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?