Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

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

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Friday 20 September 2019 - Around Lindow Moss and Mobberley Brook

This Friday morning walk was based on Jen Darling's 'Around Mobberley Brook' route, adapted for my convenience to start and finish at the Lindow Moss car park opposite the Harvester Boddington Arms on Racecourse Road in Wilmslow (SJ 832 814).
Despite the lovely sunshine, I was on my own today, and I walked briskly as our Canadian friends, Ken and Helen, would be arriving in Timperley at lunchtime.
The walk started down Newgate Road, before taking a left towards Racecourse Farm at the gate shown above.
On the outskirts of Wilmslow there's a network of good bridleways under canopies of mixed woodland. Beyond the farm, Battery Lane is another example of such a bridleway.
Beyond Lindow, the paths varied from minor roads to deep grass, laden with dew. This next image illustrates something between those two extremes.
Many crops have now been harvested, leaving fields of neat stubble such as this one near the village named 'Row of Trees'.
Paths crossing the Alderley Edge by-pass are poorly signposted, but the old stiles/kissing gates are still in place either side of the road, so you just have to make your way to the road and cross it in line with the route of the old footpaths.
Having crossed that road, and skirted around Alderley Edge, I came across a huge tomato farm, Field's Farm, of which the following picture shows just a small fraction. I passed a number of mobile homes in which the workers are housed.
After the walk, I called in to Booths supermarket for some essential supplies and was dismayed to discover that their tomatoes are from the Netherlands. Why, when there are so many within walking distance?
There were plenty of reminders that this is 'horse country'. The horses were generally contained within electrically fenced areas, where they had closely cropped the grass, leaving walkers to thrash their way through the long wet grass the other side of the fence.
Having said that, a lovely path led from Warford Hall Farm to the pristine fairways of Wilmslow Golf Club, where after helping a golfer to locate his ball in the rough, I passed this weed filled pond. Ducks required!
A welcome pause near Springfield enabled me to lighten my load to the extent of a flask of tea and a banana.
Paths then led from Great Warford, along Noahs Ark Lane, crossing Mobberley Brook and some of its neighbouring small streams, heading eventually past Clayhouse Farm to Moss Lane, before which this stile at the boundary of another well cropped field led to a rather narrow path through sweetcorn.
A good track then led to Coppock House Farm, beyond which a right turn sent me through more wet grass, before the fishing lake of Rossmere was reached.
Newgate Road then delivered me swiftly back past Lindow Moss towards the car park, passing more fields of harvested crops on the rural edge of Wilmslow.
I returned via Black Lake, where there can be an interesting selection of birds. Today there were lots of gulls, as well as the usual ducks, grebes, cormorants, etc.
Here's the route - a shade under 16 km (10 miles), with very little ascent. Whilst it took me two and a half hours, you could add an hour to that for a more leisurely approach and a pleasantly rural amble.
Next week will be more leisurely - Around Hockenhull Platts - 12 km, from Guilden Sutton parish car park (SJ 448 680). Meet at 10.00am. Maybe somebody will join me?

Saturday, 27 July 2019

Friday 26 July 2019 - Around Daresbury

Paul B and I were the only takers for this pleasant stroll in warm weather close to home.
About 50 metres after striding off on our walk we came to an unpassable obstacle, the Dormouse Tea Rooms.
Duly satiated, our attention returned to the job in hand, as we sauntered out of the pretty village past cottages that date back to the 17th Century.
We had a mixed experience today of footpaths through fields of crops. Starting with this narrow route through a field of cereal crop. "Well done" that farmer.
Our route was based on Jen Darling's 'Around Daresbury' in her book, where a detailed description is available, or you could just follow the route on the map that appears at the end of this posting.
After passing under the M56 motorway, we wound our way past Little Manor Farm and Hallam Hall Farm to reach Morphany Lane near Morphany Hall.
On the right down here is the site of the parsonage where Lewis Carroll, born in 1832, spent his early years. There's a plaque, and some information boards, and I wrote about this site and its connection with Lewis Carroll in . Click on the images below for more readable versions.
You'll see from my that the decorative ironwork over the parsonage's well is a more recent addition. The rooms of the building are laid out between brickwork on this meticulously maintained site.
Moving on, a left and left again manoeuvre took us past Black Jane Farm, a Georgian building of symmetrical design, dating from 1729. They must have been neighbours of the remote parsonage. According to Jen, Black Jane herself is reputed to have been a swarthy-complexioned farmer's wife who brewed very potable ale!
The approach to the farmyard of Queastybirch Hall was blighted by the absence of a proper path at the side of a ploughed field, but the chap at the farm who was laying concrete was jolly enough to share a joke. Then, after the path had joined the Delamere Way, the path beside a field of giant lettuces was even less discernible.
Steep steps led to a bridge over the M56 and to the village of Hatton, from which our was based.
We found a good route along Goose Lane and past Greenside Farm, to minimise road walking through Hatton, re-joining Jen's route at Hatton Hall. We then skirted a stream and followed several kissing gates to enter Row's Wood. This is where shorts were not a good idea, and we were both pleased to find a good supply of dock leaves. Nobody's fault other than the locals of Hatton and Daresbury, who clearly don't walk this path often enough during the nettle growing season. (A similar accusation could be made of me and Sue concerning the ginnel leading to the canal at the end of our road.)
After this, it was a straightforward walk down Hobb Lane to the familiar sight of 'Duck Corner' on the Bridgewater Canal at Moore. We pass through here on our  regular .
There weren't as many ducks about as usual. The ones who were there were looking very chilled in the cool water of the canal on the warm day.
After just a short stretch of canal, we left it at the next bridge and found a lovely straight path through the crops, back towards Daresbury, with Daresbury Laboratory, opened by Harold Wilson in 1967, broadcasting its presence by way of the huge concrete cylinder of the former Nuclear Structure Facility which was based on a Van de Graaff accelerator.
More nettles and brambles at the end of this field gave us a few final stings and scratches before we clambered up to cross the A558 expressway and take the path back to Daresbury.
Here's our route (click on the image for a better version, as with all these images) - 14 km with about 120 metres ascent, taking us three and a half hours including stops (two tea breaks as well as the tea room - it was a hot day).
What a fine way to spend a summery Friday morning. Next week, on Friday 2 August, I'll be at the following venue, should anyone care to join me:
Lamaload Reservoir and Shining Tor. An 11km trip to the highest point in Cheshire. Start 10 am from car park at north end of reservoir (SJ 975 753).

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Friday 28 June 2019 - Around Hoylake, and a visit to Hilbre Island

This was a walk taken from Jen Darling's . Five of us - me, Cary, Jeanette, Paul and Laura assembled in Hale for a ride in P&J's Espace, to Royden Park (SJ 246 858) at Frankby near Hoylake.
It was a lovely, cloudless day. Soon after our 10am departure following an hour's drive, we passed a very active riding school where there were signposts to the 'Nose Bag Cafe'. Unable to resist the temptation, we sought out the refreshments from the café, which turned out to be the Larton Café.
(NB - for a slideshow, just click on an image and then scroll through the pictures.)
Various paths, mainly beside fields of crops such as broad beans, took us all the way to Hoylake.
En route, we passed China Plate Farm.

The coat of arms, the date of 1753, and the initials TIE appear on a plaque on the farmhouse, the plaque appearing to comprise a china plate.

Further on, after crossing several stiles, we discovered that not all of them were in current use.

Next to Kings Gap, in Hoylake, the Green Lodge Hotel could be worth a visit on a day when the weather was not so clement.

Kings Gap, to the right of the hotel, was apparently the route taken by the Royal escort for the purpose of boarding ships when Hoylake was a port from which armies sailed to Ireland.
In bygone days, when a giant sandbank created a deep water anchorage for sea going vessels, Hoylake was used by armies, such as the army of 10,000 men who in 1690 sailed to win the Battle of the Boyne under the command of William III - an event often blamed for the 'Troubles' in Northern Ireland.
Our route turned left, passing impressive houses on the right, including this old lighthouse that has been incorporated into a private residence, and the prestigious Royal Liverpool Golf Course on the left, before reaching the beach.

The sands here are extensive. We went over to Hilbre Point for a look at Red Rocks, which appear below as a black smudge in the middle distance.

Here are the rest of the team on Hilbre Point.

Hilbre Island looked a long way off, but it was just 2 km across the firm sands left by the receding tide.

The sand was beautifully textured in places.

The next picture was taken as we were getting close to the island.

There were some puddles to negotiate. Cary paddled, the rest of us jumped.

Once on the island it's a short walk past fading Thrift and vibrant Bird's-foot Trefoil (amongst numerous wild flowers) to a sheltered picnic spot at the far end of the island in view of the inquisitive seal population. There were slightly hazy views to the skyscrapers of Liverpool in one direction, and the mountains of North Wales in the other direction.

The remains of a building and a boat ramp indicate that this may once, a long time ago, have been a lifeboat station.

We strolled back past the red rocks of Hilbre Island.

Hilbre Island does in fact incorporate a series of islands. We took a direct line to West Kirby, via the next island, imaginatively named 'Little Hilbre Island' - in view across a sandy causeway.

The walk along South Parade in West Kirby could have been varied by walking around the Marine Lake, but we were glad to be out of the stiff breeze, and most of us appreciated an ice cream.
We continued along the coast by way of a lovely woodland path, The Wirral Way, that follows the course of a disused railway. Calm, warm, green and very lush in here.

Eventually we turned away from the coast to return to our starting point via the pretty village of Caldy, reached via a lovely sandstone track bordered by a high wall.
There's a war memorial next to the church, and an impressive old house the other side of the church.

The remainder of the route took us along pleasant bridleways through mixed woodland and past impressive 'footballers' mansions'. My companions for the day kindly posed for me in the sun dappled light of Stapledon Wood, from where easy paths led back to Royden Park via a short break to finish our provisions and for Jeanette to receive a back massage.

Here's our route (click on the map for a bigger version). It was a shade over 20 km, with 150 metres ascent, taking us well under six hours, including breaks.

A lovely day out. Thanks for your company, folks. There will be a short walk around Styal next Friday, but I won't be organising one the following Friday.

Friday, 29 March 2019

Friday 29 March 2019 – A Walk Around Winwick

Click on images for better resolution and access to slideshow
A sunny morning in Timperley turned to fog half an hour to the west, in Winwick, but the sun eventually came through.

Paul S joined me for this Friday morning stroll in what proved to be rather unremarkable Cheshire countryside. It’s not far from home to the Swan at Winwick, where we started our walk from the pub car park next to St Oswald’s church, pictured later above.

A dew laden field path led to a footbridge over the M62 near Peel Hall, pictured below. The Georgian house appears to be the subject of a planning application that might see the site ‘redeveloped’.

After re-crossing the motorway we came to field paths surrounded by vegetation that looked to me as if it had been subjected to a strong dose of weed killer.

“No chance of finding Lapwings here…” I offered. Moments later a flock of Lapwings wheeled its way over the field, cautiously avoiding the buzzard that was sitting on a fence post.

There’s a dog walker in the above picture – the only person we saw for the first 7 km of our walk.

Houghton Green Pool appears to be situated in a big hole in the ground, presumably arising from past quarrying. It’s a bird reserve. We saw crows. I made a note to enter my picture of the pool in a photographic competition.

Well, perhaps not!

It was noisy next to the motorway, then we returned to Winwick via Hermitage Green, encountering a large group on what I imagine was a guided walk for the navigationally challenged.

By the time we got back to St Oswald’s the fog had dissipated on what had become a lovely spring day. Sadly we couldn’t get into the church, which dates from 1358, when it was built on the site of an earlier church that is mentioned in the Domesday Book.

Jen Darling’s book, Walks in North Cheshire, refers to skirmishes here in the English Civil Wars of the 1600s. Royalist Scottish troops defeated by Cromwell surrendered near here. She notes that the post office opposite the church was an ale house, perhaps used by Cromwell’s army as its headquarters during the battle of Preston in 1648. How times change! It’s now a nail bar.

Here’s the route we took – nearly 9 km, with minimal ascent, taking a couple of hours.

Next week’s Friday morning walk is a little longer, and hopefully a tad more interesting:

Friday 5 April

Around Kelsall. Meet at the Boot Inn (SJ 531 672), in Boothsdale at 10 am for a 14 km walk in Sandstone Trail country. A556 past Northwich, turning into Kelsall soon after the A54 joins from the left. Go down Chester Road, then Willington Lane, from where the pub should be signposted.