Friday, 20 March 2020
Friday, 2 November 2018
My short Friday morning walks programme continued to enjoy fine autumn weather for this stroll from the National Trust Car Park near the Wizard Tea Room.
Andrew, Bridget and Paul were all waiting for me at 10am. I hadn’t realised how slow the journey from Timperley could be!
These pages have featured Alderley Edge on numerous occasions, so today I chose some paths I may not have walked before, though the others were familiar with some of them.
We started down Bradford Lane, where Andrew encountered the team that tends his garden, pictured above, enjoying perfect weather for their occupation.
Then we turned onto Hocker Lane. admiring the colours and dodging the occasional vehicle. This is a footballer millionaire zone, and Andrew reminded me that it was the site of a high velocity bike ride we undertook in 2004 whilst training for a visit to Annapurna.
After turning onto Slade Lane, we rose to a point where the Jodrell Bank telescope loomed high on the horizon beyond the sunlit fields.
A convenient post in the shadow of Clinton Hill facilitated a team photo.
The building at Finlow Hill, presumably once a farm, has been redeveloped. The occupants have nice views. Unlike those observing from the outside of the new building. There was however a convenient bench, occupied only by a single red rose and a pile of bird s**t. Andrew carefully removed the rose and sat in the s**t. Various means of sustenance were produced, principally bananas and tea.
The bench was returned to the state it was in before we arrived (if a little flatter) and we moved on through a rather horsey zone. A giraffe house seems to have been built at the end of a large field.
A pleasant path led through Finlow Hill Wood to the busy B5087 road. We crossed that and headed along the path to Edge House Farm, which remains a building site surrounded by an ugly green fence. The site was deserted. Not much seems to have happened since I was last there a few months ago.
From Edge House Farm we briefly followed the North Cheshire Way footpath, before turning left to pass a spring and enter Waterfall Wood, pictured below. A couple of families with children were enjoying a half term romp just here.
There are many ways of regaining the car park from here. We chose a short route through Dickens Wood. That took us to the busy Wizard Tea Room, en route to which we met some of Bridget’s friends. It was warm enough to enjoy our coffee and cake outside, before heading off after this most pleasant saunter.
Here’s our route – about 7.5 km, with around 150 metres of gentle ascents, taking a shade over 2 hours.
Thanks for coming, everyone. Next week it’s a slightly longer walk from Rostherne:
“Friday 9 November: Around Rostherne. Meet in Rostherne village (SJ 744 833) at 10 am for a 11 km bimble.”
Friday, 30 March 2018
Time travelling back to the present (see previous entry), at last I’m now fit enough to be able to arrange a few morning walks. This one was at very short notice, so it was great that JJ, Rob and Pam were able to join me for this pleasant amble. We are pictured above, near Alder Wood, on the North Cheshire Way.
Setting off along the NE path to Mottram St Andrew from the NT car park by the Wizard café (£4 for 2 hours, £7 for longer – the National Trust subscription soon pays for itself), we soon got good view over Cheshire towards the Peak District.
Before setting off, I’d warned the others that it might be a bit muddy in places!
Generally, the paths to Mottram St Andrew were pretty good. A short stretch of quiet road through the village led eventually to the North Cheshire Way footpath, through fields bulging with new-born lambs.
This post in Alder Wood pointed towards Alderley Edge, but the wood carving indicated our closeness to Hare Hill, which I’d have visited if there was a good off-road route back to the car park.
However, we chose the direct route to Mount Farm, then on to Edge House Farm, which has for some considerable time been the subject of a major construction project. I expect the locals will be pleased when it’s finished.
Rob’s photo seems to show me pondering something technical. The route?
We returned past the Engine Vein, pictured below, which a few years ago was an ugly open scar, where a line of early mining pits was excavated in around 1900. After being fenced off, it now looks grassy and benign, hiding centuries of mineral excavation.
Numerous old tools, dating back as far as the Bronze Age (2500 to 800 BC) have been found hereabouts. Many minerals are found here in the space of a few acres, including copper, lead, iron, zinc, silver, arsenic, silicon, barium, vanadium, and magnesium, in a variety of forms, mainly as thin films coating the pebbles and grains of the porous sandstone. From the Engine Vein, later galleries and levels amounting to 22 miles in length, reach out beneath the Edge.
After about 100 minutes of walking, and having covered all of 7 km, JJ elected to drag us in to the Wizard Tea Room to continue his cake training regime for this year’s TGO Challenge, whilst I set about calculating how long the marathon I’m doing on 8 April would take at this pace. Ten hours – I think the finish may be closed by then!
An excellent little outing; thanks everyone for turning up, and to Rob for his photos. Here’s the route we took – 7 km with about 150 metres ascent, taking rather less than 2 hours.
There’s a longer version of today’s outing described here.
I’ve planned a couple more morning walks – all are welcome:
Thursday 5 April - A short morning walk from Lindow Moss car park opposite the Harvester Boddington Arms on Racecourse Road, SJ 888 863. Meet at 10.30am for this 6-7km stroll.
Wednesday 11 April - A morning walk around Bramhall and Poynton. Meet 10.00am at Bramhall Hall, SJ 888 863 for a 14km stroll.
Saturday 14 April
The Calderdale Hike - 22 or 40 miles around Calderdale. (I’ll will be doing the 22 mile route.)
There’s also a 15 mile LDWA walk near Rivington on Easter Monday if anyone is interested. JJ and I will be in attendance.
Monday, 26 June 2017
For the second of Andrew’s ‘Deepest Cheshire’ walks this summer, he ventured into the familiar territory of Alderley Edge, with an unfamiliar ascent of 150 metres not normally encountered in Deepest Cheshire.
Anyway, it was the Famous Five who assembled before 7.30 pm at the De Trafford Arms in Alderley Edge, where it was warm enough to enjoy an al fresco beer before setting off.
Then a short uphill slog through pleasant woodland brought us to the wide view across the Cheshire countryside to Greater Manchester, with the city’s skyscrapers, complete with combustible cladding, clearly visible, the masts of Winter Hill looming behind them.
There’s an Armada Beacon near here, built on top of a Bronze Age ‘bowl barrow’ or burial mound.
After passing the site of the Hagg Cottages, mineworkers’ houses demolished in the 1950s, we left the escarpment and descended past well securitised properties owned by millionaires to the fields of the Cheshire flatlands. The light levels were low.
This used to be a mining area, like Wednesday evening’s venue, but now it’s a sanctuary for the rich.
After a while we passed the 14th century St Mary’s church in Nether Alderley. I’ve described this before. The awful Hamilton family lived next door.
In fact I’ve described walks and places in this area a few times, so there’s no real need to add much here. If you are interested, click on the Alderley Edge label. The field paths led us pleasantly back to Alderley Edge village.
Here’s today’s route – an amiable 8 km in a couple of hours, followed by a welcome beer in the De Trafford Arms.
Thursday 6 July - 7.30pm from the Wood House Garden (SJ 808 702). Postcode for Satnav SK11 9DX. Parking at rear of house. Refreshments before an amble around paths and lanes in lush dairy farming country. All welcome.
Sunday, 12 March 2017
Friday night saw three of us on the last of our current series of evening walks, from the Drum and Monkey pub in Alderley Edge. Despite the full moon I failed to take any pictures that can be reproduced here, and there are already loads of pictures of Alderley Edge on these pages, so I’ll make do with a picture of our short route, above, from which you might notice that I set off in the wrong direction and had to backtrack. Andrew and Sue had wondered about the direction I was taking, but had said nothing, assuming it to be a new route.
There was lots of deep mud and light pollution from highly illuminated properties on the loop to the south of the B5087, but we managed to get round without any further injuries.
Perhaps our next evening walk will be in daylight?…
Saturday morning found us cycling to Wythenshawe parkrun, before heading up to Bacup for an afternoon with Jessica.
My new Salomon Speedcross 4 shoes were the envy of the crowd!
The shoes performed well, bringing me home just in front of the running legend known as Ken Burgess, who struggled round despite a knee problem.
Sue managed to finish in a little over 30 minutes, though she couldn’t hold off a determined looking Ron in the finishing straight. Ron’s in training for a marathon, and close to his PB despite the slow course and conditions.
Here’s the melee at the finish. Can you spot Sue?
As usual, we adjourned for coffees at the courtyard tea room, where we were joined by an assortment of ‘cripples’. (Jeanette – can’t run but can cycle; Cary – can’t lift settees without damaging his back.)
Today’s course was a wet weather one that is generally slower, for various reasons, than the normal course. It’s known as the ‘Bowtie’ course. I wonder why.
Results are here. Thanks to Paul for keeping me company around the first lap before speeding into the distance. My new shoes worked well, and I suffered none of the usual slippage – I’d have gone faster if I didn’t have to hold one arm as if it is in a sling as a result of the shoulder damaged in Estonia; but it is slowly getting better.
Tuesday, 3 January 2017
A rainy morning led us to revise our plans for the day. Silverdale could wait. So Sue and I waited for the rain to ease after lunch, before setting off to Alderley Edge. As expected it was busy on the Edge, but quiet in the muddy Cheshire fields below. Those green swathes in the view from the Edge above, are full of wetness.
Eventually the sun came out and gave us some pleasureable views towards the skyscrapers of Manchester, sufficiently distant to avoid being an eyesore, with the masts of Winter Hill visible in the distance.
Today we took a shorter version of the last year, taking the Bollin Valley Way route past Mill Farm. On previous visits this path has been closed due to a landslip into the river, but it’s fine now, and a pleasant walk that skirts the Mottram Hall golf course before rejoining our previous route by a footbridge.
My notes from 1 April record our passing the groundworks for a new residence, which presumably replaces some old barns that meshed well with the landscape. In their place, the O’Connor £millions are constructing a palace that will have great views to the Edge and the Cheshire countryside. It’s a Blot on the Landscape that must be quite upsetting to some of its less ostentatious neighbours.
Our walk proceeded through pleasant, if muddy, countryside towards the Edge, but the last few km towards the Wizard were further blighted by a huge green fence surrounding more extensive building work. How people manage to get permission for this wholesale destruction of the landscape I really don’t know.
Money and influence: 2 – Everyone Else: 0?
Ah well, at least we don’t have to live nearby, and given the number of people and the amount of mud, I think visits to this area might be reserved for dry summer midweek days. Hopefully the construction sites will be sanitised. Anyway, there are plenty of other places to go for a walk…
Having said that, we did have a lovely stroll apart from the eyesores and the mud.
Here’s our route – 12 km with about 200 metres gentle ascent back up to the Edge. Allow 2.5 to 3 hours.
On relection, we made the best of the day – start the year as you mean to carry on…
Monday, 4 April 2016
For the first of a short series of morning walks, Paul and Andrew turned up to join me at the Wizard car park on a dull, cool, dry day.
Our route was vaguely familiar, resembling some of those taken on previous visits, though there are many options hereabouts. We set off on a newly constructed National Trust path to the north, passing the viewpoint shown above and soon reaching another viewpoint at a barren area where the old mine entrance is fenced off.
On a good day there are wide ranging views over Cheshire and towards Manchester. There’s an Armada Beacon near here, built on top of a Bronze Age ‘bowl barrow’ or burial mound.
During the time of the Spanish Armada and undoubtedly hundreds of years before this time, the Edge had very few trees and was predominantly heathland, making it a perfect vantage point.
It is said that in 1588 it took 12 hours for the news that the Spanish Armada had been sighted to travel from the south coast of England all the way to York.
The area is riddled with mines and quarries. On our way down to Findlow Farm we passed a long abandoned quarry, the path drawing us around its eastern edge rather than my planned route around the other side. One of a number of ‘meanders’ away from today’s planned route.
The path to Whitehall Brook was a trifle muddy, but feet remained dry today despite the use of trail shoes.
Beyond the posh exterior of Faulkner’s (not a) Farm, we reached Mottram Bridge and the Bollin Valley Way (BVW). The last couple of times I was here, the path was blocked by a landslip, but now a diversionary path has been built, so next time I’ll try the BVW route towards Prestbury. You can just see the new path in the distance to the right of the river.
Soon afterwards, at Top o’ th’ Hill, some red ‘Pedestrians’ signs directed us into a building site to a dead end by a fence where our 1:25,000 map showed a public footpath. After a debate with the site manager we concluded that the footpath must have been officially diverted to make room for the privacy of one Tom O’Connor, of O’Connor Utilities Ltd, in what in a couple of years time will be his fancy new mansion, no doubt mimicking the ‘footprint’ of the old farm and its outbuildings. We appear to have arrived from a direction where the signage and explanation for the closed path were inadequate.
After eventually finding our way around the obstruction, we continued to a quiet spot for tea and cake, before re-joining the BVW at a footbridge over the river, immediately leaving that route to cross a golf course on a path leading to Woodside Farm, also a construction site, but unlike the O’Connor construction, this farm was being renovated rather than being replaced.
A ‘path’ leading south was full of horses that had churned it into a deep quagmire, so nobody objected when I decided to introduce an extra ‘meander’ that took us down the driveway to the farm, past vibrant daffodils in Smithy Lane.
Beyond the Bull’s Head, a pleasant path took us past Brook House Farm and Hunter’s Pool, to re-join our planned route along the North Cheshire Way, which we followed up Daniel Hill (pictured below) and past Edge House Farm (another construction site) to the Edge and the Wizard Car Park.
The Wizard tea shop was closed for renovation (if the National Trust can find a local builder who isn’t ripping down a farmhouse to supplant it with a mansion), so we headed into Alderley Edge for coffees, with bagels and cream cheese at a circular café that apparently used to be part of a motor dealership near the station. It was surprisingly good.
Here’s our route – about 14 km with 200 metres ascent, taking 3.5 hours. Click on the image to get a larger one.
Thanks to Paul and Andrew for their company today on this pleasant stroll.
Other Alderley Edge walks are recorded here.
The three other morning walks currently planned are detailed below. All are welcome.
Thursday 28 April
Morning Walk 2 - Lindow Moss (Wilmslow) and Styal Woods - 8.5 miles (13.5 km) from the Lindow Moss car park next to the Boddington Arms - SJ 832 814, starting at 10.00 am.
Friday 6 May
Morning Walk 3 - Danebridge (for Hanging Stone and Lud's Church) - 6.5 miles (11 km) from the bridge down the road from the Ship Inn - SJ 964 652, starting at 10.00 am.
Wednesday 1 June
Morning Walk 4 - 7.5 miles (12 km) from the car park at Trentabank (beyond the Leathers Smithy in Langley) - SJ 961 711, starting at 10.00 am.