16 of us turned up for this now annual ritual. Near perfect wintry
conditions - a light blanket of snow, a frosty atmosphere and blue sky -
allowed us to enjoy a brisk walk from Birch Vale via Little Hayfield
and Park Hall to the white shooting cabin and from there the views of
Kinder Reservoir and its impressive backdrop. We greedily devoured the
mince pies and mulled wine at the foot of William Clough before
continuing around the reservoir and back into Hayfield, where we were
joined at the George by Pam F, Jack and Lesley. A 20 minute bash down
the Sett Valley Trail in the gathering gloom got us back to the cars.
Some of us had made an effort with the festive hats, but Paul D once
again stole the show with his complete Sant outfit. Well done Paul! An
enjoyable day out and a good start to Christmas
For our final Wednesday evening event of the year we met at The
Grapes in Hazel Grove to enjoy a feast prepared by John and his band of
helpers. There was plenty of food to scoff while we worked on the quiz
questions set by Geoff.
Cheshire Ring canal walk, stage 3, Saturday 27 November Macclesfield to Hyde
For stage 3 of our Cheshire Ring canal walk, in addition to our usual
crew of Tracy, Linda, Sue and myself; we were honoured to be joined by
Joan and Margaret, a new member. So, with the exception of yours truly,
it really was a case of ‘here come the girls’.
We alighted at Macclesfield and started the walk by following the
Middlewood trail out of town. Yes, I know that the Middlewood trail
follows the course of the old railway line, but it sort of cuts a corner
off, if that’s not cheating. Linda set out at an express pace but did
eventually slow down a bit, so the rest of us were able to get our
At Bollington, the aroma of coffee wafting from the Mill shop was too
much to resist and we stopped for refreshments. By the time we resumed
our walk, the sun had come out; and this made for a lovely day for
walking, if on the cold side.
We pushed on to Marple where we were due to rendezvous with Philomena
by the locks at lunch time. Unfortunately we never did meet up because
Phil had missed her train at Hyde owing to the fact that she had been
waiting on the wrong platform; enough said……..
We pushed on to Romiley and did make our next meeting at John
Gregory’s. We resisted the temptation to shin over John’s back wall and
went the front way. John very kindly plied us with mulled wine, tea and
biscuits before we made our way towards Hyde as it was beginning to get
dark, including going through Woodley tunnel, the stygian gloom relieved
by Tracy’s head torch.
Thanks to all who came along, and hopefully Margaret has not been put
off for ever. And yes, a blog from yours truly without a single
reference to a hostelry, what is the world coming to ?
Our next leg is planned to cover Hyde to Sale by way of Manchester
including going underground at Piccadily, rumoured to be scene of the
strangest of goings on, not that I’d know about that….
members enjoyed a 7.5 mile walk around the Hardcastle Crags area near
Hebden Bridge. We started the walk from the historic village of
Heptonstall, dropping steeply down to cross the Hebden Water before
continuing up Grimsworth Dean. Lunch was had at the pretty waterfall at
Lumb Bridge before we continued the walk over Shackleton Moor and
dropped back down to the Hebden Water.
followed via the picturesque Hardcastle Crags woodlands to Gibson Mill.
We had welcome refreshments at the NT café and some of the group visited
the mill exhibitions and green energy engineering bits. The walk
continued with a steep climb up to Slack village with panoramic views
over the adjacent valleys. After passing the cottages at ‘Slack Bottom’,
we eventually arrived back in Heptonstall. Several residents wearing
cloth caps and clogs were observed exercising their ferrets before going
back to the mill for the night shift while a brass band playing ‘On
Ilkley Moor B’ah Tat’ could be heard in the distance. The weather
remained dry throughout with some hints of sun. Not bad for a November
day in t’Pennines. ‘appen we’ll go again. By ‘eck!
Friday night saw 14 of us at the Joshua Bradley in Woodley/Hyde. We
found a nice spot for the night. Lovely large table to fit us all
round. 3 hand pumps beers were on. One of these was a plum beer. Not
sure if anyone had a pint of that. Plenty of talk and laughter was
going all night. Talking about walks, weekends away that are coming up
and ideas for weekends away for 2011. Trekking holidays in the alps and
weeks cycling holidays. What a great night we all had.
Hi there, just a short note to thank everybody who attended The
Shining Cliff weekend. I think I can take the liberty to say everybody
seemed to enjoy themselves immensely, the weather was good, the company
was good, and the food and drink exceptional. The Hallowe'en theme was a
great success and the costumes especially the masks were very
impressive. The Saturday Morning started as it should with an
excellent breakfast organised and cooked by Rick and Helen (see Ricks
new book 'How to transport 40 eggs down a dark bomb cratered path
without breakage'). With the breakfasts digesting well we embarked on
the 6 or 7 mile walk to the ' Hollybush' at Makenay encouraged by the
splendid Autumn colours of the woods surrounding us, and the prospect of
over seventeen real ales on sale. Saturday evening after arriving
back at the Hostel individuals treated themselves to a 'power shower' (
I think not). As Jo got her wonderful chilli on the go to cater for the
masses the resident GHOULS were changing into their costumes creating
the impression of a canteen at some Hammer Horror Movie set. Later,
with Ghoulish bellies well full the natural backdrop of the woods
complete with neighbouring cave provided a great atmosphere for a group
photo session. (some very impressive photo's).If any film company or
writer comes up with the title Frankenstein, Dracula,Igor,and the red
caped crusader with the severed arm meet the Hound Dog, just remember We
have the rites!
Photo shoot over we retired to the common room to take the chill
from our spines and sample more beer, wines, and SPIRITS. Whoever
brought the CD with the 20 or so Hallowe'en tracks well done absolutely
brill. After listening to the usual traditional spooky tales Campbell
alias COUNT DRACULA decided to have a romp through the woods ending up
at the local pub to the amusement of the locals no doubt where they kept
him provided with 'STAKES' and BLOODY MARY'S! (sorry).
to everybody for making it what it was especially Jo for providing the
Chilli, and Rick and Helen for the Breakfasts and Rick again for helping
me with the walks.
We were blessed with glorious autumnal sunshine for our walk on
Sunday. Some 18 of us set off from the canal basin and proceeded by way
of Toddbook reservoir (rather empty) to Taxal church. Here we were
denied the customary refreshment stop due to the church being used for a
service; whatever next, and on a Sunday too….
We then dropped down over the nascent River Goyt and back up along
Elnor Lane and the side of Ladder Hill to Combs. Alongside The Beehive
pub (most acceptable Copper Dragon bitter) we found an ideal sun trap of
a spot for a leisurely lunch. We then passed the golf club (scene of
various triumphs of Les’s) on the way to Eccles Pike which afforded
awesome views in all directions.
After that it was all down hill via the Peak Tramway trail to The
Navigation at Buxworth (apparently the locals didn’t like ‘Bugsworth’
and had the name changed by deed poll so to speak). Here we met up
with Vinnie and Leslie; they had taken a somewhat shorter route and
seemed well ensconced at the pub…..
After welcome refreshment, it was then on to the junction with the
Peak Forest canal and left to Whaley Bridge, except for yours truly who
proceeded right to Offerton by way of Marple and the Goyt Valley; and
no, I didn’t stop at any pubs, honest…
Thanks to everyone for coming along on a most enjoyable walk.
Our hardy crew of Linda, Tracy, Sue and myself met up at Stockport
station on Saturday for the second stage of our Cheshire canal ring
walk. After various alarms on the journey to the station, we all made
the 9.58 train…..just……. We alighted at Kidsgrove; steps from the car
park took us down on to the Trent & Mersey towpath and onto Hardings
Wood Junction, where it was a left turn towards Macclesfield.
We lunched at the excellent Queens Head at Congleton,
surreptitiously munching our sarnies whilst sitting on their patio. We
met up with a couple of lads who were doing the same route as us but
who were camping out ‘wild’ in Macclesfield (now there’s a thought…).
The scenery through the countryside towards Macc was wonderful on a pleasant afternoon, in particular on the flight of locks at Bosley.
We had a refreshment break at the Fools Nook alongside the Macc-
Leek road, most welcome as the pub had been shut on my previous visit.
We came off the canal at The Old Kings Head at Macc and proceeded by
way of The Railway View to Wetherspoons for victuals, including the
sorry story of a roast chicken dinner covered in some most unwanted barbecue sauce.
At a somewhat late hour, we finally made our way back on the train
to Stockport, where we literally bumped into Digger on his way back from
a Grand Designs exhibition at the NEC.
Our next leg is planned to cover Macc to Hyde by way of Marple and
we will try to organize this so that it doesn’t clash with any other
15 of us, and two dogs, were out for this walk
which took us from Glossop onto Bleaklow Head via Swineshew Reservoir
and Clough Head. It was a long, but easy ascent to this aptly named
wilderness, in cool and cloudy, but dry conditions. After following the
Pennine way to "Old Woman" we took the Doctor's Gate path -how do these
places get their names?!- and Shelf Brook to Old Glossop where we had a
welcome drink at The Queens before completing the walk through Manor
Park. Not a bad old tramp! John G
15 of us, and two dogs, were out for this walk
which took us from Glossop onto Bleaklow Head via Swineshew Reservoir
and Clough Head. It was a long, but easy ascent to this aptly named
wilderness, in cool and cloudy, but dry conditions. After following the
Pennine way to "Old Woman" we took the Doctor's Gate path -how do these
places get their names?!- and Shelf Brook to Old Glossop where we had a
welcome drink at The Queens before completing the walk through Manor
Park. Not a bad old tramp! John G
On a fine but windy day, 18 of us met up in Flash village to take
part in two walks. I led a walk of about ten miles down into the Dane
Valley then up to Panniers Bridge at Three Shires Head. Here we crossed
the bridge into Staffordshire, just so we could say we had a three
counties walk. We then went up onto Axe Edge before dropping down to the
infant river Dove. We traversed several very underused paths where the
way was not very evident. My thanks to Paul and his GPS for helping to
find the route, also for putting me right when I had a small senior
moment and lost all sense of direction. Vince led another of his shorter
ladies walks, also visiting Three Shires Head. Afterwards most of us
met up in the pub for welcome refreshments.
were 2 walks to choose from: Vince’s Goyt Valley low level walk which
attracted 18 and Pete’s higher level walk which took in Windgather
Rocks, Cats Tor and Shining Tor, which 7 people did.
was rather grey and breezy to start with, but brighter with broken
cloud and sunshine as the day progressed. The valley walk was very
gentle, but with good views of the reservoir and heather clad hills.
Lunch was taken at the Derbyshire Bridge to the restful babble of the
Goyt, followed by a leisurely stroll down the road to the ice cream van
and on to the finish and an early drink at The Shady Oak, where Pete’s
group joined us. We were please to welcome three completely new walkers,
Margo and Louise who had attended Sue T’s recent talk about the group
and Nick, who had found us via the website. Our thanks to Vince and Pete
for leading these enjoyable walks.
apprehensive as to whether anybody would turn up to my first pub night
as various people had already told me that they had other plans. However
I was pleasantly surprised on walking past the pub window to see Paul,
Helena, Rosemary and Ian were already enjoying drinks. We were soon
joined by John, Steve and Simone. We were joined slightly later by Sean
and Les who had stopped off at the Sportsman for a drink on the way.
there was a lively atmosphere, we had plenty of space to sit
comfortably at the far end of the pub and were able to partake of the
extensive choice of drinks including some excellent value local Cask
Ales. We had a convivial evening in good company. Sean and Les came
across 4 old school friends that they had not seen for some years at the
bar. It so turned out that I had known one of these friends since I was
17 (which was some years ago !!! ) .
A good night was had by all and thanks to everybody who supported my first pub night.
of us met up on the 12.00 pm train to Buxton : Emily, Philomena, Pete,
Simone and myself. We started the afternoon in ‘The Railway’, where we
took advantage of the good value meals; Simone’s sizzling steak was
particularly impressive. We then stopped at ‘The Miltons Head’ on the
way back to the station; and, after a scramble up the hill, we made it
just in time for our train.
first stop was Whaley Bridge, where we called at the ‘Shepherds Arms’,
thanks to Pete & Helen for the recommendation; it was an excellent
stop was all of two minutes away on the train at Furness Vale, ‘The
Crossings’. Here we met up with John and Dave who had cycled down to
meet us. There was some debate as to whether they would come with us on
the train or cycle to the next stop at New Mills. In the end we went on
the train, although the next planned pub, ‘The Beehive’ was shut (even
although it had been open on the reccie). Pete took us
to ‘The Rock’ instead and we never did see John & Dave, sorry boys.
then travelled on to Disley and met up with Glenys, Campbell and Joanne
at ‘The Rams Head’. Our final train leg took us back to Hazel Grove and
a tasty curry at ‘The Blue Nile’. There were various further pub stops
after this as evening merged into night and night into morning……
was the first pub night at ‘The Fingerpost’ on Hempshaw Lane in
Offerton and I was rather nervous as to the numbers that might turn out.
As it was, Ineed not have worried, as a total of 19 of
us came along. People came from far and wide, including from Hyde
(Philomena and Ian), Poynton (Sue & Pete) and even Essex (Lisa,
Philomena’s daughter). Others of us came from closer to; I walked to the
pub, as usual, and this took me all of two minutes.
We were able to use a separate room off the bar and we filled this up over the course
the evening. Some of us partook of the excellent food cooked by Rob the
landlord; the steaks (10”, £ 5.95) were particularly well received. The
last of us wended our way home sometime about mid-night.
think that it’s fair to say that a good evening was had by all; and
thanks to everyone who came along to make the evening such a success.
Well it was already growing dark at 7pm as we picked up our boots
to set off for the last Wednesday evening walk of 2010. Then as we
stepped out of the house the first raindrops fell. But we thought "we
cannot let Steve down, he has already been soaked when he rehearsed the
walk last week."
We arrived at Bramhall Park to find that others had turned out
despite the bad forecast. However it was not raining yet so we assembled
to be given our instructions.
It had been advertised as "Map, Compass, Torch and Treasure" so we
suspected that this would not be an easy, follow the leader, stroll
around the park. And we were right. Steve divided us into teams of 5 and
handed us a sheet of instructions before sending us off at five minute
intervals so that we couldn't cheat. We had to follow the directions,
take compass bearings and answer a few questions as we walked the route.
Some of the questions were easy - who is the bench dedicated to? how
many trees on the little island (if I was setting the questions I would
have asked "how many ducks on the island!!) and so on. Some trick
directions added to the fun - if we turn left we go uphill, not down -
but by reading ahead to later clues we deduced that if we turn RIGHT and
downhill we would come to the lake.
Every now and then we met another group who had either got lost or
had directions which led them in the opposite direction to us or we met
Steve who kept popping out from behind trees to see how we were getting
So far so good but now the directions led us out of the safety of
the park and onto other footpaths and it was growing darker by the
minute (thankfully the rain held off so at least we are staying dry).
Just as our eyes were adjusting to the dark, someone who shall remain
nameless switched on her torch and we lost our night vision!
But we continued until the path seemed to come to a dead end - we
had missed the footbridge, it was getting late, we were getting thirsty -
so we turned back, and met a group that had set off before us coming
the other way! Bravely they decided to continue as we headed back to the
start. Before long we saw torches ahead - the other group had succeeded
in finding the correct route (but only because they met some dog
walkers coming down the hill from the footbridge - so we had not reached
it after all).
Before long we met everyone else back at the Hall, all safely returned.
And now for the really tricky part of the evening - finding the pub
from various sets of directions. But we got there in the end.
thanks Steve for a very good evening - maybe do one in daylight next year?
On Saturday four intrepid explorers met up at
Stockport station to venture out into the salt plains and marshes of
Cheshire. Well actually it was John, Linda,Sue and Tracy setting out on a
walk along the Trent & Mersey Canal. We alighted at Lostock Gralam and it was all of about an hour before our first refreshment stop : scones with jam and cream kindly provided by Tracy. This was in a delightfully sylvan setting between Northwich and Middlewich. We made it to Middlewich before our first pub stop
: the delightful ‘Big Lock’. This was accompanied by the first of
several light showers which gave Lindaand Sue the chance to show off
their snazzy umbrellas. It was an entertaining day with plenty of action
on the canal, with lots of boats coming and going with the many locks on
this section; and everyone very friendly.
We had a further stop at Sandbach at ‘The
Commercial’, a wonderful old fashioned type of an establishment, before
moving on via ‘The Broughton Arms’ (very busy) and
finishing up at ‘The Red Bull’ in Kidsgrove. We had a tasty meal but had
to jog back along the canal, just in time to catch our train. It was a
full and enjoyable day and we’re already planning the next stage :
Kidsgrove to Macclesfield.
Twelve of us set out to explore the wonders of the Anderton Boat
Lift. This is a massive structure built in 1875 to lift boats from the
River Weaver to the Trent and Mersey canal, a height of 50 feet. We were
very surprised to learn that the lift was built by a Stockport
engineering company. We boarded a boat on the River Weaver and were soon
whisked up (very slowly) to the canal above us. After the boat ride we
split into two parties to undertake walks. My thanks to Vince for
leading a gentle ramble round Marbury Country Park. Ice creams and tea
were taken at the half way mark. For the more seasoned ramblers, we went
a walk all of six miles! This took in Budworth Mere and Great Budworth
Village, where a refreshment stop was made at the local pub. After this
we walked past the Lion Salt Works Museum before returning along the
canal. We all met up again at the Visitors Centre before returning home.
Last Sunday saw 22 of us set off from New Mills station to walk the
Trespass Trail, a way marked 14 route established to celebrate the 75th
anniversary of the Kinder Mass Trespass in 1932. Despite some dark
clouds it remained largely dry, and very warm, all day. Late morning saw
some confusion when we realised that the reason Joan thought there were
only 21 people on the walk was because we had in fact last someone, and
no one could remember when they were last seen! After some debate about
the leader retracing our route, we decided to carry on, only to find
the missing person sat outside the pub in Rowarth knocking back the
beer. We carried on to Little Hayfield for a welcome lunch stop and pub
stop at the Lantern Pike. After that it was uphill part way up Williams
Clough (losing a few more people on the way) to the approximate spot
where the trespassers encountered the Duke of Devonshire’s gamekeepers
on the original Trespass. After that it was downhill all the way, back
to Hayfield and along the Sett Valley Trail to New Mills, picking up
assorted folk on the way, to finish with 22 people again.
feeling tired after the walk, while the leaflet stated the route as 14
miles, when we measured the route out, including the extra part through
New Mills, it came out as 15.9 miles in total
Last Sunday seventeen walkers met with high expectations of a
traditional walk along the Roaches. With good luck texts from Arlene,
apologies from Jackie and Mark ( we still had Mark but he denied all
knowledge of Jackie), the leader returned the group mobile to the
committee. Enthusiastically we yomped ( we did have an ex infantry man
with us ) across the fields in the direction of Hen Cloud. Suddenly Pam
noticed Brian and Ursula were missing... Surely they weren't fed up
of Howard's jokes already ?
Extremely worried about his
reputation and the headlines in The Daily Mail, Usain Hudson - Bolt
shot off down the field in pursuit, but to no avail. Suddenly a coup[le
were spotted behind the hedge sneaking off in the direction of Roach
Hall for aromatherapy . Desperately trying to ignore Sue's whistles,
they were reunited with us. The group then ascended Hen Cloud and were
afforded excellent views of Ramshaw Rocks and the Roaches.
the summit we continued across access land towards the Roaches,
Unfortunately there was no access!!! We went round the perimeter of a
large field to exit at the same point. Jack (suffering from man flu)
was totally perplexed not realising he had been there before. Back en
route and fortified by ice creams we walked along the Roaches before
descending back to Tittesworth reservoir by the wobbly stile.
people declined offer of Howard's stir fry for dinner concocted from
mushrooms picked on route, but I believe others enjoyed a welcome drink
in The Lazy Trout.
Sunday was a fabulous day of cloudless blue skies and a clear,
fresh atmosphere which made for excellent views and ideal walking
conditions in this lovely area of the White Peak. 4 people
accompanied Vince on his easier (?) option , whilst Joan led a party of
14 on her walk. We were please to welcome a new member, Alison and her
glossy black Labrador, Mags.We followed similar routes in the morning,
down Tideswell Dale, into Millers Dale and then Monsal Dale before
climing out of the the valley to Monsal Head where the two groups met up
for lunch and enjoyed the fine views of the verdant landscape from this
elevated position. From there it was a steady climb onto Longnor Moor
and through pastures bright with buttercups to Wardlow. We dropped
steeply into Cressbrook Dale and climbed up to the attractive village of
Litton where there had been a flower festival with well dressings and
where the two groups again met up for an enjoyable a drink on the green
as the Cresswell brass band played outside the Red Lion- a perfect way
to end a most enjoyable day. Our thanks to Joan and Vince for leading
these great walks.
On a fine sunny day 20 members met up at Daisy Nook Country Park.
Two of our members thought it was better to have a tour of the
motorways while everyone was still watching the football. In other words
took the wrong route, but it was also good night to make use of the
quiet motorways. The leader was already to go after his run to the event. warmed up. The
route took us in to the park area with high views across the valleys.
It was then on to the canals with a a lovely downhill towards the
vallery floor. Under the motorway with our member passing above us. Then
the climbe into the lovley sleepy village of Woodhouses. By now
everyone was into the brisk pace with little break. After woodhouses we
drop back down to the valley with the small little slog to the other
side. Where we had fine views across the vallerys and looking towards
Manchester and ramsbottom. Then back to the cars with a short drive to
the country pub of the Woodhouse Gardens pub. To refuel the body.
Despite the forecast the weather
remained fine until mid-afternoon and we enjoyed the walk from Bakewell
via Edensor, where the gardens were especially colourful, to Chatsworth.
We had lunch by the Derwent and took a look at an exhibition of many
old buses in the grounds of this fine stately home. We continued along
the Derwent and as the rain started, and since we seemed to be making
rather slow progress, even on this fairly gentle walk, some of us
returned directly to Bakewell, whilst the majority continuue to Rowsley,
following the intended route back. We had one heavy shower, but luckily
avoided the prolonged torrential rain that struck as we drove home. We
were sorry that Wendy was unable to lead this walk, because of her
broken leg and wish her a return to full mobility in the near future.
The group's mobile phone proved it's
worth. Firstly when the stand-in leader was late arriving at Torkington
Park and again when there was some confusion about the car park in
With good weather booked as usual by the leader, 12 of us met at
Torky Park to proceed to Monyash. Over the last few months we have done
many a walk in Lathkill Dale, so our leader instructed us to go the
other way. We did a bit of Limestone Way and joined the druids at Arbor
Low, a bit of chanting had been done the previous night to guarantee the
weather, no sacrifices required at the alter stone just coffeee and
Set off across to Parsley Hey where tea was available, ice creams, and toilets. Along the High Peak Trail to the PUB and sleep 2
A leisurely hour at the pub stop, very nice beer well recomended,
our resident beer guide knew name, brew, way to bar (something of a
challenge for the future as he seems to have a wikpedia knowledge of all
pubs in the North of England, despite having a slightly suspect accent.
A bit of uphill then followed to Flagg, rejoining the Limestone Way back to Monyash.
All together 10.6 miles, slightly longer than the leader designed,
with unbroken sun, slight breeze, and the normal excellent company.
13 arrived at Torkington Park for a walk where no one,
not even the leader, knew where we were going. A couple of suggestions
led us to Millers Dale CP and a walk up Chee Dale, along what is
undoubtably Derbyshires longest ranger mile, 1 mile in 1 hour. Learning
along the way how many left feet we had (728) we followed the course of
this beutiful dale, a bit slippy in places we finally climbed up to
Topley Pike. Next stop Churn Hole and up to Chelly (Chelmorton).
Excellent beer set us up for a climb up to Sough Top and down to
Taddington Across the road and one vertical descent into High Dale
before joining the Monsal Trail above Litton Mill. Weather was sunny all
day, a bit beezy at the start. POints gained for pub stop, weather,
toilets at start, mid point and finish, and local ice creams at the end.
A splendid day,
We had a great weekend at Wastwater, with a wide variety of walks
in generally good conditions. Campbell did a "sponsored" swim in the icy
waters of the lake as a follow up to a collection we had for the Jimmy
Mizen charity. A group of fund-raisers, including Jimmy's mother, were
staying at the hostel and many of them were doing a sponsored ascent of
Scarfell. Some of them got lost in the mist and it was 11.30pm before
they got back!!! Our thanks to Dave and Sue for organising this excellent weekend.
many thanks to Harvey for this walk above baslow, 19 in number we
left Curbar Gap CP for a walk along the edges, Curbar Edge then
Froggatt, coffee stop near the stone circle and onwards towards a cafe
on the Longshaw Estate, which we didn't stop at. We actually walked past
both Little Johns and Robin Hoods Wells. Across the road to a windy pub
stop, excellent Marstons Pedigree and use of landlords tables for
sandwiches. Heading back along White edge and Big Moor a surprise, a
full grown Derbyshire poisonous snake, an adder basking on the path.
Unfortunately this wasnt the only dangerous animal spotted or
encountered. Smaller herds of cows presented no problem, but we met some
of those fluffy cows from Scotland, these were more than a little
skittish with dogs, and at one point we had a major concern at
these seriously bothered ladies with calves, ran across the path. A
short diversion to Wellingtons monument then Baslow Edge and the cars. A
total of 11.15 miles was recorded.
In near perfect walking conditions, 16 of us set out from the old
station at Alsop en le Dale. It was nice to welcome back several
recently joined members also great to see Vince out walking again. We
first walked along the rim of Mill Dale before dropping down to Mill
Dale hamlet where we had a coffee break. The walk then took us down the
length of Dove Dale. We were fascinated to find that most of the fallen
trees and stumps had vast numbers of coins driven into them, thus
proving that money really does grow on trees. We had to have a go at
crossing the stepping stones even though we were not going that way!!
Most of us managed the ascent of Thorpe Cloud to magnificent clear
views, the rest of the party took the easier route up Lin Dale. A brief
stop was made at The Dog and Partridge in Thorpe for refreshments before
following the Tissington Trail to Tissington. The route then went over
the fields and back to the cars at Alsop.
Billed as a mystery walk because our leader didnt know where to
take us, few arriving at Hazel Grove knew what to expect, and 25 joined a
walk that started in Bollington and didn't go up White Nancy.
Instead we headed for the blue bells of Harrop Edge, unfortunately whilst the weather met
with Steve's normal standard, he couldn't bring spring forward two
weeks, so we were early (note lots out this week). Musical instruments provided
the first attraction on this roller coaster walk. Leaving the woods
behind to coffee and biscuits at 11, then up via a little used path, a
bit steeper than expected, to the Gritstone trail. On to Sponds Hill and our leader gave a talk on why they are called Bowstones.
Into Lyme Park and down to the Millpond cafe, good spot for luncheon with ample facilities for comfort .
Suitably refreshed uphill to West Park Gate, with hills steeper by
the minute back over the hills to Pott Shrigley, all down hill from
here, with yet more surprises, a mole came and joined in, before passing
some turkeys, peacocks, or guinea fowl? down over a rebuilt stone
bridge and back to start.
Altogether about 9 miles in ranger dialect, but actually nearer 11.
A bit of a tough walk with the ups and downs, and i note that Steve has
been grumbling about his ankle ever since.
Yes, we did do a ride starting at 11am. The weather was mostly kind to us.
were three families - us, the Lilleys (minus Catherine who was on a
Brownie centenary day) and the Butlins. The two 5-year olds were towed
by their dads, acting as an occasional 'booster engine'. We set out from
Parsley Hay and cycled about 7 miles south on the High Peak trail, back
in time for tea and before the second downpour of the afternoon.
Eighteen of us met a keen leader in Helen on Sunday am. We set off
from Barber Booth CP in Edale and headed for Crowden Brook on Kinder
Scout. Through a very pleasant field of lambs and small stripey ponies
(banded galloways). Onwards and upwards we strode, crossing river and
stream, many, many,times, ascending onto the plateau of Kinder itself.
On reaching the edge no stopping for views, on into the heart of
Kinder, 4m deep groughs and peat hags, to pop out near the top. On
Kinder that means serious mud, lts of it, glutinous, slippery, peaty,
spongy, mud. (Did you know eskimos have over a dozen words for snow- new
competition to find adjectives to describe Kinder mud)
Arriving at the Downfall, and around the edge path to Red Brook, no
worries, but then the weather changed, suddenly our party was joined by
others, all wondering where they were, the top of Kinder Low became a
mass of voices, zero visibility, and Helen counting 18, but where was
Father and Ranger Steve (lost in the widerness - we were at the trig
point!!!) and how come we still had 18.
It all went rather downhill from here, via Edale rocks to Jacob's
Ladder, and back to Barber Booth. Leader points redeemed with mega brill
Bradwells (adverts on a blog) most excellent ices, and toilets. We
arrived back at cars just as it started to rain.
A grand walk with all the excitement offered by Kinder Scout,
sweeties for the well behaved, and a week on the naughty step for those
who wandered into the mist
PS we arrived back with a satisfactory count, still 18
On a very warm and sunny day 13 members tackled the
cuckoo walk. Plenty of the walkers had already looked up the walk on the
net and knew more about the history then the leader. How it was named
the cuckoo walk. So we left the baking hot streets of Marsdon and soon
we were walking very steep hills. Layers soon came off. Soon we were on
open moorland, which was dry to the recent good weather. In the
distance we could see a small moor fire starting and as the day went on,
it soon turned in to a major moor fire.
The leader kept a good pace up with a couple of stops. One of these
stops was a ice cream stop which seem to go down well.But it soon was
worked off again. We soon back down to the town by 5.00pm. Walk was
about 16+miles. After the walk a few went to the local pub for a
swift drink and to use the loos.
Whilst many in the group were in South wales, nine of us gathered
in Alstonfield for a sunday ramble. The weather in Stockport was wet as
we gathered, but the leader had a word on the hot line and we had a
Starting in Alstonfield the plan was to follow a bit of Chris and
Wendy walk into the river valley then turn right, down the popular end
of Dove Dale, passing Dove Holes, Reynards Cave, 12 apostles, Jacobs
Ladder, 400+ ramblers and 50+ dogs (ranger joke) we arrived at the third
conveniences of the walk. Navigation in the hands of the co pilot we
went uphill to luncheon overlooking Ilam, then carried on across fields
to Alstonfield, 4th PC stop, cars, change out of slightly muddy boots
and in for a pint.
The group enjoyed a great Easter
weekend at Brecon. Based at the Canal Barn Bunkhouse, which offered
excellent facilities, we ate and drank well and celebrated Chris and
Wendy's 30th wedding anniversary in fine style.
Poor weather on Friday and Saturday
didn't deter us from venturing out and on the Sunday we were rewarded
with a bright, clear day. Most of the group conquered the principal
mountains in the region whilst a smaller group opted for a lower level
route. The rain-washed atmosphere ensured brilliant and colourful views
of this beautiful area.
Thanks to all who participated so enthusiastically, thus making it a thoroughly enjoyable event.
Swoggers and 3 Dogs stepped out on a beautiful sunny Sunday morning in
the peak district, our aim to conquer the wild and windy Rushup Edge!!
off from outside the Pennypot cafe in idyllic Edale village we
meandered our way upto Back Tor the limestone rock glistening in the
sunshine, from there onto the ridge and passed Hollins cross and onto
the threatening and very very windy MamTor (you had to keep hold of your
hat here) from Mam Tor on to Rushup Edge, oh by the way while
on walking towards Mam Tor we met a somewhat sheepish looking character
who claimed to have overslept? (Pete forgot to put the hour on) this
made our group 17 we stopped for lunch near Lords Seat then carried on
and down into Barber Booth.
the excitement got a little to much for one member who took a short cut
from here to have a lie down. Back to 16 the rest carried on to Upper
Booth where we dodged some cows and skirted along the Pennine Way back
into Edale and the Rambler Inn where a well earned drink was had.
After a little rest our swogger had recovered and joined the rest of us
in the Pub.
On Sunday 21st March, after a couple of changes to this walk (the
date and also the leader), 26 of us met at New Mills station and Chris H
led us on a walk over to Mellor church. Near the start, a few of us
were discussing my recent blog and Chris said that it was probably him
that kept losing walkers (see "Notes from the Archives" 15th March for
details). This did not bode well but undaunted we carried on, marvelling
at the wonderful weather following the previous day of cold, rain and
When we had climbed the first hill, we sat for a tea/coffee stop
and I sent the walks report to Joan (walks secretary) who was at home
waiting to update her statistics. Almost immediately three new people
left the walk and returned to their car - I am not sure why this was,
although I know that they had been hoping to go to Youlgreave which was
the original destination on the printed programme and they had not seen
the change on the website.
So I sent another text to update Joan - the numbers were down to
23. We carried on but Sue & Pete announced that they would not be
staying for the whole walk due to family committments but they would
stay until Mellor church. I am sorry to report that they did not even
make it that far - after a while Pete's map came out and they took a
short cut back to their car. We carried on and had lunch at Mellor
church where I sent a further report to Joan back at base.
Down at the Roman Lakes cafe, Campbell called for an ice-cream stop and that was very welcome.
Thankfully we suffered no further losses and 21 of us made it back
to tthe cars after a very nice sunny day, not too much mud and plenty of
In March, winter sports enthusiasts from the group headed out to
Chamonix ,situated in the Mont Blanc Massif ,to enjoy the excellent
winter snow conditions.
On Friday we skied in the Les Houches area, and apart from one
mishap when we ended up in the middle of the British Ski Academy
training slalom, we enjoyed a perfect day on excellent pistes ,blue
skies and fantastic view of Mont Blanc and the Chamonix Aiguilles.
Saturday took us to Le Tour on the French - Swiss border when poor visibility saw us on scenic runs through Le Floret.
Sunday took us the more challenging Brevent slopes. Linda and Di
proved the stars of the party when along with Tim they tested their
techniques fully with a descent the Charles Bozon Black run from the
summit of the Brevent. Sue, Campbell and Alison enjoyed winter walking
and Sunday saw Campbell join a party of 6 women on a snow shoe
expedition. Campbell's style was cramped by the fact they spoke French
and Russian !!!!
The Hotel didn't quite live up to expectations - the bar had
disappeared from the description on the internet. Nevertheless we
thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and all the women in the group helped
sustain tourism in the area by assisting our gorgeous Swiss banker
with his questionnaire ( plus the hotel switched the heating off as we
were drinking in the lounge !!)
Sixteen of us gathered at the car park above Youlgeave (Youlgrave)
for a circular led by Nigel. Starting in a very windy, cold but sunny
morning we went the wrong way up the limestone way to the head of
Lathkill Dale, downhill with the river, normally underground, today it
was in full flow. Visiting old mineshafts we arrived in Over Haddon for n
excellent choice of good ales. Back to the walk and down below
Youlgreave following the river past the swimming pool and back up to the
cars. about 10 miles, The weather getting warmer as the wind dropped,
and with a final walk uphill to the end some overheating was inevitable.
After the snow of the past three months, Sunday was a bit
frosty but seriously blue skies, green fields and visibility in excess
of 25 miles. Eleven of us met with Scott for a walk from Broadbottom,
along bits of Cown Edge Way via Bothams Hall and up to Werneth Low for a
stunning view of Ikea, well actually the whole of Greater Manchester,
Bleaklow, kinder, huge view! Back down towards Glossop and lunch at a
pond with views, up again to Mottram Church, yet more views, and around
via Mudd (look it up on your map) to the start. Very nice pint at the
finish. Along the way a very clean pair of boots and snow gaiters were
road tested, and on the mud scale of Stockport this walk was found
lacking, only two short stretches of the brown stuff. Good collection of
dogs, horses, and cats though, and a garden gnome. Many thanks to Scott
Adults and children started the walk from Nelsons Pit, Higher Poynton
on Sunday 29/02/10. Weather was cold but dry. A short jaunt up to Lyme
Park took us to the play park and the first stop of the day. Setting
off up the Grit-stone Trail we decided to stop for lunch at the end of
the woods as the wind was starting to get up and did not want to stop
for lunch on the top. After lunch we headed up to Bow Stones and much
fun was had in the last of the snow. Good views of the snow covered
Peaks and Kinder Scout could be seen. Looking West the tops of
Liverpool Cathedrals could just be made out on the horizon. Heading
along the ridge we dropped back down from Sponds Hill. On the way down
some were feeling a tired and cold from the adventures in the snow.
After stopping to have one tired child picked up at West Park Gate, the
rest of the group carried on to Green Farm and down to the canal where
it was a flat walk back to the Car Park. All told about 9km and total
ascent of 250m. Although I think some of the children covered 1-2km
more running back and forth.
On a bright sunny Sunday morning twelve members of SWOG
plus two eager dogs set out at 10am from Compstall heading northwards
for Werneth Low. Skirting the golf course we headed for the War Memorial
monument before taking the balcony path below Piper's Clough to reach
Windy Harbour. Refreshments were taken here in the midst of splendid
views of Cown Edge and Kinder Scout. Our route then took us down Idle
Hill to Lowend from whence lanes and a short road section saw us
entering Great Wood, finally to emerge at the cottages at Hodgefold.
After reaching Broadbottom (I wonder who it was named after?) we lunched
at the circle of seats found by Sue & Geoff at Lymefield.
return journey led us by Botham's Hall and Back Wood to emerge at
Lumn. After a short but stiff climb we headed for and through Beacon
Houses, taking in the panoramic views across the Etherow Valley as we
stolled along. Soon the Mortin Clough path was taken down into the
Etherow Country Park where a circuit of the hidden lake was taken
(especially with Shelley and her dogs in mind, who had travelled over
from Meltham to join us on the hike). We finally reached the busy
Visitors Centre car park at 3.30pm. Everyone expressed their thanks for
an enjoyable day out. As leader on the day I would like to thank all
those who attended, and can honestly say I have never encountered so
many dogs on a hike - we must have met a hundred, sometimes four or five
dragging along one owner!
family walk went ok, 3 families and Shirls parents out. Very slow
progress was made because the boys were playing with the ice, breaking
off icicles and shattering great panes of ice from the puddles. The
frosty trees were amazing weren't they? It almost looked like spring
blossom with the ground losing its white frost cover first. The photos show in order, Niamh (walk photographer), ascent from Shaw farm to Mellor Cross, frosty trees and icicles*
the warm temperate climate of Torkington Park we travelled down to the
frozen snow covered tundra of Langley where not even the Ice Road
Truckers would dare travel. However, we are more hardy (or foolish) and
whilst we waited for a new recruit Shelley (travelling all the way from
near Holmfirth!) and Scooby and Jessie (her dogs) a playful snowball
fight ensued instigated no doubt by a certain member of Scottish origin
whose name starts with C and ends in ampbell (allegedly). Once all
assembled 15 humans, 2 Canines and 1 Campbell set off for the top of
Sutton Common where we all but bumped into the TV tower due to the mist.
However, as we dropped down into the valley we caught glimpses of the
sun as it tried to burn through the mist. And after lunch, having
descended off Wincle Minn, the mist finally left us giving great views
of the Roaches and Shutlingsloe. The final leg home mainly followed the
Gritstone Trail back to Langley with only one or two (or maybe three) up
Haworth YH is a fine Victorian Gothic
mansion, originally built by a wealthy industrialist for his family. It
is situated high above Haworth with some wonderful views across the
valley from the dining room. The stained glass windows at the top of the
carved wooden staircase are very special. The dorms were big and the
bunk beds were the sturdiest we have ever encountered – no creaking when
anyone turned over and the ladders weren’t too uncomfortable on the
feet. Thirteen members booked on the weekend
and apparently we had better weather than those who had stayed at home
i.e. fine, cold & no rain. We managed to keep below the fog. The
snow had almost disappeared which made walking less treacherous. On Friday & Saturday evenings we
found ourselves in ‘The Fleece’, A Timothy Taylors establishment that
served the full range of brews. tried them all. The food was good too. Colin & Helen drove up for the day to
join Saturday’s ‘undulating’ walk. We started walking from the hostel,
through the village to the church, over to Penistone hill, continuing
onto the Bronte Falls & Bronte Bridge, then up on the moors to Top
Withens. We returned via the Pennine way, retraced our steps over
Penistone Hill and straight into a café. Approx 8 miles. The ‘undulating’ Sunday walk started from
Trawden which is just outside Colne. The route was a circular one which
took us onto the moors below Boulsworth Hill (too misty to climb : )
and down into the Wycoller valley with its bridges, an ancient aisled
barn, the ruins of Wycoller Hall (another Bronte connection), then a
muddy return to Trawden. – Straight into another café!!!!! Again approx 8
miles 4 members spent the day travelling on the Keighley and Worth valley Railway. All in all a very relaxing weekend. I’m looking forward to Wastwater in May
Nineteen members of the recently renamed Stockport Walking,
Talking and Outdoor Group enjoyed a walk to Bowstone Gate, Sponds Hill
and Dale Top. The day was full of laughter! Lots of famous characters
were met en route including Donald Duck .
Campbell had to work extra hard helping the ladies in the snow.
There were excellent views of Shining Tor, Shutlingsloe , Alderley Edge and Helen M's workplace !!!!!
The walk was followed by a welcome apres- walk drink in The Boar's
Head. New year's Resolutions were quickly broken as lots of cider,
chips and crisps were consumed.
Whilst many of the group were away on a weekend, eight of us got
together for an extra walk. Setting off from the old Crowden YHA car
park, we climbed up through the disused ranges to Laddow Rocks, Crowden
Castles and Sliddens Moss, climbing over the watershed and down Crowden
Little Brook. A bit of a different walk with much snow walking, a bit of
scrambling, two river crossings. Unfortunately we missed the aircraft
wrecks in the clag, but we were lucky enough to see 3 mountain hare. The
weather went from a bit wet, to misty, to absolute no visability (about
5metres) out of mist and into rain. Steve
At short notice, eleven of us set off from Romiley with the
intention of following the Goyt Valley Way back to its start at Vernon
We'd thought that, after this week's relatively milder temperatures
, the snow might have thawed a little and made the going easier. Well
yes, it had thawed a bit, but then had frozen again overnight, and it
soon became clear that sledges or skis might have been more appropriate
than hiking boots. Certainly crampons wouldn't have been overdoing
things, as descending through Kirk Wood towards Chadkirk was just like
trying to negotiate a particularly bumpy ski jump ramp. Lots of yelps
and squeals rang through the air as we made our barely controlled way
down, clinging to every available bush and tree.
Eventually we reached level ground safely, but our slow going was
already making us wonder if we'd have time to complete our planned
The track from Otterspool alongside the Goyt was more level, but
was still an almost unbroken length of solid sheet ice, and progress was
treacherous and slow.
After crossing the footbridge towards Offerton, Sue and Jack
were dubiously eyeing the steep rimy climb which was our next stretch.
My dodgy knee, painful after a twist the day before, was all the excuse
needed to declare this a slope too far, about turn and head back to the
Hare and Hounds on Dooley Lane. There we were consoled by the genuinely
friendly welcome and the excellent food and drink!
Our re-planned route was to follow the river through Marple Dale
and then up the road to the Peak Forest canal. But yet again we were
frustrated by the icy ground which made descending to the river
impossible. So we diverted via the ruin of Marple Hall and through the
village to the canal, and from there back to Romiley along the
marginally less icy towpath.
Not such a long walk today, but quite a trudge through virgin snow
which was not made easier by the leader's failure to read the map
accurately which meant that we wasted time walking around a reservoir
rather than taking the path just outside the boundary wall. It was a
somewhat unfamiliar route that took us via the Moorfield Hotel and down
to Furness Vale where we enjoyed a leisurely pint, before the final two
miles along the Peak Forest Canal back to Disley. There were 12 of us
including Joseph from the Czech Republic, his last walk with us before
continuing his travels in New Zealand. Good luck there, Joseph!