Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018
Showing posts with label Trans Pennine Trail. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trans Pennine Trail. 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, 21 October 2019

Monday 21 October 2019 - A Phoenix Park Circuit

I've written about this 60 km bike ride several times before - see for reports, route, and maps.
Today, Monday morning bike rides were rekindled when Paul B and I set off at 8.30 from Seamons Moss Bridge. A lovely morning, but with autumn taking hold, gloves were needed. And the route was damp, waterlogged even on the Trans Pennine Trail (TPT) where it passes under the M6.
We stuck to the TPT and some minor roads to reach Moore, thus avoiding the moronic dog walkers of Lymm.
The towpath from Moore has no morons, and was a delight, passing swans, a heron, lots of mallard, coots, grey wagtails, a cormorant, carrion crows, jays, and a fleet of Canada geese, as we continued to the turn off to Phoenix Park. Beyond the park, the café at Norton Priory provided its usual generous portions.
After a leisurely 'two coffees' break, we saddled up for the second half of the ride, initially on an excellent newly surfaced path beside the Bridgewater Canal.
Today's ride was taken at a leisurely pace, as we both have colds. It was a lovely way to spend a Monday morning, and we were back in time to hose the bikes down before lunch.

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, 5 August 2019

Monday 5 August 2019 - Beside the River Mersey

This morning's bike ride comprised just an hour's exercise on my own, on a familiar towpath/Trans Pennine Trail/towpath route of a shade under 19km - see the map below.
We've had quite a bit of rain recently, but the river is now fairly low despite the pumpings from the damaged Toddbrook Reservoir, which I imagine drain into the Mersey. However, if you look carefully at the above photo, you'll see that the grass has been flattened recently almost up to the level of the lower path. I'm told that just a little way upstream towards Stockport the path was inundated and the flood management system whereby a golf course is deliberately flooded may have been deployed for a while following a torrential downpour.
Additional observations - Wednesday 7 August:
Today I followed the river to Didsbury. The following three pictures show that
1. the road to Didsbury Golf Club, judging by the debris on the fence, was well under water, and
2. the view from Simon's Bridge shows the level of flattened grass in Northenden, and
3. the third picture shows how debris can accumulate behind even a small barrier - just in shot behind the debris...

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

A Path, a Hedge and Some Steps

The Trans Pennine Trail runs beside the River Mersey in Northenden. There's an optional section between the bridge by the sad remains of the Tatton Arms, shown below, and Simon's Bridge on the edge of Didsbury. On the one hand you can get bogged down in sand and joggled by rubble on the wide, lower path by the river, and on the other hand you can take the path on the top of the flood defence embankment, overlooking both the river and a golf course.
My route of choice is the upper path (above), which at this time of year is the width of a narrow sheep track. Due to the absence of sheep, it becomes a tight, overgrown passage through high grasses, nettles and brambles, above a steep drop to the golf course, whose denizens would probably not see the funny side of a cyclist tumbling down the bank onto their private fairway.
I enjoy the challenge of this narrow path that is in some places completely hidden by vegetation. This is just as well, as it's on my route to Mike (my son) and Sarah's recently acquired new home.

The privet hedge surrounding Mike and Sarah's new home was something to behold. The following pictures show just part of it. Gardeners, Chris and Darren, managed to collect four lorry loads of 'trimmings', before declaring "the hedge has had quite a shock, better give it a break and let it recover."

This is just part of the hedge. So far, with plenty more to come, I've collected nearly twenty bags of debris from under the hedge, including hub caps, bottles, cans, electrical fittings and the usual packets and take away boxes that tend to find their way into hedges. So a start has been made, and the neighbours are not unhappy. (And it has kept me off the streets!)

Meanwhile, much to my delight, work to rectify the loose step at Marsland Bridge in Brooklands has after many months, been completed. It took them a couple of weeks to effect a half hour repair, but I can grudgingly accept that the steps that weren't loose before will now take even longer than before to work loose, thus saving those odd half hour repair jobs for some time to come.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Monday 24 June 2019 - A Bike Ride - TPT/Cheshire Ring Circuit

Monday morning: = a bike ride.
With none of my usual companions available I chose the 60km Trans Pennine Trail/Cheshire Ring circuit, leaving soon after 8 am in order to avoid the rain that arrived just as I returned home at midday. It's over six months since I last took this route - on - though the shorter Fallowfield Loopline route has been taken a few times since then, one of them being recorded .
Of note, from the towpath, was a huge barge named Pauline, pictured above crossing the River Mersey in Stretford, with the M60 motorway in the background and the Metrolink tram line to the left. If you wait for a while at this bridge you should spot the seemingly unlikely sight of Kingfishers in this urban environment.
Attempts to converse with the skipper drew a smile but no voice - perhaps English wasn't his native language. Some sections of the Bridgewater Canal might be a bit tight for this vessel. I wonder where it is now? In the Irish sea?

I was pleased to find the towpath closures in the Ashton area were no longer an obstacle to progress, though the Canal & River Trust have closed the path in the centre of Manchester near lock number 89, so a short road section was needed to get from there to the Castlefield Basin. Not really a problem, and only a very small proportion, maybe 3km, of this 60km route is on roads. Most of this is near Stockport town centre, where I have yet to discover a good off-road route. I'm sure there is one.

Here's today's route - on this occasion I took the path beside the Mersey rather than go into Didsbury on the TPT. With just one tea and banana break at Haughton Green shortly before the route joins the Peak Forest Canal, it took me a little under four hours as I eschewed the attractions of the Velodrome café in favour of avoiding the rain.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

A Bike Ride, some Jazz, and a Game of Cricket

Monday morning bike rides aren't the same without Paul and Jeanette! This Monday I made my way in light rain to the allotted 8.45am rendezvous at Timperley Bridge, and waited with the familiar view shown above.
I was on my own, together with lots of fast, damp commuters. Never mind, I'd planned a shorter route than usual because of other perceived commitments. It was the same route as Richard and I took on .
By the time I'd reached Old Trafford, either it was very misty, or the 'phone camera didn't like being retrieved from my pocket into the muggy atmosphere.

I paused for a short rest near the bridge at Barton upon Irwell, near the Trafford Centre.

The vegetation on and around the Trans Pennine Trail in Carrington is nothing if not lush just now.

The 37 km route took me rather less than two and a quarter hours to pedal gently around. It's a good, mainly off-road, route for a bit of exercise.

Monday night found me at , with the Tame Valley Stompers on stage. I wrote a bit about them . Sadly Terry Brunt and his trombone were not present tonight as he had to attend the funeral of his long term partner earlier in the day. Whilst his substitute was excellent, the band isn't the same without extrovert Terry.
It was great to bump into Bernard (an East Lancs LDWA Plodder) and to spend the evening with him and his brother John.
Tuesday was a bad day for Richard's friend Simon - a roofer who couldn't pass over a chance to catch up on his work on a rare fine day. That made it a good day for me, as I could step in at the last minute and enjoy the one day match between England and Afghanistan at Old Trafford with Richard. Thanks for the 'call up', Richard. I had considered getting a ticket, but I'd fallen heavily at the hurdles of the application procedure.
So I walked down to M&S in Sale to acquire tasty provisions in the true tradition of my visits to the cricket ground, most of which pre date this journal. On the way I noticed that after many months of inaction, the path to a canal footpath at Brooklands is at last (or so it appears) having its wonky step repaired. What was probably an hour's job for a lone workman seems to have been escalated into a much bigger project! [Only the steps were closed, the footpath being easily accessed from the Metrolink station platform.]

We gave ourselves plenty of time as Richard was concerned about the time it would take to get through security. Just a few seconds, as it turned out.
With an hour before the start, the English players were engaged in a game of five a side football, whilst the Afghans preferred the non contact sport of frisbee throwing. Interviews were being broadcast, with numerous different broadcasters situated all around the in-field.

We were pleased when England won the toss and elected to bat. I optimistically suggested a total of 400 runs from the 50 overs, but soon discounted this when the English made a slow start, giving respect to the skill of the Afghan spinners.
Then captain Eoin Morgan came along and scored 148 runs from 71 balls, including 17 sixes, a record for a one-day international innings. We witnessed history (albeit in a relatively small way) being made, with England reaching 397 for 6 wickets in their 50 overs. Brilliant!

After meeting up with Keith and Carol during the break between innings, we enjoyed a rather sedate run chase which culminated with the Afghans needing to score about 150 runs off the final over.

Needless to say, they didn't manage that, and the game finished at about 6.15, having started at 10.30. It was well attended, with just a few gaps in the more expensive seats. The huge temporary stand in which Keith and Carol had £40 seats was full. Sadly I didn't take a picture of it - it's high to the left of the following image.

Here's a panoramic shot taken from our seats.

Thanks go to Richard for thinking of me when 'Poor Simon' dropped out at the last minute - it was a great day out.