Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

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

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Where was I then?


Here’s a pleasing image to look at on a cold February morning, looking out onto one of my favourite places.

More pictures to follow below when someone identifies the location.

…well, it took Conrad less than an hour and a half, probably much less if he had seen the posting earlier.

The above picture was taken on 24 August 2005 from the tunnel windows of the Sentiero de Luca/Innerkofler via ferrata on (in) Monte Paterno. I was accompanied by Sue, Ken, Ian and Megan.

The following pictures were taken at Forcella Lavaredo and Rifugio Tre Cime-Locatelli on 16 July 2007.


Happy Days…

NB – Tre Cime is also known as Drei Zinnen – it’s part an area that has a turbulent past.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Wednesday 2 November 2016 – Shutlingsloe


We’ve been here many times before, though it’s a while since I did this exact walk. Previous descriptions are .

I wasn’t intending to go out, but the sunny weather drew me to parking near the Leather’s Smithy in Langley and setting off on this familiar 12 km circuit. No map was needed.

I was not alone. The top picture shows a number of folk wending their way up the normal ascent path. Looking back, the autumn colours of Macclesfield Forest glowed under a bright November sun.


There were various folk gathered on the summit, admiring good views in all directions.


It was fairly cool on the summit, but no windproof was needed as I descended to the Crag Inn, trying to maintain 10 minutes per kilometre pace. The Crag Inn ‘serves hot food’, so it’s still going strong. I seem to recall a threatened close down and conversion to a private house being thwarted by planning permissions.


After some well marked field paths with friendly signs from the farmer, and a short section of tarmac, the path ascends to Oakenclough, from where you can look back at the side of Shutlingsloe. A small terrier came yapping after me but ran away when I tried to engage it in conversion (a familiar experience, perhaps it had human genes?).


The next picture is taken from the top of the path that leads down to the Hanging Gate pub. It’s one of my favourite places, with fine views over Greater Manchester and across to Joddrell Bank and the Cheshire plain, backed by the Clwydian Hills. I always come armed with a flask and a banana as an excuse to pause for a while here, before heading on down the often boggy path. It was dry today; the lack of rain means that trail shoes can be worn with impunity until the autumn rains eventually arrive.


The Hanging Gate would be a good place to stop, if time permitted.


Below the Hanging Gate, a grassy path leads to the Gritstone Trail.


Good signposting on the Gritstone Trail leads walkers through fields of livestock and past private residencies, with good views across to Tegg’s Nose.


Whilst the Gritstone Trail heads down to Clarke Lane, those returning to the Leather’s Smithy turn sharply right over a footbridge to go past the end of Ridgegate Reservoir.


It’s a brisk couple of hours for the 12 km circuit, with about 450 metres ascent. A lovely outing. I’ll be there again soon.


Sunday, 5 June 2016

Wednesday 1 June 2016 – Another ‘Big Macc Ramble’


I’ve written about this bike ride before, , but I was surprised that my last visit was in 2014, so here’s an annotated pictorial story of today’s route. It’s surprising how at different times of the year, or simply on different visits, the eye is caught by different scenes that are absent from previous reports. Though some, such as landmarks like the Cat & Fiddle, usually feature.

I parked outside Trentabank Visitors Centre and started by zooming down past the Leathers Smithy pub and into Langley before heading beside Alan Roberts’ old house and up Holehouse Lane to a quiet spot between Teggsnose Reservoir and Bottoms Reservoir. The houses on Clarke Lane are seen the other side of Bottoms Reservoir (top photo).

Teggsnose Wood was delightful, despite the overcast day, with the last of the bluebells lining the path that leads to Clough House.


A steep pull leads to the main A837 road at Walkers Barn, where this ride enters the Peak District National Park, where it remains until exiting the Park at Nessit Hill.


After a few metres of main road a right turn returns the rider or walker to the quiet solitude (on a Wednesday morning in June) of Charity Lane.


Once the tarmac is left behind, the lane becomes a superb mountain bike track that leads to a high point that is one of my favourite places. Today low cloud meant that the summit of Shining Tor and the buildings of the Cat & Fiddle were both hard to discern through the gloom.


Forest Chapel was in use, for a funeral that would be adjourning to the Peak View Tearooms, just visible in the picture below after a tarmac ascent.


If you need sustenance just now, you need the tearooms (only open on certain days) as the Cat & Fiddle…

0110C F30111C F4

… is closed, and has been all this year.

Presumably the owners are waiting for someone suitable to contact them.

0109C F2

After that sad sight of the closure of the second highest hostelry in England, the cotton grass lined track past Danebower Hollow was a delight, especially as it brings back dark memories of a horribly boggy route before the path was re-built.


A kilometre or so along the main A54 road passed in just a few seconds as it was downhill with a brisk tailwind. I could nearly keep up with the motorised bikes!

The descent past Sparbent to Cumberland Clough, and onwards to the Wildboarclough road seems to get rockier every time I use it. It’s what some may describe as a ‘technical descent’. Great fun.

Here are two pictures taken near the path junction at SJ 997 699, where I paused to despatch a pint of tea and some chocolate before tackling some of the bigger boulders and a stream crossing further down the clough.


The rocks get bigger. You have to divert your eyes from Shutlingsloe (on the right in the picture below), or risk disaster!


Once in the valley, beside Clough Brook, I was astonished to see how green everything looked today, even under dark clouds.


My usual route up a steep lane was blocked, but the tarmac via Bottom o’th Oven and Forest Lodge was much more gentle on the thighs. I think I’ll use it in future although it does turn the ‘circuit’ into a ‘figure of eight’ shape.


The views within Macclesfield Forest, with Trentabank Reservoir in the picture below, seem to be continually changing as forest management dictates harvesting and replacement of the trees. I’m sure this is much greener than when I’ve been here before.


All too soon the National Park is left behind, Nessit Hill is summited after a sharp ascent, and here there don’t seem to be any regulations preventing the installation of sparkling new benches with fine views towards Tegg’s Nose and away over Greater Manchester.


On this occasion I took a steep descent route marked for bikes – slightly shorter than the old route on which pedestrians may have felt terrorised by fast paced mountain bikes. The path I took was deserted, so no such problem today.

The 23 km with 800 metres ascent took me 2 hours 50 minutes (moving time 2.10). A most enjoyable morning’s outing that substituted for a planned walk for which nobody turned up at the allotted time at the Visitor Centre. Luckily my bike was in the car, or this would have been a (solo) walk report.

Here’s the route.


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Tuesday 2 December 2014 – Shutlingsloe


Yesterday I popped up Shutlingsloe on a recce for a walk that takes place a week on Sunday – a lovely route that I’ll report on in due course.

Vienna and Adam, at the Cat & Fiddle, told me the pub had spent the last ten days in a cloud, so I was lucky to get clear views, like the one above towards The Roaches.

It was a shame that Gayle couldn’t join me, as she’s failed to find clear days on Shutlingsloe on recent visits to the area. Actually, today would have been even better, with perfectly clear skies after a frosty night.

But I’m glad I went yesterday as I had the pleasure of bumping into someone I hadn’t seen for over ten years (though we have been friends for around 45 years). It was lovely to see you, ‘Posh’!

Shutlingsloe…. come to think of it this is one of my most visited hills, at the top of the list along with The Wrekin and with Beinn Alligin. Views from both are pictured below; I’ll leave the reader to work out which is which!


Happy Days!

Monday, 2 August 2010

Friday 23 July 2010 – The ‘Big Macc Ramble’

Rosebay Willowherb (Epilobium angustifolium)

Hello all, apologies for the recent hiatus.  I’ve been taking a break.  I’ll now try to catch up…

Some ten days ago I revisited this excellent mountain bike route, details of which I don’t need to bore you with, as I reported in more detail on 21 September 2009.  The route is described here.

At this time of year many of the hedgerows are lined with a garden weed that looks quite colourful in the countryside - Rosebay Willowherb, pictured above, and this very week (the last week in July) is the time to harvest the bilberries that abound in Charity Lane, the rough track that links the hamlets of Walker Barn and Macclesfield Forest.

A Favourite Place

I wasn’t equipped for the bilberry harvest – I left that to the lady with a large vehicle and a fancy Norwegian ‘bilberry collecting gadget’.  But I did pause at the summit of Charity Lane, at around SJ 967 727.  This is a ‘Favourite Place’.  It’s a high point of the ride, at 475 metres – nearly 300 metres higher than the starting point by Ridgegate Reservoir.  It follows nearly 40 minutes of fairly unrelenting ascent and is a good spot to pause with a cup of tea before tackling the sporting descent that follows.  The views aren’t fantastic, but do stretch across to Shining Tor and the High Peak (top left), and over to the second and highest high point of the ride – the Cat and Fiddle, at 515 metres (on the horizon, top right).  The track is a brilliant mountain biking surface, as shown on the lower images.

A favourite viewpoint

The groove of the track slowly deepens and the rocks get larger as it continues towards Macclesfield Forest.  Care is needed, but one of the beauties of this entire route is that dismounting is necessary just once (for a non-expert like me), near the start, to ascend some steps on the track below Tegg’s Nose. 

The track to Macclesfield Forest (a place)

Care is needed on steep gravel though, so don’t be afraid to get off, but that would deprive you of the chance of testing your skills…

On reaching the A54 road a view of Three Shires Head is soon gained.  This is the junction of Cheshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire, shown in the distance beyond the field of sheep.

View to Three Shires Head

With no punctures on this occasion, it was a fairly quick buzz around the circuit, with an exhilarating final descent.  Home in time for lunch.  [Sorry, Geoffrey, I only decided to do this after breakfast – didn’t have time to order any of your coffee!]

Here’s a reminder of the route.

The 14.5 mile route, with about 800 metres ascent, taking just over 2 hours on this occasion