Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

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

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Friday 20 March 2020 - A Walk to Dunham Massey

 
There's not much text here, so feel free to click on a photo and scroll through the short slideshow.
 
On a lovely sunny (but cool) Friday afternoon, Sue and I escaped from 'C' word despondency for a walk to Dunham Massey and back, from home in Timperley.
 
Martha passed us on her bike, on the way to Lymm and perhaps beyond. It was good to have a brief chat with her.
 
Beyond the Bay Malton, a small dog secured to a blue barge admired our freedom to use the towpath.
 
 
The light was lovely today. Very clear air; very few aircraft; good views to the Peak District, to Winter Hill and to the windfarms of the South Pennines.
 
 
The hawthorn leaves are bursting forth.
 
 
This field by the exit to the towpath, is still thoroughly waterlogged.
 

The National Trust's grounds at Dunham Massey are open to everyone, and family groups were enjoying picnics in the sunshine.
 
 
 
It was busy, but not crowded, with lots of people taking advantage of the fresh air but keeping to themselves. The café was shut.
 
 
This is a location where I'll be taking many pictures over the coming months (if allowed). You'll notice how the scene changes over the year when I put them all together in a few months' time.
 
 
A sign of the times - posted at all entrances to the park.
 
 
Beyond the confines of the park, and before reaching the golf course, there were expansive views over the fields to Winter Hill, standing clearly on the horizon.
 
 
There were lots of golfers out on this Friday afternoon. We joked with one whose shot just missed us.
 
A pigeon near the centre of Altrincham wasn't so lucky, as a sparrowhawk swooped for its lunch of pigeon breast.
 
After passing St Margaret's, where Sue goes bellringing (the future of that must be in doubt), we headed through Altrincham and Navigation Road to conclude our 12 km stroll in a little over two hours. This was the longest outing to date for my new Scarpa Delta GTX boots; a small ankle rub has now gone, so after about 25 km of use they can be regarded as 'broken in'. I hope they are as good as the previous pair, that are still fully waterproof after over 2500 km of hard use.
 
 
All in all, a very pleasant interlude away from (mainly) ongoing depressing news.

Friday, 20 March 2020

Wednesday 18 March 2020 - Alderley Edge

 
Andrew, Graeme and I had arranged to meet at the Wizard Café for a coffee and a short walk. That meeting was cancelled, but it seems that we all fancied a stroll from the car park anyway. For me that was a welcome break from visiting a series of crowded shops in search of basic foodstuffs.
 
We kept our distance - three old men with hearing difficulties on a 'Pardon Walk'. Two walking poles apart. But even that may soon be outlawed, despite being a minimal risk of virus infection compared with necessary shop visits.
 
The view across Cheshire looked fairly gloomy, but the fresh air was wonderful.
 
 
 
 
The walk was brief, and only 2 km; near the end here (below) it was beside open fields.
 
 
It was good to see A and G and Lucy, and to see the hawthorn coming into leaf. We did plan to meet again, but I'm not sure when/whether that will happen.
 
It's good to know that I'm not alone in thinking that a bit of fresh air, taken judiciously, is a very low health risk compared with necessary shop visits. Here's an extract from a message received yesterday from the British Mountaineering Council:
 
"We’re working closely with key partners including National Trust, Forestry England, Ordnance Survey, Natural England, the Outdoor Industries Association (OIA) and Association of British Climbing Walls (ABC) to promote the benefits of low-risk, low contact outdoor activities to benefit our physical and mental health."

Saturday, 11 January 2020

Friday 10 January 2020 - A Walk from Stockport to Ashton

 
I did this walk on my own back in September, reporting on it , where you'll find a bit more greenery in the pictures, and a map.
 
Today's outing was for the benefit of Sue and Paul, who I think were as surprised as me to discover that there's a completely off-road route through the suburbs of Greater Manchester between these two towns, thanks largely to the River Tame, and the canal engineers from over 200 years ago.
 
We travelled by train from Navigation Road, and it took a few minutes to extricate ourselves from Stockport Town Centre, where the frog pictured in September by the railway station has been removed. We soon found ourselves in woodland beside the River Tame, near to where it joins up with the River Goyt to form the Mersey.
 
 
It was a wintry view today, with greenery provided courtesy of the mosses and lichens that cover almost every bit of bare wood.
 
 
I dutifully showed Sue and Paul Harrison's Weir, dating from the early 1780s. It's in need of a bit of repair.
 
 
We normally cross the bridge leading to Reddish Vale Visitor's Centre on our bikes, without noticing the carved inscriptions at either side of the bridge, denoting the old border between Cheshire and Lancashire. Interestingly, there's a bee emblem on the Cheshire side, and a rose on the Lancashire side. I've rather amateurishly stitched a few photos together. If you click on the images you'll get a better version.
 
 
Amongst other information, these plaques state that Lancashire was formed in 1351, and that the Heatons and Reddish were transferred to the Borough of Stockport in 1916. They also state that since 1974, wherever you stand on the bridge you are in Greater Manchester. That makes these plaques quite recent.
 
 
From the bridge, there's a view over a small nature reserve - lots of varieties of ducks on view - and to the impressive Reddish Vale viaduct.
 
 
Our route headed east, under the massive arches of the viaduct.
 

We then passed under the M60 motorway and crossed some waterlogged fields that challenged the trail shoes that Sue and I were wearing.
 
 
Eventually, after more pleasant walking (and lunch on a convenient bench) beside the River Tame, we took a pretty walled path (see top picture) up to the Peak Forest Canal. The sun came out and provided some lovely reflections.
 
 
Reaching the Portland Basin, the Peak Forest Canal meets the Ashton Canal and the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. Some of the street furniture there looks in need of renovation!
 
 
From the same spot - a rather better view towards the Portland Basin Museum (open) and its attached café (closed).
 
 
Ashton Metrolink Station is nearby, so we strolled along to it and caught a tram home.
 
We had walked about 16 km, taking around four hours, on this enjoyable excursion.
 
Next:
Friday 24 January
Day Walk
A 15 km circuit from Irlam Station, visiting The Salford Trail, Great Woolden Moss, and the Glazebrook Trail. Meet at 10 am. Lunch at the station (SJ 713 931).

Friday, 3 January 2020

Friday 3 January 2020 - A Middlewood Way/Macclesfield Canal Circuit

 
2020's Friday morning walks got off to a start this morning. Billy No Mates turned up on time at Rose Hill in Marple and enjoyed a 13 km stroll in more of the lovely weather that seems to have draped itself over the North West since the change of decade.
 
It won't last!
 
Well, those who might have come but didn't missed a nice route (detailed below), starting along the Middlewood Way in the company of cyclists, dog walkers and runners. A busy place despite the impression given by today's header photo.
 
After a while, I turned into a less muddy field than Tally-Ho would savour, and made my way past Windlehurst to the Macclesfield Canal.
 
 
 
Joining the towpath at bridge number 8, I discovered this to be another busy thoroughfare.
 
 
 
I wasn't going to Hall Green, so luckily didn't need to know how far away that was!
 
 
High Lane crosses the canal by the Bull's Head, which I gave a miss today.
 
 
 
A little further south, this old bridge gives access to a sizeable mooring basin.
 
 
These mallards seemed to be taunting the cat... "Come and get us if you can!"
 
 
The low sun was blinding as I moved gently south.
 
 
There's a bridge where the Ladybrook Valley Interest Trail crosses the canal. I took this trail, alongside the canal, then heading east across Bollinhurst Brook.
 

 
 
 
A rare 'Northern' train passed by just as I reached a pedestrian crossing.
 
 
Coppiceside Farm is a muddy mess. Some day it may look rather different... with a bell tower and manicured lawns?
 
 
After a short section of quiet lanes, I left the road near Wybersley Hall, then encountered a lot of mud and dodgy stiles around Lomber Hey Farm.
 
Hunters Park Farm was much cleaner, with good views over the sunny fields, and an easy track back to the canal towpath.
 
 
 
At Hawk Green, near a massive old mill building, a left turn along the Cown Edge Way footpath took me through a busy golf course then along a lovely woodland path to re-join the Middlewood Way just south of Rose Hill.
 
A pleasant little jaunt in perfect weather - 13 km, taking a little under two hours at a brisk pace - here's the route.
 
 
Next Friday, 10 January, I'll be walking 'off road' from Stockport to Ashton, . And I may be on my own. Again! Here's the flier... all welcome.
 
Stockport to Ashton - a 21 km walk from Stockport Railway Station to Audenshaw Metrolink. Off road all the way. Meet at 10.20 am at the frog outside Stockport Station, to cater for 10 am train from Altrincham.

Friday, 27 December 2019

Friday 27 December 2019 - Tally Ho goes to Lymm

 
It was JJ's idea. I was to help him lay a sawdust trail for Tally Ho's 'Turkey Trot' - a name that really needs no further explanation. We were joined by Paul at 9 o'clock outside Ye Olde Nunber 3, by the BridgewaterCanal on the road to Lymm.
 
Bags of sawdust were duly prepared.
 
 
After setting off in completely the wrong direction (I know that feeling, JJ) we eventually managed to find the correct stile, opposite the pub, where we, the hares, commenced the activity of laying little mounds of sawdust along a 9 mile route.
 
The deep grass would prove difficult for the hounds, who would leave at 10.30 to 11.30, depending on speed, fitness, hangovers, etc, and follow the course laid by the hares.
 
 
JJ's route passed several pubs, but it's inappropriate for the hares to visit these.
 
 
Our rather convoluted route, designed perhaps so that any 'rescue' doesn't involve too much traveling, explored many muddy fields before zooming through the grounds of Dunham Massey, venturing briefly onto a golf course, and hitting the canal towpath.
 
 
We left the towpath for a while and took an alternative route to Agden Bridge, along which JJ spotted this tractor.
 
 
There were lots of junctions, each one needing careful consideration. By now, Paul had caught up with us after he had fallen behind. We thought that was because of his bad knee, but apparently he had got trapped by a herd of horses and had to improvise a route around them. I wonder how the hounds got on later...
 
 
Nearing Agden Bridge, a deep stream had to be crossed, the bridge across it having been moved to dry land for some reason. We managed to jump across.
 
 
A final section of 'there and back' canalside paths brought us neatly back to the pub, where dry footwear was donned and a pleasant lunchtime session with about 15 hounds and hangers on was enjoyed by all.
 
Here's our 15 km route. (Click to enlarge.)
 
 
Thanks go to JJ for inviting me along. This was a great way to spend a sunny (ish) winter's morning in Cheshire.
 
You can learn more about the Cheshire Tally-Ho Hare and Hounds traditional running club, founded in 1872, .

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