Friday, 14 June 2019
Thursday, 25 August 2016
It was a lovely warm evening, so Sue and I trotted off to Marple for our final evening walk of the season (there is one next week but we will be away).
Setting off from the car park next to the Midland Hotel at Marple Bridge, about 35 of us wandered up the track towards Mellor Mill. Lottery funded work continues on this site, where the Wellington Wheel is slowly being brought back to life. ; not an awful lot has changed.
Soon we were heading in a long crocodile past Roman Lakes and numerous mountain bikers who were polite if perhaps a little frustrated at having to contend with a 35 strong walking group.
Just beyond a viaduct, we crossed the Roman Bridge that spans the Goyt. Someone had left their clothes on the beach. (Migrants swimming upstream?)
Then it was up a hill to the Peak Forest Canal, pausing half way for some of the more elderly members of the party to enjoy a long rest.
A lovely sunset greeted us from the towpath.
We strolled on into the monochromatic gloom of a ‘nights are now drawing in early’ in Marple Bridge, where the outside benches of the Norfolk Arms provided a spacious welcome for those with a thirst.
Here’s the route – 6 km with 170 metres ascent, taking a leisurely couple of hours or so.
SWOG soon reverts to its programme of Wednesday evening presentations at Hazel Grove Civic Centre. Programme – don’t miss 19 October.
Thanks for your company, everyone, and ‘well done’ to all the SWOG evening walk leaders for another interesting season of walks – it’s a shame we’ve only been able to attend a handful of them.
Monday, 15 September 2014
Having recently visited ‘Historic Marple’ on Jack’s evening walk on 20 August, by coincidence we returned to Marple tonight on one of our own evening strolls.
Our foursome was rather more sparse than Jack’s 35, though just as hard to control, what with Andrew’s broken leg and Graham’s ‘Hamish’ impressions. What’s more, shortly after we’d left the comfort of the Midland, the light faded and we were left to blunder our way along moonlit potholed paths under the cover of leaf-laden trees.
Before the light completely vanished from Low Lea Road, we reached Mellor Mill and the Wellington Wheelpit. The blurring in the following pictures perhaps gives away the fact that they were taken in less than ideal lighting conditions.
Leaving the Wheelpit in pretty much total darkness, we wandered on past Roman Lakes and all the way to Strines, where we passed a couple of punctured mountain bikers before rising to the Peak Forest Canal.
During that ascent, the moon – apparently at its largest (closest to the earth) for some time – rose, thus illuminating the rest of our walk along the canal towpath, though the shadows in the following image do seem to indicate the presence of a street light.
It’s hard to go wrong whilst following the canal towpath. The worst that can happen is someone falls in. Not even accident prone Andrew managed that, and Sue had already done her ice bucket challenge, so our stroll was uneventful despite the occasional blinding by polite mountain bikers with bright lights.
It’s an excellent route for an innocuous evening stroll – 9km with about 200 metres ascent, taking about 2 hours.
Just in case anyone is worried about Andrew’s health/state of mind, here he does look a bit happier, and he was pleased to report that his broken leg feels less broken than it used to. Our car, on the other hand, still needs a new bumper and tailgate after a minor injury sustained on the way to the Midland.
Wednesday, 27 August 2014
Last Wednesday’s walk with SWOG has been sitting in my ‘in tray’ for too long. I’d hoped to find time to convey some of the historic detail provided so eloquently by Jack during the course of the walk, but the enemy (time) has intervened.
Congregating outside the Navigation pub, about 35 of us embarked on this 6.5km wander, with frequent interruptions from Jack to explain a little of Marple’s rich history.
We went up to the junction where the Peak Forest Canal is joined by the Macclesfield Canal at the top of Marple’s long flight of locks.
It’s a nice view down to what used to be a large boatyard on the edge of the Peak District.
Retracing our steps, a narrow path led us over the railway line, but not before we had admired the arches under some houses. Here in the past an arm of the canal ran along to some lime kilns that have now been mostly demolished for ‘safety reasons’.
The path brought us out on a familiar track to Roman Lakes. We crossed the River Goyt and admired the remnants of the once magnificent Mellor Mill.
A short diversion led us the the Wellington Wheelpit. This recently excavated gem of industrial history housed a giant wheel 22 feet in diameter and 17 feet wide.
Jack was in his element.
Continuing along Low Lea Road into Marple Bridge, we re-joined the Goyt. The waterfall is probably one of many weirs hereabouts, dating from the days of the Industrial Revolution. One of the weirs near here is a folly, as the builder of the weir ran out of money before he could built the accompanying mill.
The Midland seems recently to have been refurbished. Our evening walk on 9 September starts from here.
We crossed into Brabyns Park and passed this pond, which was no doubt part of the mill system.
Dusk fell as 35 people bumbled along beside the River Goyt until we reached a rather overly engineered refurbished bridge next to a talking post. You may have heard about the talking statues in Manchester. This talking post (too dark to photograph) wouldn’t shut up, rather weirdly chatting to passing strangers in the dark.
And it was properly dark by the time we got back to The Navigation and its helpful and friendly landlord, after a short walk along the canal and through a park, where Jack gave further explanations on all that is Marple.
6.5 km, with not much ascent, in less than 2 hours.
Thanks go to Jack for making this walk interesting and informative. I wish I could remember more of the detail!