Saturday, 22 January 2011

Cheshire Ring canal walk, stage 4, Sunday 23 January

Cheshire Ring canal walk, stage 4, Sunday 23 January

Hyde to Sale

On arriving at Hyde, I was delighted to see that our usual crew of Tracy, Sue, Linda, Margaret and myself had been joined by Stevie B and Howard. It was a still, cool day; ideal for canal walking.

We set off along the Peak Forest and Ashton canals. Our first refreshment stop was at Tracy’s gaffe in Fairfield, where we were treated to homemade scones : very yummy with lashings of butter, jam and cream; lots of calories, I know; but then there were plenty of miles to come to walk off the effects. We walked through the Moravian community area to get back to the canal. This enclave is like coming across a different age amidst the urban sprawl of the east Manchester suburbs.

We stopped for lunch in view of the hallowed grounds of the City of Manchester stadium (although, I was not feeling so chipper after the previous day’s City debacle at Aston Villa). We proceeded via a subterranean interlude under Piccadilly, by way of Canal St, Castlefield and on towards Trafford Park.

It was about this time that I began to have concerns as to how we could get Linda and her bike back home. Why did Linda have her bike with her?? That’s another story……. Sure enough our attempts at Stretford to smuggle Linda’s bike on to the tram without the driver noticing failed lamentably. We had to detrain back on to the platform whilst the tram (and Howard) disappeared towards Manchester……..

After hasty deliberations, it was agreed that myself and Linda would carry on along the canal to Navigation Rd, where we would be able to catch a ‘proper’ train, whilst the others returned on the next tram.

Left on the canal, we decided it was high time for a pub stop, and called in at The Bridge Inn at Sale; most welcome. As usual we stayed longer than planned and we then had the obligatory dash to the station just in time to catch our train back.

It was a splendid, enjoyable day of contrasting scenery and thanks to all who came along.

John H

Hartington weekend 21st / 22nd January 2011

Hartington Hostel Weekend

Hartington weekend 21st / 22nd January 2011

Again the January weekend has proved to be a popular one with members ready to get out and about again after Christmas and the New Year, despite Hartington being the most expensive hostel we have ever stayed in. Hartington Hall is a very interesting, historic building linking back to Bonnie Prince Charlie. A very warm, comfortable hostel with a good a members kitchen.

20 members arrived on Friday night. On Saturday we were joined by 5 more including one of our youngest. We also welcomed Peter and Linden from South Middlesex YHA local group.

Chris celebrated a significant birthday - cakes courtesy of Helen.   

Saturday 2 walks
1). 13 miles following the Derbyshire dales
Biggin dale to Dovedale and Milldale ( late coffee early lunch stop)
Hall dale, to Alstonfield (further refreshments and a “warm” welcome.  Return via Wolfescote and Beresford Dales. Back in the daylight at 5pm.
12.8 miles

2). A shorter walk following a similar route, still taking in the stunning scenery of the Dales.

Route - Hartington – Sheen- Manifold Valley Trail – Longnor (lunch)
Return by Crowdecote – Pilsbury Castle, to Hartington.
9 miles

By January standards the weather was very kind. (by that I mean no rain or snow), with some good views.

Click here for photos of Saturday's Shorter Walk
Click here for other Hartington photos

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Lyme Park 16th January

Lyme Park

Well the forecast was not good, but nevertheless some of the group turned out to join Jack and Vince on their walks.
6 people were on the shorter walk inside Lyme Park, taking in a very crowded tea shop - just why do people go to the park on such a wet day?
A further 7 of us set off with Jack to walk around the outside of Lyme Park. It was not too bad at first, dull but not raining. As we climbed up towards Bowstones it was getting windier so we climbed a couple of ladder stiles to find a fairly sheltered spot to have our morning tea break, during which Jack made a terrifying discovery - he had picked up Lesley's lunch and she was not going to be pleased to find the pepper on her tomato! Not only that - Lesley had his cheese.
Still no rain - could the forecast be wrong?
As we prepared to set off to resume the walk up to Bowstones we noted that Pete H seems to have picked up a couple of bad habits from his wife!
Not only was he without a rucksack, he also left us at that point to return home - the photo shows him making his escape. This was most unlike him - usually his smile becomes broader as the weather gets wetter. Or could it be that it was not muddy enough for him? No, his excuse was that a chicken casserole awaited him at home.
The new member left at the same time as she needed to be back earlier than we planned to finish (but she paid her subs but first so I don't think it was anything we said!)
So the 5 of us continued - the weather became wet and windy and overtrousers were donned. But it was bracing!
After a while the rain stopped and Jack suggested a lunch stop but Howard said he knew of a better place a bit further on so we continued. As we were eating it started to rain again - even heavier this time. Lesley sent a text to report that she had discovered the butty mix-up. While trying to text a grovelling apology, Jack drowned his mobile phone and has since had to buy a new one (I am a bit suspicious of this however as I remember a few years ago Geoff "dropped" our lawn mower into the pond and I had to let him buy a new one)
Jack then asked whether we minded cutting the walk short - he was not deafened by cries of  "no we're not wet enough yet", so at West Gate we turned to return directly to the cars (note that we waited until we were at the furthest point from the cars before doing so). At this point Howard departed to walk home so we were down to 4.
We trudged through the rain and just as we entered the park a car drew up and Joan and Vince offered to drive us back to the cars. Joan insisted that she would not take no for an answer so Geoff and I gratefully climbed in just as the other car arrived to take Jack and Jill. Yippee!!
There are only two photos - click here to see them 
 (Geoff's camera needed to be dried out overnight, but thankfully he does not need to buy a new one)
Thanks Jack - I actually enjoyed that walk, but it was great to get home. I just need to go upstairs and repack the rucksacks now that they have dried out. 

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Family walk (th Jan

09 Family walk

We had 23 on the Family Walk up to Windgather rocks from Goyt Valley.  Weather was clear with sunshine for lunch.  Picked up three Geocaches en-route which kept the kids going.  Windgather rocks lived up their name with strong gusts over the edge.

Forgot my camera, but others may have some.

Kinder WAlk 6th jan

KInder WAlk


Saturday, 1 January 2011

Coniston New yearw eekend

New Year at Coniston Hostel
Click here for Coniston Old Man walk 31-12-10
Click here for Tarn Hows walk 01-01-11
Click here Torver Commons & Walna Scar walk 02-01-11
Click here for New Year Celebrations photos