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Showing posts from 2013

Christmas Walk and 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

November Walk - Hare Hill Circular

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 m

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.

Slapton Ley Circular - July 2013

There was a disappointing turn out for the walk around Slapton Ley organised by the South West Branch of our group. Only one member turned up but undaunted I set out on the 5 mile ramble around the Ley. The walk starts from the Memorial Car Park on Slapton Sands and you immediately pass the War Memorial dedicated to the American servicemen killed in Operation Tiger whilst practising for the D Day landings in 1944. From here I followed the path on the west side of the Ley which follows the shoreline and is a naturalist’s paradise. On the Ley there are birds to be spotted, at the pond dipping areas fish and dragon flies and in the vegetation butterflies, insects, plants and ferns. At the end of this stretch the path turns onto a boardwalk which takes you across the reed beds to the northern bank, the ramble then continues along the bank of one of the many feeder streams. On this section there are tits, reed warblers and numerous other small birds amongst the high reed beds and a

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 th

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 CafĂ© 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 w

March Walk - Bridgewater Canal & Dunham Massey

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 rain

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