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Walking Group 2014
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2014 Walking Away Walking Group Archive
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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!

Group Leader: Walter Mason

2014       WALK PROGRAMME              

JAN    TUESDAY  7                 JEFF MORTIMER    Combs

          WEDNESDAY  29           DAVID LLOYD    Poynton

FEB    WEDNESDAY  27          DAVID BURKE    Chinley area

MAR  WEDNESDAY 26            RUTH & DAVE SMITH    Charlesworth
APR   TUESDAY  8                    WALTER MASON
    Higher Poynton
           WEDNESDAY 30            MERLYN & JOYCE YOUNG
MAY   TUESDAY  13                STEVE REYNOLDS    

           WEDNESDAY 28           BRIAN & ALISON ALLERTON                       


JUN    TUESDAY 10                 RICHARD & SUSAN CLARK               

           WEDNESDAY 25           SAM & IRENE CHAPPELL 
Two Nights Away Break in Llangollen.                                     

JUL     WEDNESDAY 30          JEFF MORTIMER       Errwood Reservoir - River Goyt area.                               

AUG    TUESDAY 12                JOHN McCARTNEY 

            WEDNESDAY 27         LOUANNE & PETER COLLINS    Tissington        

SEP     WEDNESDAY 9           JOHN McCARTNEY  Furness Vale and Whaley area.                         

           WEDNESDAY 24         WALTER MASON   Edensor and Calton Pastures.

OCT    TUESDAY 14                DAVID BURKE                                                                  

             WEDNESDAY 29         SAM & IRENE CHAPPELL  

NOV    WEDNESDAY 26          DAVID LLOYD                                    


1st  May 2015;      3 nights;  Long Mynd Hotel, Church Stretton                                                  –  Contact STEVE REYNOLDS 
for details.                                                            

WALK REPORTS              

Report on the Walk
For our first 2014 walk, six joined Jeff Mortimer on a 5 mile walk from Combs village, which skirted Ladder Hill, then contoured round until overlooking Fernilee, before returning by fields, and Combs Reservoir. The weather kept fine, the views were panoramic, but recent rains had left fields heavy, built up pools on Long Lane, and in particular, made the long stretch between reservoir and Meveril Brook a continuous muddy track. Perhaps the ladies were wise to miss this one! It does show that winter conditions can make our choice of route more problematic at times. But the good food in the Beehive soon revived our spirits and we could thank Jeff for his efforts.

29 JANUARY           DAVID LLOYD    Poynton
Report on the Walk
Eleven came on David Lloyd’s 5 mile Poynton walk.  The skies remained grey, but rain held off, as we explored the inclines of a past coal mining era, now largely vanished and pleasantly wooded.  Intriguing relics were still around – ice house, munitions store, railway curves, occasional spoil heaps and sunken pits – but so were signs of fox scratching, and impressive badger setts behind the Anson Museum.  Much more prevalent, after the many recent overnight rains, was heavy ground and mud, which slowed our progress and kept our attention away from the surrounding pleasant scenery.  But soon we were back and able to try out the newly refurbished Fiveways pub, where meals seemed to find favour as we thanked David for his walk.

27 FEBRUARY           DAVID BURKE    Chinley
Report on the Walk
 19 joined David Burke, of whom 14 stayed on for a very satisfying meal in
  historic surroundings (complete with minstrels gallery) at the Old Hall,
  Whitehough, near Chinley. Lovely views and warm sunshine greeted us, as
  we followed the old tramway, towards the equally impressive double
  railway viaduct and modern bypass. Then the route undulated over
  pleasant pastureland, went by streams, wandered through the hamlet of
Wash with snowdrops adorning the verges, and discovered quaint pathways and quiet lanes.
The walk seemed longer than David’s stated 4¼ miles; or was it the tiring effect as we slowed up in the heavy going near most stiles? But we got round in time for lunch, and we certainly enjoyed the all round views featuring Chinley Churn, Coombes Edge, South Head, and Mount Famine.

MAR  WEDNESDAY 26            RUTH & DAVE SMITH    Charlesworth

Report on the Walk
There were 20 on Ruth and Dave’s walk from Charlesworth. A longish ascent, first steeply on road and track, then more gently on smooth grass, took us to the fascinating saucer of rocks that is Coombes Edge. After a welcome coffee stop, sunshine gave way to a gloomy sky with gentle snow flurries, but it was easy walking along the grassy plateau.The track leading past Robin Hood’s picking rods (enhanced by historical, or fanciful?, tales from Merlyn), became rather wet and sticky – not helped by the farmer driving his large sheep herd past us to pasture!

The path heading right seemed non-existent, but we soon picked up a good path, and in brighter weather after our lunch stop headed down through Moorside Farm and past Bot Wood, to the Glossop Road, a friendly hot pie and ice cream store, and our parked cars. It had all been very pleasant, so it was easy to thank Ruth and Dave for the walk.

APR   TUESDAY  8                    WALTER MASON
    Higher Poynton
Report on the Walk
An “elite” group of 6 men were on Walter’s walk to Spond Hill. But, optimistic visions of gentle walking on sweet green turf, were thwarted by heavy overnight rain, and enjoyment of the widespread views was reduced by fierce winds along the ridge. Footsteps had to be placed carefully in the many damp places, and a few hats had to be retrieved after being blown off. Then the Spond Hill summit plate was indicating directions to many distant hills well obscured by the poor visibility. It wasn’t all doom and gloom, as the route is a fine one after the long initial climb to the Bowstones ridge, the rain held off, and a surprise meeting with David Lloyd (carrying out his National Trust Lyme Park boundary checks) made our day! Our coffee stop was exposed and brief, but we found good shelter for lunch with an inspiring view. We heard skylarks, saw a kestrel, and admired clumps of Cowslip, and found the wild forget-me-nots Germander Speedwell and Green Alkanet. So the six seemed well content with the walk as they arrived back at Lyme Park West Gate.
April Walk pril alk

Report on the Walk
17 joined Merlyn and Joyce for the longish drive to Longshawe Estate, for a very pleasant 5½ mile walk on a warm but murky day, which obscured the distant views. A gentle descent past a small lake led to Granby Wood, and on into Padley Gorge. The stony path passed several unfinished millstones, and some super secluded houses, before turning right for the gradual climb past Padley Chapel (coffee stop), Oxhay Wood and Greenwood Farm. Next we followed the minor road past Whim Plantation, then on a grassy path up Winyards Nick to a lunch stop with extensive view. After lunch we climbed over the ridge and onto a narrow path through the heather to Toad’s Mouth at the A6187 point, where a pleasant path through the woods led back to our start point. Many thanks to Merlyn and Joyce for taking us to the Derbyshire/Yorkshire border.
April Walk

MAY   TUESDAY  13                STEVE REYNOLDS 
Steve’s advertised and innovative barbecue walk for 18, became a “ordinary” walk for 4, when at the last minute the Royal Oak was unable to make the barbecue. It was a shame, when pleasant weather belied the forecast showers, and the charming route would have been perfect for working up a gentle appetite! We cut down towards the Roman Lakes, and followed the River Goyt upstream, before making the steady climb to Brookbottom. The Fox Inn was not serving, but cans of beer miraculously appeared from a haversack, and refreshed us for the scenic track back to Mellor Golf course, the scout camp, and our cars. Many thanks to Steve, and hopefully he will try a barbecue walk again, with a more secure barbecue.

Report on the Walk
A depressing weather forecast forced a last minute rethink, and an alternative venue was chosen at Fernilee reservoir. So instead of Derbyshire limestone, Brian and Alison led a small group of 6 into the lush woodland of the gritstone Goyt valley. It proved to be a very good choice. Overnight rain had given spring leaves a bright sparkle, in a myriad shades of green. The tracks through the woods were firm underfoot. And the best bonus of all, as we started the walk, rain stopped and held off for the duration.

Forestry felling has opened up clearances in places, and several huge trees had been toppled by recent squalls, but this didn’t mar our enjoyment of this lovely and varied wooded area, surrounding the two reservoirs constructed in the last century for Stockport drinking water. So we were very pleased to thank Brian and Alison for this walk.

Collage of photos from the walk

AY 10                 RICHARD & SUSAN CLARK    
Report on the Walk
8 joined Richard and Susan on a one way walk from Disley to Hazel Grove. It turned out to be a lovely bright day, just perfect for walking, on paths, some familiar, some less so. We passed the Disley Quaker house and the old church of St. Mary, then went the back way to Lyme along Red Lane, before skirting past Ryles Wood and Middlecale Farm to the canal. We went by Middle Wood and across the A6 to the Royal Oak, and on to little used field paths to Threaphurst Lane and Hazel Grove Golf Course, before diverting under the tunnels to the Racecourse estate and Torkington Park. A mere 5 minute wait, and the 199 bus took us back to Disley, and pleasant meals at the White Horse, with thanks to Richard and Susan. Not quite 10 out of 10, as the recent heavy rains had left several sections unseasonably wet, but a very good mornings walk altogether.
Early June Walks
Report on the Walk
13 were on Sam and Irene’s walk from Ashford in the Water. Fine weather greeted us at Sheepwash Bridge, as we started thegentle climb through field paths towards Monsal Head. We survived encounters with a “gentle” bull, inquisitive cows with calves, and jungly vegetation lining some paths, with nettles a threat to the 4 brave ones in shorts.

After a coffee break, and a viewing break overlooking Monsal Dale, we crossed the now disused railway viaduct, and descended to the River Wye for an idyllic lunch spot. After crossing the A6, a limestone scramble tested the less surefooted, before a pleasant amble through woods sprinkled with ash seedlings and faded remnants of wild garlic, past the double underfed waterwheel building and Magpie Sough – a failed attempt to bring profitability to the Magpie mine at Sheldon.

Then we were back and thanking Sam and Irene for their lovely walk, picturesque views throughout, and taken at a leisurely pace.

Late June Walk

JUN  SUNDAY 29/MONDAY 30  Two Nights Away Break in Llangollen
                                                                                                                       ( click for report )
                                         DAY 1                                                                                    DAY 2
Day 1 Composite picture Day 2 Composite picture
                                                                       DAY 3
Day 3 composite picture

JUL     WEDNESDAY 30          Jeff Mortimer
Report on the Walk
Jeff Mortimer took a group of 10 to the headwaters of the River Goyt, which featured long sections of the former historic Cromford – Whaley Bridge railway. In a cold strong wind, we started at the summit of the incline from the Errwood reservor dam, and followed the flat trackway to the Burford tunnel. Currently closed, we had to climb over the moors to the Buxton side, and after a coffee stop, descended through woodland to Beet, and a picturesque lakeside garden (remembered from Alison and Brian’s Ring of Trees walk). The cold moorland wind vanished, and in the much warmer Buxton air we had a toughish climb back to the former railway, with glimpses of the Cat and Fiddle road twisting and turning below.

After a long former railway stretch, we turned up to Burford Moor, and picked up a stony path winding between the emerging heather and tall bracken, eventually bringing us down to the infant Goyt, but more importantly to a lunch break in a lovely streamside spot, guarded by a solitary kestrel, and overlooked by footpath sign repairers. After, there was some tricky bracken walking till in sight of Errwood reservoir, when a wide track, and a narrow path climbing through the ripe bilberries (locally called wimberries), which in the hot close conditions became a somewhat unwelcome way to take us back to our cars.

It had been fairly tough going at times, perhaps 6 ½ miles walked, but there were lots of wide moorland views, plenty of historical railway interest, and the lush brackeny paths, to make this a walk with a difference, for which we thanked Jeff. 

July Walk Group July Walk 2 July Walk 1
July Walk3 July Walk 4 July Walk 5

Report on the Walk
A good turn out of 16 went to Tissington for Louanne and Peter’s walk. This was a very pleasant walk, making good use of the Tissington trail, and the many grassy paths through the meadows along to Alsop en le Dale and down towards Parwich. On the way we passed the imposing Tissington Hall, the interesting part Norman church at Alsop, and from Peakway and Flaxdale, we negotiated the steepish paths either side of Bletch Brook. The walk was a very green walk, as none of the field paths had been over-walked, and there were interesting views throughout – not to mention inviting ice creams afterwards! So we thanked Louanne and Peter who took us a little bit further from High Lane than usual, but it was worth it.
16 go to Tissington

Report on the Walk
Sudden family problems meant a change of leader and walk, so yours truly led a group of 6 on a 6 mile route from Hague Bar. Although much was familiar ground, the figure-of-eight route made it more varied, partly because railway embarkment strengthening work forced us on a pleasant detour via Beard Hall Farm. We saw masses of Himalayan Balsam, went past the “Llama” farm, looked at former mill buildings (including one site with a family connection to one of our group), were surprised to see several dragonflies congregating on one pond, and found a sunny lunch spot with room for us all in comfort. It never ceases to amaze, how attractive is the Torrs area, hidden below New Mills; and it made a fine finish to the walk from there by the woodland path back to Hague Bar.

Report on the Walk

Following Ruth’s injury, Walter took 16 to Chatsworth, on a glorious day for walking. From Calton Lees, the walk was on a grassy path by the River Derwent to Chatsworth Bridge, before starting a long gradual ascent, first to Edensor village for a coffee/loo stop. Then we continued up the village on a quiet road, which soon became a pleasant track past the Forest Nursery, and then with lovely views of the Baslow/Pilsley/Great Longstone area. Reaching the woods by Ballcross Farm, we turned to access the Calton Pastureland, and soon found a pleasant lunch stop by the Moatless Plantation, with views towards Manners Wood and beyond Bakewell.

After lunch we continued through the pastures, braving an extensive herd of brown cows and bullocks, passed the stock watering pool, and headed for the Russian Cottage. All that remained of the 5½ mile walk, was a short track through New Piece Wood, and an impromptu path swinging through parkland and back to our cars. In spite of the 600 foot climb beyond Edensor, we had made good time on the easy grass paths and smooth tracks, with few gates, and only a couple of very easy stiles. 

Poignantly, on returning home, it was to news that the Grand Dowager Duchess of Devonshire had just died – we had mentioned that her recent home was in Edensor, as we passed through the village.

OCT    TUESDAY 14                DAVID BURKE    
Report on the Walk
TUESDAY WALK – David Burke led 9 of us from Bridgemont, on gradually ascending paths, eventually to the former Moorside Hotel. We passed industrial relics in Ringstone Clough, a farmer’s sad memorial seat below Ringstone farm, the puzzling “Dipping Stone”  on Whaley Moor, all the while having increasingly lovely, albeit misty, views. A sheltered coffee stop, and an easy descent, took us to the pleasantly wooded Todd Brook valley, and a streamside lunch break.  Many signs of former mill activity in this area, although the buildings are unnamed on the Ordnance Survey. We skirted below Kettleshulme, and passed Coalhurst on the way to Kishfield Bridge, but diverted right to a narrow path, initially with a steep drop in the vicinity, then headed down to an unusual sequence of iron ladder and gated railings, leading to a gentle path by Toddbrook Reservoir. Glances at a scenic fishing pool, and the incline of the former horse drawn railway, and soon it was a quick canal-side walk back to Bridgemont. David had enhanced the walk with much researched information and pictures, and we thanked him for his very interesting walk.

Report on the Walk
Fourteen joined Sam and Irene’s walk from Etherow Country park, a very pleasant 6½ mile excursion round Werneth Low. We started by the Etherow, but soon left the river to ascend through lovely Redbrow Wood, emerging by Gothic Farm on Compstall Road, Romiley. We crossed onto Romiley Golf Course, looking very attractive in the late October sunshine, and gently zig-zagged our way towards Greave. A sharp right hand turn through a garden, and up a steep field by a former coal mine, led to a minor road, and across to a level path leading to Birches Farm, now a reconstructed upmarket dwelling, with the footpath diverted around. A short climb and we were up, and could follow a new footpath, parallel with the road, and laid for the Cown Edge Way/Tameside Trail/Trans Pennine Trail combined routes. At the Joel Lane cross-roads, a path led almost directly to the War Memorial on Hacking Knife in the Werneth Low Country Park. Time for lunch, and time to gaze all around at the magnificent panorama, one of the best in the district. But we had to leave towards Uplands Farm, where a left and right took us down a narrow shaded path, and past Hyde’s Farm, guarded by a carved owl, turning left to a fieldside path, which abruptly went steeply down and up a stream gulley, to join a familiar path by Mortin Clough, dropping down to the even more familiar tracks in the Etherow Country Park, past the Weir Cottages and reservoir to our cars. An excellent day, with lovely weather, and a really good route on unfamiliar ground laid out by Irene and Sam, for which we thanked them very much.



Report on the Walk
Only 9 came on David Lloyd’s 5 mile walk, perhaps put off by forecast of rain, which never materialised. After a still, slightly chilly start we walked a quiet lane past Hagbank to the Peak Forest Canal. Soon, gentle steps took us down past Littlewoodend and Strines Village, to a coffee stop (with seats!) overlooking the printworks site.

Off again northwestwards, we were parallel to the River Goyt and railway, with pleasant views of Marple Ridge and Ridgend, and a little mud at times, until we reached Strawberry Hill and crossed the lovely Roman Bridge. A modest climb following the Cown Edge Way took us across Strines Road and up to Turf Lea, now well warmed as the weather got steamy.  Then it was past a lone chimney and Stanley Hall Wood up onto Disley Golf Course, dodging their winter reparations; where a quick downhill took us to the White Horse, and substantial pensioners’ lunches.

All in all, a very pleasant walk, which was well rounded off by convivial chat, and our thanks to David.

The  final walk of 2014 was led by Roger Drinkwater, and 15 of us threaded our way through the Poynton traffic queues to the Hanging Gate pub, at Higher Sutton beyond Macclesfield. One of the highest pubs in the district at 1100 feet, and a pub since 1621, it was shrouded in a thick Cheshire mist as we descended the “Quiet Lane” towards the forest; streaming water everywhere - a legacy of torrential overnight rain. An erratic breeze was warding off the rain, as we went up and down and roundabout in the tall Macclesfield Forest trees on well laid footpaths, to reach the visitor centre, with plenty of seating while we had our coffee stop.
New paths created by Ridgegate reservoir gave us a view of cormorants on an artificial islet, but by the dam we turned left and down a flight of steps, made tricky with wet leaves and mud. From here the route was along the waymarked Gritstone Trail, and followed fieldpaths back to the pub, but the going was much tougher on the slippy grass, and we had to regain lost height. We saw workmen – but not improving the path – instead they were making a skilfully rebuilt drystone wall, in keeping with a recently renovated former farm!
The dry mist was gradually being replaced by a wet mist, so we were glad to recover by a hot fire, with a panoramic view from the dining room window – alas, only of thick mist, not the advertised view of beautiful countryside. But the walk had been very pleasant, so we thanked Roger for that, but not before he had thanked Walter for leading the group during the year.

Group Leader - Walter Mason
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