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Walking Group 2013
Programme of walks Latest Walk Report
2013 Walking Away Walking Group Archive
Guidance for walk leaders Walking Risks

We 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.
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!

Meanwhile, thanks for all your support in 2013; looking forward to lots of enjoyable walks in 2014; and Freda and I hope you have a very good Christmas and New Year.       Walter

Group Leader: Walter Mason

2013       WALK PROGRAMME              

JAN     TUESDAY   8               WALTER MASON

            WEDNESDAY  30        SAM & IRENE CHAPPELL  
FEB     WEDNESDAY  20        RUTH & DAVE SMITH   Disley/Strines
APR    TUESDAY 9                  JEFF MORTIMER 

           WEDNESDAY 24          ROGER DRINKWATER
TUESDAY 7                 RICHARD & SUSAN CLARK   Woodford Wander

            WEDNESDAY 29         LOUANNE & PETER COLLINS  The Cauldon canal

JUN     TUESDAY 18               JOHN & BARBARA MCCARTNEY   Kinder Reservoir

            WEDNESDAY 26         GERRY & JAN CHARTRES    Calver, Derbyshire

JUN 30 to JULY 2                     Two Nights Away Break in Keswick.

JUL      WEDNESDAY 31         DAVID BURKE    
Wash/ Ford area near Chapel-en-le-Frith.

AUG     TUESDAY 13              JEFF MORTIMER    Roman Lakes - Mellor

             WEDNESDAY 28        DAVID LLOYD        Hope area
Rushton Spencer

OCT     TUESDAY 8                MERLYN & JOYCE YOUNG    
Timbersbrook / Bosley Cloud area.

             WEDNESDAY 30        
RICHARD & SUSAN CLARK    Woodford revisited

NOV     WEDNESDAY 27        WALTER MASON     Buxworth

DEC     WEDNESDAY 18         STEVE REYNOLDS     Mellor

2014       WALK PROGRAMME              

In 2014 the walking group will have a 2 night walking break in Llangollen, nights of 29/30th June. Contact Walter Mason for details, if not already received by email, or to book places.

WALK REPORTS              

JANUARY 8        Walter's Local Area walk.
Report on the Walk
   Judith, Sandra, Jeff and Walter enjoyed a very pleasant walk to start our
   new year’s walking.  After a short canal walk, we crossed (by footbridge)
   and went up green fields and lanes past Throstlesnest and Green Farms,
   to skirt past West Parkgate and reach Green Close Chapel.  Then a
   steady climb, with intriguing glimpses into Lyme Park, took us to
   Moorside and Keepers Cottage, with the reward of a “coffee” break in
                                         a sheltered spot during a brief spell of drizzle. 
A bridleway now descended gently past Birchincliff(e), with its picturesque courtyard, down to Shrigley Road and the Tea Rooms (closed on Tuesdays!).  Then we rose past Harrop Brow and Higher House Farm, before turning into Simpson Lane, winding past Redacre Hall Farm and Mitchell Fold.

Before long we were at Poynton Coppice Car Park, and a quick stroll on the Middlewood Way past an indifferent heron brought us back to the Boar’s Head, where we soon got substantial home cooked meals, and were back to High Lane by 1.30.  A good start to 2013!

Walter Mason


JANUARY 30          SAM & IRENE CHAPPELL,    Bollington.
Report on the Walk
                                         Our first Wednesday walk attracted 26, as Sam and Irene led the group
   from Bollington Recreation Ground, up to the Middlewood Way.  It was
   bright and breezy, and the ground a bit damp as we headed North,
   inadvertently forcing several cyclists to a halt as the track narrowed.
   We passed a couple of animal carvings, before traversing a rough and
   soggy field on the way to Styperson Pool.  A narrow path led between
   cottages, then ascended beneath overhanging trees to skirt the former
                                         Breck Quarries.

  After a break, we reached Long Lane and firmer ground, before a
   descent on paths and rough pastureland took us towards the
   canal, attractive pictorial discs indicating our way.  On the
    towpath we soon reached Clarence Mill, and steep steps leading
   down to the parkland path by the River Dean (strangely the
   River Bollin doesn’t go through Bollington!). 
   Then the highlight of the day, as we joined the crowds in the Vale
   Inn, like us attracted by the locally brewed beer choices.  Our
   food orders were soon before us, hot and well cooked, and it
  was evident we should really thank Sam and Irene for their excellent organisation, a splendid walk, and good fortune with the fine weather.

Walter Mason

FEBRUARY 20        RUTH & DAVE SMITH   Disley/Strines.
Report on the Walk
   Ruth and Dave Smith led 16 walkers straight from the village hall car park,
   on a 4½ mile walk exploring the area between High Lane, Disley, Strines
   and Marple Ridge. The annual lunch had forced  a date change for the
   walking group.  On the way out of High Lane, historical interest of some
   old local buildings was pointed out, and Disley golf club was skirted on
   the way to the Peak Forest Canal, then followed to Turf Lea and a
coffee stop. A succession of field paths took the group over to the Macclesfield canal, which led the group back to the village hall and an early finish.

A few collected to have a carvery meal, while most retired back home, but all seemed to have very much enjoyed the walk, in spite of the cool air. The group leader (yours truly) having gone to Dunham with the gardening group, this account is summarised from Ruth’s observations.

Walter Mason

MARCH 27        ALISON ALLERTON    A Local Walk.
Report on the Walk
6 men and 6 ladies joined Alison Allerton, as we had a rare walk in the snow.  Rerouted from snowdrift bound Whaley Bridge back to milder High Lane, our 6 mile walk was on familiar ground near Brookside farm to the Elmerhurst Trail, past Lyme Hall to West Gate, then by Green Farm down to the canal, to return to High Lane.  But that simple route took on a splendid variety of moods on the patchy snowy ground, as the weather oscillated between mild sunshine, snowshowers, and cool breezes.  Some stretches were slippy, and one gate was jammed in a snowdrift, but no-one struggled and all were well wrapped up.  We relaxed with a coffee stop in Lyme, and 7 diverted to the Boars Head at Higher Poynton for a welcome lunch, and we all thanked Alison very much as she set off back to snowy Whaley.

Walter Mason

Report on the Walk
   Jeff Mortimer led his first walk for us, which was a 7 miles foray from
   Taxal up the Goyt valley to Fernilee Hall and return.  6 enjoyed a very
   pleasant day with plenty of sunshine, but with an on and off cool breeze.
   Spring flowers were conspicuous by their absence, as the remnants of
   snow drifts were still around in exposed places.  The going was dry and
   easy, except for a slippery snow bound section behind the hall.  Jeff told
us something of the history of the Cromford inclined plane/tramway, and also of the history of Errwood Hall, before we climbed up to the restored private cemetery.
Then it was an easy walk back by Errwood and Fernilee reservoirs (noting the bat boxes on some of the trees), through the ancient bluebell woodland of Park Wood, to skirt Taxal church, and a quick up and down back to the cars, thanking Jeff for his first leadership walk.

Walter Mason

Report on the Walk
  When Roger Drinkwater recc’d the route from Parwich, snowdrifts lined
  the quiet, narrow access lane. But today, on a warm pleasant day,
  daffodils and primroses were scattered on the banks, as ten of us started
  our 6½ mile walk from this attractive out-of-the-way village, as we crossed
  a succession of rough meadows in the wide valley leading to the hillock
  village of Bradbourne.  After a coffee stop and quick look at the interesting
Norman church, we descended through a snowdrop wood, with a skylark heralding our progress towards the hamlet of Ballidon, where the ancient chapel was being re-roofed.
Ancient turned to modern, as we ascended the road past the busy Ballidon and Hoe Grange quarries, although most of the massive quarries were hidden, and soon we went up a quiet track, with buzzards circling above, to bisect the two quarries on a carefully constructed green bridge.  After lunch, and a study of two fossilised objects, we continued near Twodale Barn and along Backhill Lane, before taking a slanting path above Balllidon Hall, with a backdrop bank of daffodils, and flying a flag for St George.  We still had time to look at the rebuilt church of Parwich, thank our walk leader, and persuade the landlady of the Sycamore to refresh us.  It had been a very pleasant, though longish day, and Irene seemed to have enjoyed being the only lady amongst nine men.

Walter Mason

      RICHARD & SUSAN CLARK    Woodford Wander
Report on the Walk

Richard and Susan led a party of five from the Davenport Arms (a.k.a. “Thief’s Neck”) in Woodford, on a 5-mile circular walk through the Cheshire countryside.  Crossing the road and passing the church on the right we proceeded down a country lane, which soon became a path. Turning right, we then followed footpaths through fields and a very pleasant garden to the Bollin at Mill Lane.  The Bollin Valley Way having been eroded away by a flood necessitated a diversionary route where we came across goats, donkeys and giraffes.

We took a coffee break under trees by some ponds along the way, then continued along more footpaths until we eventually found several abandoned farm buildings and houses at “Top o’th’ Hill”.  These had planning permission notices on display suggesting conversion to a new development.  After exploring these buildings for a while, we then proceeded across various fields to a swampy area with some ditches, which according to the map was the site of an old moat.  We spent time discussing what this moat may have been surrounding in the past, as there was no evidence of any buildings still present.  We continued past a small stream, which we identified as the River Dean, and then we passed a water treatment works, and continued towards the flight sheds at Woodford Airfield.  After that we found ourselves along the edge of the delightful “Avro” golf course to reach the airfield, adjacent to the main runway.  We then re-traced our steps to the Davenport Arms, and there enjoyed a very pleasant meal.

Jeff Mortimer

MAY 29      
LOUANNE & PETER COLLINS     The Cauldon canal
Report on the Walk
Bluebells in abundance, admixed with the white campion-like flowers of Greater Stitchwort, were one of the abiding memories of this very pleasant 6 mile walk, led by Louanne and Peter Collins.  11 of us travelled just beyond Leek, to Barnfields Country Park, and crossed over into Ladderedge Country Park. Up field paths and by bluebell woods, and along a short muddy footpath, before descending between the attractive gardens and houses of Longden down to Horse Bridge.

Then we trod the towpaths of the Calden canal and its bluebell bordered Leek branch, going over the 1841 Hazlehurst aqueduct, and later going under it, all in lovely rural and wooded surroundings. A charity boat of old people and a double hotel boat passed us, but otherwise few people on this cloudy but bright day.  We looked at a former station platform on a stretch of disused rails, which locals were hoping to link with the popular Churnet Valley Railway, 2 miles away in Cheddleton.  A short detour into the Deep Hayes Country Park for our lunch stop – 3 Country Parks within a 2 mile circle! – showed what a little gem this area was, so we were very grateful to Louanne and Peter for taking us there.
Walter Mason

JUNE 18        
Report on the Walk
  John and Barbara McCartney led a group of 10 on a pleasant scenic tour
  of  Kinder reservoir, Hayfield.  Open access and a substantial new
  footbridge have recently enabled walkers to traverse this route legally and
  easily, although signs are still minimal.  The weather was perfect,
  rhododendrons were flowering, a cuckoo, curlews and skylarks were
  heralding our passing, and there were plenty of good views to be had.

Among the sights were a helicopter, apparently set up to spray ( bracken?), and the distant view of Upper House.  This has a fantastic history ranging from isolated farmhouse, haven for travellers treading the nearby packhorse routes, links to the Knight Templars, appropriation by the then Lord Mayor of Manchester as Stockport Corporation bought Kinder farmlands for the reservoir, visits by Agatha Christie, and now handsome restoration into a glamorous wedding venue.
It was good to view Kinder from these relatively low slopes without too much effort, so John got a big thank you from the group for his lovely walk.

Walter Mason

JUNE 26          
GERRY & JAN CHARTRES    Calver, Derbyshire
Report on the Walk
  14 joined Gerry Chartres on lovely walk between Calver and Baslow.
  Much of the route was on riverside paths bordering the River Derwent,
  trees reflected in the calm waters, stilled by the impressive weirs originally
  used to power mills at Calver and Baslow.  Water used to be directed
  along a leat (The Goit), which now kept the riverside marshland damp,
  encouraging an abundance of wild flowers and unusual fauna.
Later we  ascended on lanes east of the river, with interesting cottages and features.
This area seemed new to most of our party, and had pleasant views over the wide valley, enhanced by an abundance of haymaking in the lush fields.
Gerry had carried out successful negotiations with local innkeepers, so we were able to wash down our packed lunches with beer and shandy, in a splendidly scenic setting by the Derwent.  All in all, Gerry and Roger, who had accompanied him during recces, had chosen well – especially with a day of warm sunshine, ideal for walking.

Walter Mason

JULY 31      
DAVID BURKE    Wash / Ford area near Chapel-en-le-Frith.
Report on the Walk
  David Burke, successfully leading his first walk
  for us, took a group of 9 to a quiet, little known
  backwater, near to Chapel-en-le-Frith.
  Starting from Ford, within sight of the well-
  known Chestnut Centre, we undulated on  rarely
  used field paths, and saw a succession of tiny
hamlets, farms and halls, with green and pleasant views in all directions.  A light, but warm drizzle hid the distant hills for a time and made some stretches slightly slippery, but most of the going was easy, except for a few stiles and inclines.  David has family connections with the area and local knowledge, so recounted several interesting tales and facts, especially about the 4 halls – Ford, Bagshawe, Slacke, and Bowden.
A lesser group of 5 toasted David’s walk afterwards at the nearby Fallow Deer roadhouse, where Marstons and Jennings beer went down a treat!

Walter Mason

AUGUST 13       JEFF MORTIMER       Roman Lakes - Mellor
Report on the Walk
Six walkers met for the walk, with a forecast of sunshine and showers, unfortunately the showers won! But this didn’t take any enjoyment from this lovely walk.
We parked at the Roman Lakes Car Park and had a quick look around, with one or two people recalling some memories from years ago of the Lake.  Then it was a gentle climb up to Mellor Church.  This small area was full of interest, from Iron Age Settlement to Prehistoric Roundhouses and Jeff gave us lots of history as to how the diggings were discovered and then unearthed.
After a quick coffee break, we went along a bridle path, down to Mellor Road, then a climb to Cobden Edge.  It was getting very misty at this point and we lost a couple of walkers but were re-united quickly!
The history continued at our next stop called Shaw Cairn, a Bronze Age Burial Ground and it was amazing the number of objects found by archaeologists.   The heather was beautiful in this area too.
But we were getting very wet at this point so shortened the walk a little and took shelter in the Fox Inn at Brook Bottom.  A nice meal and a very pleasant pub!
After lunch, the rain eased and we set off again – along the Midshires Way via the River Goyt with sunshine at last........and back to the car park.
A great walk and thanks to Jeff for taking us and providing us with so much information.
Sandra Barber

AUGUST 28       DAVID LLOYD        Hope area
Report on the Walk
 David Lloyd took thirteen to Hope for a 5½ mile
  walk on unfamiliar paths,  to reach the gentle col
  between Win Hill and the Eastern Slopes of
  Kinderscout, at about 1000 feet.  In misty warm
  sunshine, quiet minor  roads led to pleasant field
  paths, coffee stop at Fiddle Clough, and then to
an ascending path through bracken slopes to reach the col on the dot of  midday – time for an early lunch!
Afterwards we soon reached the start of the downward path – part of the Roman Road between Melandra (near Glossop) and Navio (near Hope) – denoted by an interesting cross from the 18th century. Although scarred in places from overuse, the route was straight and easy, and soon brought us down to a country pub “Cheshire Cheese”, where we could thank David for his walk, much of which had been on lovely grassy paths, and had fine views throughout.

SEPTEMBER 25       SAM/IRENE CHAPPELL       Rushton Spencer
Report on the Walk
 Sam and Irene Chappell took 15 to Rushton Spencer, for a 6 mile walk over to
  Dane Bridge and back. A light drizzle wet us at first, and left sections of the
  paths rather heavy, but the rain stopped as we skirted the River Dane, passed a
  stand of sheep skulls, and some tempting blackberries, and made a coffee stop.
  A sturdy metal footbridge gave a splendid view of a weir, as we progressed to
  the Dane Bridge troutery, and admired the fat trout for sale.

  Then a steepish ascent towards Wincle Grange farm, with a lunch stop under
  magnificent beech trees giving a welcome rest. The route now followed pastureland on little-used field paths, past the site of Dumkins, before joining the well-used Gritstone trail down to Barleighford Bridge. There Sam and Irene fed us with sweets to help us up the climb, on a track which led directly to the village of Rushton Spencer. A short stretch of feeder canal for Rudyard Lake, and we arrived back close to the Knot Inn, which was a magnet for half our number. It had been an enjoyable walk, in spite of a humid mist blocking distance views, so Sam and Irene were thanked by all for their efforts.

Walter Mason

OCTOBER 8                MERLYN & JOYCE YOUNG    Timbersbrook / Bosley Cloud area.
Merlyn and Joyce took a small group of five on a 5½ mile walk ascending Bosley Cloud, and taking in some good paths, country lanes and the Macclesfield canal.
We met at the Timbersbrook picnic area car park, where Merlyn gave us a very interesting history of the mill that was previously on the site from the 1800s until it was demolished in 1966. We walked along a lane and found the footpath that took us to the summit of Bosley Cloud, observing some soaring buzzards on the way.  At the top we paused for refreshments, and took in the splendid views. Descending across lanes and fields, past a fine crop of sweet corn, we arrived at the Macclesfield canal where we stopped for our packed lunch.  We then had a very easy walk along the canal towing path, observing an unusual painted cow at a farm, another lane with some very poisonous looking fungi, then across some fields where we saw lots of interesting farm animals.  Finally we walked along a lane back to the car park.
It was a very pleasant walk, which we all enjoyed.

Jeff Mortimer

OCTOBER 30                
RICHARD & SUSAN CLARK    Woodford revisited
  On a lovely bright morning, Richard and Susan Clark reprised their May
  Tuesday walk from the Davenport Arms, Woodford.  This time a group of
  16 enjoyed a tour of the flat pasture land surrounding the infant rivers
  Dean and Bollin, with a smattering of black and white halls, and a few
  wooded sections; and especially we enjoyed the end of the walk on the
  delightful footpath skirting Woodford aerodrome and the perimeter of
                                        the Avro golf course.
It wasn’t all joy, as several night’s heavy showers falling on poorly drained flood plains necessitated a few frantic scrambles, where pools and soggy grassland had blocked our way.  But we all liked the route chosen, and the lack of hills – and our party were also very happy with the prompt service and good food in the Davenport Arms (Thief’s Neck) afterwards.

Walter Mason

On a grey day with paths greasy from overnight rain, Walter’s 4½ mile walk from Buxworth seemed to meet with general approval.  From the steps and bypass footbridge, a path followed above the bypass, then it was the steeply ascending Silk Lane before we joined a path winding down to the former Cromford railway and the Whaley Bridge canal end.  It was an easy walk along the attractive beech shaded towpath past Botholmes and Bridgemont, and  we had our coffee stop.  A path led down past the sewage works (where unfortunately the calm air had allowed odours to linger!).  Over a footbridge we crossed the river to pass the attractive hamlet of Waterside, and saw a beautifully situated garden with winding stream, flowing wisteria, magnolias and profusive cyclamen.
The second climb of the day came on Dolly Lane, as the quiet lane skirted Green Head, before descending gently past Ancoats on the recently designated cycle route 68.  But no cycles and just an occasional car came our way.  At Brierley Green we turned left by a blue plaque cottage, then under the dark railway bridge before a right turn led us down to Black Brook and the easy tramway back to the Navigation Inn.  Not the most exciting of walks, but varied stretches, easy going, and interesting buildings on the way made it a good choice for November.
Walter Mason

Steve Reynolds took a group of 18 on a very pleasant undulating walk in Lower Mellor.  The promised rain proved to be fitful sunshine as we negotiated two stream valleys (both un-named on 1:25000 Ordnance Survey maps) and passed Townscliffe Farm, on our way to a coffee stop at Mill Brow.  We briefly followed Hollywood Road, admiring a local garden, then took a short fieldpath before we steadily ascended up the fields to Mellor Hall and shortly the vicarage garden with its celebrated stone age dig. We looked inside Mellor Church, where a small colourful modern window contrasted with older surroundings, then followed steps into the field below to pick up Knowle Road, soon leading us back to the Royal Oak, which gave us really nice lunches in pleasant pub surroundings.

Steve and Ann were well thanked for their walk, and (in a flush of Christmas spirit?) Steve was soon musing on the possibility of a Summer evening walking return visit to the Royal Oak – watch this space!   

Walter Mason

Group Leader - Walter Mason
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