached the edge –
Taxal Edge. Although cloudy, there were 360 degree views across to
Ladder, Coombs Moss, Eccles Pike, and Kinder; and opposite there was a
view of Bowstones, with Whaley Bridge and Toddbrook reservoir below.
Our descent took us past Gap House, dating back to 1662 and
rebuilt in 1778 by Mr Brocklehurst, a Macclesfield silk merchant. Soon
we arrived back at the cars after an enjoyable walk – tired,
content – but not wet!
OCTOBER 2 Report on the Walk Louanne
and Peter Collins took an “elite” group of 4 to Healey
Dell, a nature reserve at the former Broadley Station, north of
Rochdale, where the former railway line now makes an attractive route.
We went past a trio of wood sculptures, and over an impressive
viaduct, then made a steep descent to the River Spodden below.
A narrow path led between a mill leat and the river gorge, with
signs of past industry everywhere. Overnight rain had left the ground
soggy in the dell, as we ascended on the far bank – surprising a
deer – and reached picturesque Smallshaw Farm – and Catley
where gardens of terraced cottages overlooked a reservoir.
From Bottom of Pooley Moor, the track passed Forsyth Brow, as
wide views opened up of distant Rochdale and Manchester. One way a
sparrowhawk hovered, then was diving for prey; the other way clusters
of wind machines turned fitfully over Scout Moor. A moorland path led
past Reddyshore to Windy Hillock, which became rainy hillock, as rain
disturbed our packed lunch.
turned sharply onto the Rooley Moor
Road, formerly a footpath called Catley Lane, but
transformed in the 1860’s by a massive job
creation project for workers hit by the cotton
famine. Long wide sections of neatly stone setted
road remain, all at 1500 feet over a deserted open
moorland – but, ironically, now threatened with overuse
and possible destruction by frequent lorries carrying 28 million tons
of rock aggregate – progress?
Lower down we turned into Knacks Lane, past a
monument missing its memorial plates, and on narrow
lanes past Higher Dunnishbooth and back to Broadley. The
dull weather had not done the route
full justice, but it had all been packed with interest, and we were
very pleased that Louanne and Peter had taken us out of our comfort
to show us a new and fascinating territory in historic
OCTOBER 31 Report on the Walk
Despite the doubtful weather 13 members joined Merlyn and Joyce on this
6 mile autumnal walk along fields, country paths, woods and streams
around little known paths in Bollington / Rainowlow. Despite the
forecast the weather held fine throughout the walk and we all enjoyed
having dry breaks for coffee and lunch.
The walk started in Bollington on minor roads heading uphill towards
Pot Shrigley passing the former Wizard & Cheshire Hunt pubs.
Views of Bollington, White Nancy, and The Nab unfolded as we turned
through fields into Harrop Valley heading for Berristall Hall Farm.
Tales and facts of the 100 year war, the Black Prince, Percheron shire
horses and 200 coal mines in Bollington/ Rainow were told by Merlyn.
We passed the Gritstone trail path before descending slightly to enter
the beautiful Harrop Wood. This wood, untouched for ~74 years, is
mostly a mixture of Birch & Holly, self-seeded following the 2nd
World War. Prior to the war it contained 200 year old Scots Pine
trees which were felled for ammunition boxes and war needs. The
narrow path beneath the autum leaf trees gave glimpses of Harrop Brook
below as we made our way for the coffee stop adjacent to a capped
coal mine. It’s told the mine dates back to ~1930 run by
two brothers who lived at a nearby farm, who kept and milked a herd of
cows delivering the milk on a midnight round. “When did they
On leaving the wood we crossed Harrop Brook and followed the brook
along an ancient tree lined pathway containing old Hornbeam coppiced
hedges, bracken fungi, another capped coal mine, wooden musical
instruments and a wooden carved woodpecker.
Another stile and across fields we made our way uphill to Billinge Head
farm meeting 4 very friendly inquisitive alpacas in a nearby field.
Uphill sections now completed we headed for lunch in the shelter of a
wall adjacent to a view point above Rainowlow. Above us was
“Big low” a Bronze Age burial mound and in front, misty
views of the Cheshire plain.
Refreshed we passed the pretty hamlet of Rainowlow and descended Lima
Clough into Oakenbank and Ingersley Vale.
In the grounds of Savio House formerly Ingersley Hall, built for John
Gaskell in 1775, we viewed White Nancy with its present Royal Diamond
Jubilee crown and Olympic adornments. More history lessons from
Merlyn about Savio House, White Nancy and Ingersley Mill below which
had a 55 foot iron suspension water wheel.
Passing old mill lodges, we returned to the car park where members
thanked Merlyn & Joyce for an enjoyable, interesting walk.
NOVEMBER 28 Report on the Walk A group
of 20 followed Noel and Pat’s walk from Gawsworth. It
traversed pleasant paths through flat Cheshire fields, with many ponds,
bisected the New and Old Gawsworth Halls, and joined a long field
boundary with distant views of Macclesfield Forest, Croker Hill, and
After a stepped approach to the Macclesfield canal, and a coffee
stop in sight of Sutton Reservoir, the route returned across
fascinating preserved stretches of the once much larger Danes Moss,
before heading back to Gawsworth and the welcoming bustle of the
Harrington Arms. The tables were plain, but the tasty food was
piping hot, and before us in no time.
At times the sun had been dazzling, a far cry from recent
downpours, which had left some sections quite wet and rather heavy
going, but Pat and Noel had chosen the route and pub well, and we all
thanked them for a most enjoyable walk.
DECEMBER 19 Report on the Walk For our
last walk in 2012, Richard and Susan Clark took us on a very pleasant
round from Disley. We went through the 450 year old St
churchyard, and followed easy tracks to Cockhead Farm, by the
reservoirs built by Stockport in the late 1800’s, before
following Bollinhurst Brook down to Parkgate.
Then we climbed the
grassy path to Lyme Cage, and on to a coffee break
Hall, before taking the level track to East Lodge and Bollinhurst
Just occasional slippy bits, then it was all easy
downhill along Green Lane, and past the Quaker Meeting House to the
There, 19 of us enjoyed the 2 for £12 offers,
and the Clarks and the
group leaders were thanked for their respective
efforts, on the day and during the year. The
threatened rain had
held off until we were almost home, so it was a very satisfying end to
Thanks to the 2012 walk leaders, and everyone’s support