Paul S and I took to some busier than usual minor roads, to reach the car park at Lamaload Reservoir, from which we set off walking at 10 am. This isn't far from Toddbrook Reservoir, above Whaley Bridge, which has succumbed to rain damage resulting in the evacuation of Whaley Bridge's town centre and the closure of many roads, hence the extra traffic - mainly white vans striving to make deliveries.
We followed the route suggested in Jen Darling's 'More Pub Walks in Cheshire and the Wirral' book, starting with a walk around the reservoir, from the western side of which is the view to Shining Tor pictured above. Our route headed up to the left of the wood in the centre of the picture, before curving to the right before the final ascent to the summit.
Unusually, the 'pub' suggested for this walk is a little off route. A visit to The Stanley would involve a short drive to the south. We took our own refreshments on this occasion.
The local footpath society does install some impressive signs!
After almost circumnavigating the reservoir (the dam looked fine) we passed by a copse with a stream running through it, before ascending steeply up towards Andrew's Edge.
Soon we could look down on the wood and the reservoir that we'd walked around only a short time earlier.
From more or less the same place, the view ahead shows a fairly level path before the final pull up to Shining Tor. It must have looked a lot different up here in the past. Recent rain has cleared the atmosphere, providing us with excellent views today.
The 559 metre summit of Shining Tor is the highest point in Cheshire. Paul and I dutifully (for this publication) took turns in posing on the summit next to a bag placed in preparation for an orienteering event.
We sat on a wooden bench with our flasks of tea/coffee and other snacks. Here we met the only other people seen on the entire walk - an elderly couple with a dog, and a group of four, also with dogs.
We could see and hear the Chinook helicopter ferrying stone to shore up the damaged dam wall in Whaley Bridge, but as soon as we descended to the west, retracing our steps for nearly a kilometre, we were in a different, very peaceful, valley. There were good views across to Shutlingsloe, a much more shapely hill than Shining Tor.
We spotted a number of kestrels during this walk, and there were lots of smaller birds around. Flowers were dominated by harebells, tormentil, foxgloves and various thistles. I must remember to carry my Lumix camera that has a much better macro facility than the Samsung phone that I currently use for most of my photos, then I can bore readers with pictures of flowers! There were also bilberries, but not in any great quantity.
There WAS evidence of the extreme weather they have had around here. Whilst everything was pretty dry, there was lots of evidence of inundation. Just by way of example, the next picture shows a wide area of grass, flattened by a recent flash flood. No wonder the reservoir overflowed.
A little further on, we passed the abandoned ruin of Thursbitch. Paul tells me Alan Garner wrote a novel called Thursbitch, set on a remote moor, the novel being entirely in dialect.
A steep pull up to Redmoor Brow saw us nearly all the way round this pleasant circuit, leaving just a meander through deep grass and a walk down Hooleyhey Lane to retrieve the car and return home for lunch.
It's a little over 10 km, with a good 400 metres of ascent, and it took us rather less than three hours.
PS I forgot to mention in my recent , my find towards the end of that walk. Beside the path were two fine Horse Mushrooms, pictured below on our decent sized bread board.
They weighed in at over a kilo and provided for me and Sue a breakfast of mushrooms on toast, a lunch of mushrooms on toast, and four bowls of soup with which to start two evening meals. Brilliant!