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