2013 Walks

Christmas Walk & Lunch

An excellent turnout for the Christmas Walk and eleven of our group set out from the Golden Pheasant at Plumley for a short walk of about 4 miles before the main event of the day, Christmas lunch. The weather forecast was for strong winds and rain later in the day, fortunately the wind could only be described as moderate and the rain failed to appear, so we were able to enjoy our morning in the countryside in fine weather.

The circular route explores the beautiful countryside around the village of Plumley and the landscape is dominated by fields for arable and dairy farming, deciduous hedgerows and a scattering of small woods. Apart from having to climb a number of stiles and negotiate some extremely muddy fields, the trail was not difficult and we arrived back safely at our start point some two hours later in good time for lunch.

Here we were joined by five more members of our group and sixteen of us sat down to enjoy an excellent Christmas lunch in the Golden Pheasant dining room. Thank you, Judith and Mike, for organising the walk and lunch.





 

Wellies and stout boots needed for this walk
Tackling one of the many stiles
Keeping my eye on you!





 

Helen wins the prize for the best hat!
Waiting for the turkey.
Now for the Christmas pudding.
 

On a sunny Saturday morning six of our group set off on a circular walk from the entrance to the National Trust Car Park at Hare Hill. Other walkers should note, the car park at Hare Hill is now closed for the winter! Our route took us across fields towards Mottram Hall and along the North Cheshire Trail. Although the weather was sunny the recent rain made it heavy underfoot and part of the footpath along the Bollin valley had been washed away. This meant a change to our planned walk and the map was to become an essential part of our equipment.


Being true professionals we found our way to the Bulls Head at Mottram where we stopped to indulge in rather good but large lunch. From here we set off on the return leg to the start point but the path became more and more steep as we climbed up the Alderley Edge and it was at this point we began to regret the over indulgence at lunch time. However, we eventually made it to the top and into Hare Hill Garden where it was a short walk down the main drive and back to the car.

A very enjoyable ramble with some fine scenery and our thanks to Mike and Judith for leading the walk.

Into the corn field!
Autumn colours at Hare Hill





 





 





 



 

Picking our way through the mud on the way back.





 





 





 




October Walk - Tacklers Trail, Darwen

In the early morning mist, but with the promise of better weather later in the day, five of us set off to tackle part of the Tacklers Trail across the Darwen Moors and up to the Jubilee Tower. The first part of the walk was a stiff up hill climb, over rugged wet tracks to the top of the moor and across to the Jubilee Tower overlooking Darwen and Blackburn. Unfortunately, when we arrived, the visibility was not too good but the sun was trying to shine and here we found a sheltered spot for lunch.

The next part of the route, which was downhill all the way, took us past the Sunnyhurst and Earnsdale Reservoirs and then it was up 'Donkey Brow' and over to the Royal Arms for a welcome refreshment break.

At this point the trail descends  into woodland and then climbs steadily upwards to the remains of Hollinshead Hall where we stopped for a short break to explore the ruins of this old manor house.

From here it was then a short walk back across the moor and return to car park.

 
Jubilee Tower
Jubilee Tower
Earnsdale Reservoir with Jubilee Tower in background

 

 May Walk

Moel Famau

Only three walkers turned up for the walk to the top of Moel Famau which is on the Denbighshire/Flintshire border and the highest point in the Clwydian hills in NE Wales. The leader was on home territory having been brought up in nearby Wrexham.

We kept our options open about going to the top as the weather look did not look very kind and it can be very windy at the Jubilee Tower on the summit. We started from the small village of Cilcain, with its Church and pub and after walking round Frith Mountain, which is really only a hill, we were still about 40 minutes from the top of Moel Famau. There was not going to be much of a view, as the top, though visible, was cold, grey and wet looking so we abandoned the ascent and crossed two fords and used Clwyd Forest tracks before dropping down to Loggerheads. We had lunched in the forest in lovely sunshine but five minutes later we were walking through hailstones.

After coffee at the Loggerheads cafe we returned to Cilcain NNW along the river. We road tested the pub which was very good and drove home.

This was a 'good walk' in an area superbly organised for walkers. We were lucky enough to see lots of beautiful spring flowers. This really was a high spot. Primrose, cowslip and false oxlip were found growing very near to each other. Sadly, the photos of the flowers, the spotted piglets and sheep with 'curly perms' are on a mobile ‘phone which, unfortunately, has been lost.

Map reading was done 'by committee'. Suffice it to say that Helen thinks she will go on a map reading course sometime soon!

April  Walk

Lyme Park

The sun was out, the temperature rising as six of us set out on a six mile ramble around Lyme Park. We started from High Lane and joined the Middlewood Way to Nelson Pit where we made our first stop for coffee. From here we left the level ground of the old railway track  to begin the gentle ascent into Lyme Park.  With a couple of stops to gather our breath and admire the view we eventually made the Café where we took another short break.

From here we began the ascent to the highest point of the park, the Cage. By skirting around the back of the Hall we were able to accomplish this ascent by a more gentle route and at the same time enjoys views across the gardens from a new angle.  At the top we stopped for lunch and even though there was a strong breeze it was warm enough to sit and enjoy the fine views across Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Derbyshire.

The descent was easy and we soon joined the Ladybrook Valley Interest Trail. Unfortunately due to the cold weather many of the wild plants were not in flower but we did spot the first of the wood anemones which herald Spring.

A very enjoyable walk and many thanks to Janet for organising and leading us on this ramble.

 

On the Middlewood Way
 


Looking over the Cheshire Plain


 
Lyme Hall from the rear
 
 
The Cage

 
 
Wood anemones

March Walk

We started this walk from The Axe & Cleaver in Dunham Town from where we were soon striding out along the Bridgewater Canal towards Lymm. The weather was grey with occasional rain showers which kept most people indoors and we had the towpath to our selves so were able to make good time on the first lap.

When we reached Agden Bridge we left the canal and tackled the next part of the walk which was across open fields to Little Bollington. The walking on this part of the route was more difficult with lots of styles to climb over, patches of mud and close encounters with sheep,cows and horses!

From Little Bollington we entered Dunham Massey Park and enjoyed a short stroll through parkland before joining the road back to Dunham Town.

In spite of persistent light rain we all thoroughly enjoyed this six mile ramble through the Cheshire countryside and ended the day with an excellent pub lunch at the Axe and Cleaver.

 

The Cheshire countryside in the rain!


Still raining!

 Cows and Mud

 

Dunham Massey

February Walk

The Bollington Circular

For our first walk of the new year we chose a 5 mile circular ramble through the Cheshire countryside around Bollington. The weather forecast was for very wet and severe weather but in spite of this four of our members gathered on Saturday morning determined to walk whatever the conditions,

The walk started beneath the viaduct in Bollington and after a short scramble from the car park to reach the Middlewood Way we were soon striding out on our route. We followed the old railway track for about a mile and a half meeting along the way a shetland pony out for a walk with it's owner and best friend - a Jack Russel dog, who provided the entertainment by leaping onto the horse's back!

The next part of the walk was across the open fields  and we had to tackle a very muddy field and rising ground which led to a tarmac road which we followed for only a very short way before turning off to cross more fields and woodland. By the time we reached Styperson Pool it was coffee time and we took the opportunity to watch the ducks and swans on the reservoir.

After coffee it was back to more mud and this time the going became 'heavy' for a short time until we  reached higher ground past an old quarry. It was here we rejoined the road to Bollington and the high point of the ramble where we were able to enjoy wintry views across the Cheshire Plain.

The route  soon returned to open fields and as we descended towards the canal we encountered yet more mud, especially in the gullies. We pressed on undaunted and  were rewarded on one stretch of the path by the sight of the first snowdrops of spring which were just about to bloom.

By this time we had reached the Macclesfield Canal and the next section was along the towpath towards Bollington. For the time of year there was plenty of traffic on the canal and we also passed under a 'skew' bridge a monument to Victorian engineering and ingenuity. We were now back in Bollington where we left the canal and returned to out start point via a short walk through the local recreation ground.

 Afterwards we adjourned to the Vale Inn where we enjoyed an excellent pub lunch washed down with real ale from the local brewery across the road.


 
At the start on the Middlewood Way  

Shetland pony 'Merlin' with best friend 'Casper' !


Styperson Pool  
 
View of the Cheshire Plain in winter
 
The first snowdrops of spring.
 
'Skew' bridge across Macclesfield Canal.

Previous Walks:

Lymm Dam 8th December 2012

Our Christmas Ramble this years was a 4 mile circular around Lymm Dam and the surrounding area. 10 of us assembled on a sunny Saturday morning to partake in this gentle stroll through the Cheshire countryside before the main event of the day - Christmas Lunch!

The first part of the walk took us around the dam which was built in the early 19th century when a toll bridge was needed on what is now the A56 through Lymm. Over the years it has had several owners but the dam and surrounding woodland is now in the care of the Council. Apart from the walk there are lots of interesting things to discover and see - birds , ancient trees, rock outcrops and excellent fishing. 

After completing the circle around the dam we followed the stream through the Dingle until we reached  the town centre of Lymm. As it is Christmas time a Dickensian street market was in progress with outdoor stalls, roast chestnuts and locals dressed in 19th century costume.

We now joined the Bridgewater canal and followed the towpath for about a mile before returning across fields to our start point at the Lymm Dam car park. A short, gentle walk but full of interest and well worth the visit. Just enough exercise to give us an appetite for our Christmas lunch. This year it was held at the 'Home' in Little Bollington where we enjoyed an excellent meal and an enjoyable social occasion. After the meal we held the 'Annual General Meeting'  and filled the rota for the walk leaders in 2013.  A list will be published in the near future. Thanks go to Judith and Mike for organising the lunch.

 

Car Park Lymm Dam





 

Sandstone Outcrop


 

Lymm dam





 

At the head of the Dam

Wood carving





 

Lymm Christmas Market

Towpath - Bridgewater Canal







 

Reflections Bridgewater Canal