Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

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

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.
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).

Monday, 16 December 2019

Saturday 14 December 2019 - Wythenshawe tourists at Woodbank parkrun number 537

Wythenshawe's waterlogged surfaces resulted in a cancellation there (you'll note from the previous entry in this blog that it has been raining), so a WhatsApp group sprung into life, resulting in an invasion of tourists from Wythenshawe at Woodbank parkrun in Stockport.
Woodbank never seems to cancel. Sue and I have been there before on a flat 'frost' course, but today it wasn't frosty and we got our first taste of the legendary hill that makes this 5km course a relatively slow one.
Our results are shown , with Laura heading our contingent and being the second woman to finish. She's running well at present. She was not so closely followed by her dad, with Jan next of our contingent, followed home by me and Sue.
Ron had kindly volunteered to run with Owen, and whilst Owen's mum looked on, the rest of us joined them for their last lap of the three lap circuit. So five of us did four laps.  
This was as much a social gathering as a running one, and we spent well over an hour in the nearby café before making our ways home. In fact, the efficient Run Director had processed the results well before we left the café. Well done him, and thanks as always to the volunteers who made the run possible.

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Friday 6 September 2019 - A Walk from Stockport to Audenshaw

A Friday walk slotted into my 'programme' at short notice on a rainy day wasn't expected to gather any takers, and that expectation was duly met.
The ten o'clock train from Navigation Road got me to Stockport in time for me to collect some tickets (see next posting) and gather next to a convenient rendezvous point for a 'non rendezvous'.
 Manchester has its bees, and Stockport is now littered with frogs, in various states of decoration.
A stroll through the town centre got me to the Trans Pennine Trail (TPT), that I soon abandoned in favour of the Tameside Trail, in order to avoid the A626 main road.
The River Tame was crossed by way of this footbridge, to join a path that leads back to the TPT.
This route passes Harrison's Weir, the subject of the next three images. This is the advantage of taking footpaths rather than the usual bike trails. I don't recall having been here before.
The old railway line was then followed to Reddish Vale Visitors Centre and ponds. Here, there's one of many ornate TPT signposts.
A little further on, I deserted the bridleway again, in favour of the footpath along the Tameside Trail, signposted to Stockport Road.
This path sent me round in circles for a while, during which I returned to the Reddish Vale ponds, and this excellent view of the railway viaduct.
After several 'on/off' episodes with the waterproofs, the showers slowly moved on, leaving a sunny morning as I continued to follow the riverside Tameside Trail path, a little to the west of my usual bike route along the TPT and the Peak Forest Canal towpath. Eventually, this path goes under the M67 motorway and heads up a delightful set of walled cobblestones to reach the canal.
The Portland Basin in Ashton-under-Lyne is a few minutes along the Peak Forest Canal. Here, there's a T-junction, with the Ashton Canal heading off to the left, towards the tall chimney pictured below. To the right in the picture is the back door of the 'Bridge View Café', where I enjoyed a coffee and some very tasty carrot cake. This was a special treat as this café is shut when we pass it on our Monday bike rides.
In the other direction, the Huddersfield Narrow Canal sets off on its arduous course through the Pennines via the Standedge Tunnels..
In the direction of Manchester, the Ashton Canal towpath took me about 3 km to Audenshaw, for a few hundred metres of road walking to the Metrolink station - the first road walking since leaving Stockport.
On the way, and whilst 'Audenshaw' doesn't really capture the imagination as a place to live, some interesting, even opulent, housing is passed.
My route amounted to 21 km. It would have been rather less if I'd found the correct path out of Reddish Vale at the first attempt (take the signed footpath and take a left turn where the path divides). Ascent is minimal - just a couple of hundred metres - and despite the urban surroundings, this route is entirely off road apart from a little tarmac at the start and the finish.
A very pleasant little jaunt, taking me about three and a half hours at a brisk pace.
Next, a trip to Scotland, and I'm afraid there will be no separate entry covering Saturday's at Wythenshawe, nor at Wythenshawe, both of which passed without incident.

Monday, 18 March 2019

Friday 15 March 2019 – A Walk in the Mersey Valley

Click on this and other images for improved resolution and slideshow

Last Friday morning's walk found just me and Paul S meeting at Stockport station. By the time I'd collected some tickets for a future 'mission' it was 10.30.
We ambled down to the fuller than usual River Mersey that accompanied us on and off until we reached Jackson’s Boat Bridge, near Sale Water Park. The first few km were spent on the familiar paths of the Trans Pennine Trail (TPT), albeit at a slower pace and in the opposite direction to our usual cycling route. Thus we had time to pause by some of the well maintained information boards that have been placed at regular intervals in the Mersey valley.

One of these information boards, from Kings Reach Bridleway where the above picture was taken, mentions the sandstone caves pictured across the river. These man made caves are thought to date from about 1670, in the days of Charles II after the fall of Cromwell. There must have been quite a bit of digging around at that time, as it’s the year in which rock salt was discovered in Northwich. The main section of these Stockport caves comprises seven arches and various nooks and crannies. The caves were further excavated before WW2 for use as civilian air raid shelters. Work on these started in 1938 and the first set of shelters was opened in October 1939. Quite timely, as Stockport was bombed in 1940. They are now sealed up and left as they were when in use, with benches and bunk beds intact.

After passing under the M60 motorway, the TPT takes a break from the long loops of the Mersey by way of a shortcut through Didsbury. The route is punctuated by National Cycle Network signs, some of which date from before the TPT was opened in 2001. These signs are clearly being well maintained – see the next two pictures – and I believe that quite a lot of money has been put aside for the improvement of cycleways in the Mersey valley.

Paul and I re-joined the riverside path after wandering through Didsbury. We took care not to take an attractive looking (on the map) short cut across a golf course. JJ and I will both remember the day we tried that and emerged from the footpath that passes under the motorway at SJ 834 902. We got very wet!

This stretch of the Mersey is home to cormorants and goosanders. At least, it was today. Kingfishers also live around here, together with a variety of ducks, geese and herons, etc, that also enjoy the environs of Chorlton and Sale Water Parks.

We left the Mersey again, at the point pictured below, to take a short cut through Northenden on unfamiliar paths, before returning to the river by Chorlton Water Park.

The weir in Northenden may be roughly the place where local landowner William Tatton was drowned in 1616, perhaps on his way home from a night out in Manchester, leaving his large Wythenshawe estate to his ten year old heir, Robert. But that’s another story… The weir wouldn’t have been there then, as the weirs on the Mersey weren’t constructed until the late 1700s, when mill owners built them to provide power for their nearby spinning machines. I'm not sure whether the parakeets we saw here today would have been there until fairly recently!

Paul and I concluded our walk by strolling around Chorlton Water Park, then beside the river to Jackson’s Boat Bridge, from where a pleasant path leads to Sale Water Park and a footbridge across the M60 motorway, which is 10+ lanes at this point. After that I found some footpaths through the ginnels of Sale that I’d not been on before!

Here’s our route to Sale Metrolink station – about 17 km with minimal ascent, taking around three hours.

Click on image for better resolution

I’m not planning a walk for next Friday, but I hope to see a few people on 29 March, if the world doesn’t end on that day – here’s the flier:

Friday 29 March
Around Winwick. Meet at The Swan in Winwick Village (SJ 605 928), at 10 am for a 9 km bimble. M62 jnc 9, then north to a roundabout where you continue towards Newton-le-Willows on the A49. After a few metres bear right into Golborne Road in front of Winwick church, and the pub car park is on the right. Use the top car park.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Saturday 9 December 2017 – Woodbank parkrun number 432


We were all set to go parkrunning at Wythenshawe, as usual, but icy conditions had us alert to their Facebook page. Sure enough, a message from run director Tristan at about 8.15 confirmed that he had deemed the conditions to be too icy for a safe run.

Whilst others turned up and did the run anyway on an unofficial basis, we knew that Woodbank parkrun in Stockport never cancels, so we popped down there in plenty of time for the 9 am start for 151 runners on the cold morning.

Vernon Park and Woodbank Park are next to each other in Stockport. I had a go at orienteering , and Sue and I did the parkrun here on 16 January 2016, on another icy morning that was too much for Wythenshawe.

There had been a sprinkling of snow, as evident from the top picture taken outside Vernon Park’s posh but rather impersonal (compared with Wythenshawe) café.

Normally, Woodbank parkrun takes place over two laps, including a steep hill. But today’s icy conditions had them using a three lap course that my Garmin measured as a little short of 5 km. Sue walked around in 35 minutes so as not to aggravate her Achilles injury, and I jogged gently round in a little under 27 minutes. We were both registered for an event the following day (see next posting) and I spent some time chatting to a dog walker who was also taking it easy for the same reason, whilst Sue’s walking pace was fairly brisk as she tried to stay on the coattails of a chap called Chris Bryans, running with a numb leg in the 80-85 age category.

We adjourned to the café and watched the tail enders negotiating a very icy corner near the end of the course. This is pictured below, with the finish visible in the distance.


Here’s the café. Rather shockingly posh compared with Wythenshawe’s friendly Courtyard Café.


The results, for what they are worth, are . There were more participants than usual, possibly because of other cancellations, including a few other familiar faces from Wythenshawe.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Wednesday 31 May 2017 – An Evening Walk in Stockport


The ‘SWOG’ evening walks got under way a while ago but this was the first that Sue and I were able to attend.

Very good it was too, ably led by Campbell around the paths of Woodbank Park. But not on the parkrun route!

There were about thirty participants, including new faces via Meetup. But also a lot of familiar faces.


It was pretty dark under the leafy canopy, which acted as a good shelter from the light shower that was all that the steely grey clouds could offer.


The young cricketers weren’t affected.


Down by the river, Campbell called a halt and went prospecting for new members …”age no barrier”, (see top picture), but both the prospective members and a number of barking dogs ran away into the river.


If you have an hour or so spare, this is a delightful stroll from the car park on the corner of Turncroft Lane in Stockport. It’s about 4.5 km – shown below.


The Gardeners Arms at the southern end of Turncroft Lane provided suitable post walk sustenance. Excellent.

The SWOG programme is here. All are welcome. (You may need to email for rendezvous details if you are not a member.)

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Tuesday 25 April 2017 – A Walk to Stockport


JJ was yet again to blame for this morning’s outing. He had booked tickets to Mallaig to start his TGO Challenge in a couple of weeks time and needed to visit Stockport station to collect them. There are many ways of reaching Stockport from Timperley, on foot being the most scenic.

It was a lovely morning, so Sue and I jumped at the chance of a stroll through Wythenshawe Park then the Mersey Valley to Stockport.

One of the river crossings, in Didsbury, is by Simon’s Bridge, recently repainted. The plaque records its origin in 1901, after Simon’s death.


Henry Simon (1835–1899) was a German born engineer who revolutionised Great Britain's flour milling industry and in 1878 founded the engineering companies Henry Simon Ltd and Simon Carves. His second son, Ernest Simon went on to become the first baron of Wythenshawe in 1947. There’s more about this remarkable man here.

This stretch of river has lots of bends. Kingfishers can often be seen, but we didn’t spot any today. Greenfinches, jays and magpies mingled with the swallows, all busily following their own agendas.


A little further on we crossed a stretch of road that forms the most northerly stretch of the old Manchester to Oxford route. In 1753 the Manchester and Wilmslow Turnpike Trust was created by Act of Parliament, with powers to build, maintain, and improve this stretch of the route, funded by the collection of tolls.

In 1755 the Trust built the first stone bridge over the River Mersey at this point. The river flows 70 miles (113 km) from Stockport to Liverpool Bay.

This part of the River Mersey is prone to flooding and the original bridge collapsed in 1756 and was rebuilt in 1758. The bridge was replaced in 1780 and again in 1861 with this current bridge.


The River Mersey here historically formed the boundary between the counties of Lancashire and Cheshire and there is a boundary marker in the middle of the bridge.

The Trans Pennine Trail follows the Mersey Valley at this point. It’s a 215 mile cycle route between Southport and Hornsea, completed in 2004. There are some ornate ‘mileposts’ like the one below, many of which feature on these pages in previous postings.


Stockport is eventually reached. The offices perched on the side of the buildings across the river at this point always amuse me. I imagine foremen or managers with a high regard for their status occupying these exclusive sites above the river!


It’s a land of bridges and viaducts and even, nearby in Marple, aqueducts.


We were soon ensconced in Rosies Tea Room with coffees (tea for Sue) and toasted tea cakes after our ten mile walk. A busy place.


Sue and JJ went in search of train tickets whilst I picked up some Essential Supplies from Alpenstock, where Jose and Hugh informed me that they would shortly be closing as the lease expires and Jose wants to retire. Our favourite outdoor shop has been there for about 40 years. It’ll be the end of an era. There may be some bargains to be had as Jose tries to get the best prices she can for her remaining stock.

The train to Navigation Road saw us nearly all the way home, via a short stretch beside the canal, where this family was braving the cool breeze.


It was sunny enough to enjoy a cuppa in the garden.


Happy Days…