Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018
Showing posts with label Bollington. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bollington. Show all posts

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Thursday 21 February 2019 – A Bollington Circuit

Ascending to White Nancy

On a day of warm weather (plus 15C as opposed to minus 15C in Ottawa), I was joined by Rick, Graeme and Paul for this pleasant saunter from the Adlington Road car park in Bollington.
The path to White Nancy is steep. Paul habitually zooms ahead, but here he gave the distinct impression that he had forgotten to install his ‘winter tyres’.

The view to Bollington

The dog walker knew the route that offered friction. Nevertheless we were soon assembled at White Nancy, having knocked off virtually all the climbing on today’s walk in the first few minutes.

There’s a good view from here to Billinge Hill and beyond – Gritstone Trail country.

Looking towards Billinge Hill
At White Nancy

By way of a reminder, not least to myself, here’s what I’ve written about White Nancy in the past:

‘The structure was built in 1817 by John Gaskell junior of North End Farm to commemorate the victory at the Battle of Waterloo.  It originally had an entrance to a single room which was furnished with stone benches and a central round stone table, but the entrance is now blocked. It has been described as a summer house or a folly.

In the mid-1940s, the Royal Signal Corps Trials Unit based at Catterick would apparently drive a truck-mounted dish-shaped transmitter/receiver up to White Nancy, where they tested cathode-ray tube transmission and reception (data-based, not images), to a mobile receiving station on another truck. The receiver would be driven further and further south over time, until eventually the lads at White Nancy were sending a signal to the south coast of the country. Locals told the signallers that the landmark was named after the lead horse that had transported all the materials for the building of the folly.

White Nancy is circular in plan with its shape described as that of a sugar loaf, and is surmounted with a ball finial. It is built in sandstone rubble which has been rendered and painted.  It is about 18 feet (5 m) high. Stone paving has been laid around its base which is inscribed with the points of the compass.

According to its Wikipedia entry, White Nancy was unpainted until at least 1925, since when it has been painted in a number of different colours over the years, most commonly in white. In 2005 vandals painted it partly in pink. In March 2009 it was repainted in white with the ball finial in black.’

We continued along the Saddle of Kerridge to Kerridge Hill, from where there’s a good view down to the village of Rainow.

Rainow, from the Saddle of Kerridge

Whilst there are excellent walks to be had by continuing to the end of the ridge before turning to head through Rainow, we chose to pause at the summit of Kerridge Hill – there were good panoramic views on the clear day – before heading down the western slopes to some footpaths across muddy fields leading to the Macclesfield Canal. A tea and banana break was taken en route.

Macclesfield Canal

The canal towpath between Macclesfield and Bollington provides very pleasant walking. A fleet of Canada Geese was encountered.

Canada Geese

The outskirts of Bollington bring sights of all manner of garden decorations on the east side of the canal. Stone herons jostle for position with plastic pandas. And that’s just the start of it.

Macclesfield Canal in Bollington

There were numerous patches of gaudy crocuses beside the path.


We continued through Bollington to a footbridge that led to an excellent café, shown below with an appropriate icon. Superb carrot cake.

The ‘8 km’ walk turned out to be 9.5 km, with about 200 metres ascent. It took us about two and a half hours.

Our route - 9.5 km, with about 200 metres ascent, taking 2.5 hours

Next week, it’s the Bollin Valley, all welcome:
The Bollin Valley and Ashley. Meet at Bankhall Lane in Hale, near the junction with Ashley Road (SJ 773 858), at 10.15 am (to allow time for a 9.30 tram from Timperley!), for a 13 km outing in pleasant countryside.

Don’t worry, Dot, Sue will take you to your eye appointment.

To view the images at a reasonable resolution, you may have to click on one of them and scroll through the slideshow that appears at the bottom of the screen.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Sunday 27 April 2014 – A Lamaload Bimble


Sue W kindly organised this stroll in the Peak District. After assembling at Lamaload Reservoir at 10.15, 17 of us set off in the direction of Rainow on what Sue had advertised as an ‘11 mile bimble’.

Soon faced with serious route-finding decisions, we elected to go This Way.


It was a fine, sunny, April day as we admired the view north towards Rainow.


Arriving at the Gritstone Trail path that leads to the Saddle of Kerridge, with White Nancy already visible, we immediately diverted from it to ascend the steep side of  Kerridge Hill to a trig point that some members of the party wanted to ‘bag’. (A point that regular readers may recognise from numerous previous visits.)

Time for a group photo – see above.

After only 4 km, an elevenses break was taken before we headed to the end of the Saddle, where White Nancy, a folly built around 1817 to commemorate victory at Waterloo, overlooks the old mill town of Bollington.


We descended quickly down the steep slope before heading east, now firmly on the Gritstone Trail for a few miles, with fine views of trees coming into leaf...


... and the bluebell woods near Berristall Hall.


Soon after passing a sheep with a very newborn lamb, a shouting guinea fowl, and three docile ducks, Sue W urged "Come on you lot, it's eleven miles", the first sign of anxiety over the time we would finish.

"I'm stopping for lunch" announced Colin, two minutes later.

Soon afterwards, we left the Gritstone Trail for good and took a diversion up an extra hill from Charles Head, thanks to a new permissive footpath that led to a short ridge with good views to Shining Tor, with Shutlingsloe just visible. We were careful not to disturb ground nesting birds like the snipe I nearly trod on.

From the ridge it was a sharp descent to Summer Close.


I'd expected to head straight to Shining Tor, but Sue W's 11 mile route took us away to the north east and Taxal Edge, where we lazed for a while at Windgather Rocks.


It's a pleasant stroll along Taxal Edge, above the Goyt Valley. Luckily Keith was making good progress after his illness, so he could just about manage 11 miles.


We rested at length above the Cat & Fiddle road at Shining Tor, the highest point in the area at 559 metres. "Is this bimble really 11 miles?" asked Graeme "... it seems like more…?"


Soon we were off and away on the last lap over Andrew's Edge, where Andrew wasn't waiting for us, and down to Lamaload in the afternoon sunshine.


Lamaload Reservoir, reached soon after 5pm, was glinting in the early evening light.


Here’s our route - 25 km with 750 metres ascent in 7 hours. "An excellent 11 mile bimble", announced Sue W. Nobody disagreed apart from a slight debate about the distance.


Then we all went home for tea. Thanks for organising, Sue, and it is indeed a most pleasant route. Visitors from Greater Manchester may find it more convenient to start from the Middlewood Way car park in Bollington.

There’s a slideshow (36 images) here.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Wednesday 9 April 2014 – Plodders invade Bollington


Some troops landed late. Military activities in Hale Barns and Wilmslow were blamed. Others landed early, but in the wrong place. The Vale Inn’s car park had appealed to them more than the nearby Middlewood Way car park and its attendant facilities and information board.


So in true ‘JJ LDWA’ fashion we set off on this little stroll at about 10.50am, proceeding across a park where the mowers and rollers were optimistically preparing for the cricket season, and far underneath an impressive aqueduct carrying the Macclesfield Canal.


Then began the relentless ascent up to White Nancy, the folly built around 1817 to commemorate victory at Waterloo, nowadays sometimes utilised to commemorate things like Jubilees and the Olympics. It was a blank white today as having slithered impressively up the hill, we posed in front of a reluctant passer-by for a team photo (see above).


Two Johns, an Alan, another Allan and a Martin made up today’s select gathering.

I’d been on a more or less identical walk with Andrew on 1 March 2013 so I’ll not say much about the route, other than it was easy to follow and there’s a map below.

Recently arrived Chiffchaffs, heard but not easily seen, serenaded us as we rose to the folly, and they accompanied us for most of the day. After visiting the 313 metre summit of Kerridge Hill and descending down to and back out of the outskirts of Rainow, a halt was called on the Gritstone Trail path near Hordern Farm. A little late for elevenses, but it’s never too late for cake with this lot.


There was a fine view towards Shining Tor.


Refreshed from our long break, we continued on to the fleshpots of Tegg’s Nose and another long break in the shelter of the old quarry workings, where Allan instructed Alan on some engineering niceties.


After the tutorial, Alan took his position and attempted to rearrange the display.


Whilst it was a nice day, there was a cool breeze on the exposed heights of this walk, so the enclosed nature of our lunch spot was ideal. Children played enthusiastically on the old cranes whilst we enjoyed fine views towards Macclesfield Forest and Shutlingsloe, and down to the Langley Reservoirs.


We wandered off, meeting one of Rick’s daughters as we approached the steep path down to Langley, where Mallards and Tufted ducks seemed to have taken possession of the overflowing reservoir.


Saint Dunstans Inn was closed as it usually is on mid-week afternoons. Across the road the sad remains of a 142 year old mill works contrasted with a nearby impressive pile. See below for another picture of Langley Mill.


We walked past the latter, on our way beside various spring flowers* such as this gorse.


A very muddy track that traversed high above Macclesfield, before the surface relented and an excellent path drew us gently past a classic Ford Capri to the Macclesfield Canal and the easy climax to the day’s stroll.


Sadly my planned ‘afternoon tea bench’ was occupied, so we had to make do with the grassy canalside for our final break for tea and the last pieces of cake.


Near here a Mallard with just one surviving chick was being stalked by a plump heron. JJ did his best to distract the heron, but I fear the mallard will have to rely on a second brood. I don’t think mallards are on the endangered species list, but the chances of this youngster surviving seem remote.


It’s an area of beautifully proportioned canal bridges, such as this one on the approach to Bollington.


A steep descent took us back down to the recreation ground and car park by around 4.30pm.

A most enjoyable day out in fine company, was followed by a speedy and uneventful journey home.

Here’s our route – 19km, 450 metres ascent, taking 5.75 hours.


My full set of 44 images is here.

* Birds-eye Speedwell
Lesser Celandine
Daisies and Dandelions
Bright Yellow Gorse
and many more

Since I posted this entry, Alan R has kindly sent me the following picture of Langley Mill, which dates from 1872, in Slightly Happier Days, though I’m sure its history extends to Much Happier Days.


Alan R has also recorded the walk here, with a little additional information together with his usual sprinkling of humour. Well done, Alan.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Friday 1 March 2013 – A Stroll from Bollington


A bit of grit and part of a Cheshire Ring, were today’s diet.

Andrew and I started in Bollington, on the western edge of the Peak District, where under a grey sky and with a cold following wind, we hauled ourselves up steep slopes to White Nancy, the folly that’s prominent at the northern end of Kerridge Hill, overlooking the town.  It was built in 1817 to commemorate victory at Waterloo, but it currently celebrates the Queen’s diamond jubilee (see above), and the London Olympics on the reverse.


We were heading along the Gritstone Trail on this ‘easy to navigate’ stroll, but we missed the signs and found ourselves unexpectedly at the 313 metre pinnacle of Kerridge Hill.  From here there's a good view down to Rainow, with Shining Tor in the distance.  This photo cleverly utilises a trig point to block out the hovels of Rainow*, and places Shining Tor directly above said protuberance.


After regaining the Gritstone Trail, we again failed to observe the signposts and found an alternative route  past Hordern Farm.  Then, as we rose to nearly 400 metres we encountered lingering snow, which certainly wasn't in a mood to melt in today's icy northerly breeze.  It must have fallen some time ago, but despite the lovely weather we’ve had for the last couple of weeks, low temperatures have encouraged the white stuff to hold tight in shady spots.

Our path led us down to Tegg’s Nose visitor centre, where we sat inside and enjoyed a cuppa and the last of my cake supplies before heading over the quarried (millstone grit) remains of Tegg's Nose and down to the fleshpots of Langley.

Shutlingsloe was unmistakable through the gloom, beyond Ridgegate Reservoir.


A couple of Goosanders were busy in Teggsnose Reservoir.


Saint Dunstans Inn, in Langley, is one of those rare establishments that welcomes you in to eat your own butties.


Sadly, on a Friday in March, you have to arrive after 5pm to do this!

The last hill, en route from Langley to the Macclesfield Canal, was on a pleasant path that was new to us both.  Dropping down to the Macclesfield Canal, where we were to join the Cheshire Ring for the walk back to Bollington, we were unable to access the waterway from our chosen route, eventually reaching it after a little road walking.

A convenient bench, opposite the marina in Macclesfield, offered a good luncheon spot, in the company of a lone and mildly hungry Mallard.

This section of canal has some pleasingly designed bridges.


There are boatyards, marinas, mills, etc, as well as stretches of farmland adjacent to the towpath on the easy walk from Macclesfield to Bollington.

Before we knew it we had reached our destination - before 3 o'clock.

This was a short but pleasant amble of some 18 km (11 miles) with 500 metres ascent, taking around 5 hours.  The route is shown below, and there’s a short slideshow here.


* Just joking!