Sunday, 29 July 2012
Using the magic of the Memory Map application on my PC, I plotted out a route from Dovestones car park, via public footpaths to the North-west point of a ridge leading to Alphin pike, and a sky-line walk along the rocky outcrops that half-encircle Dovestones RSPB reserve to the South & East. The software gave me a distance of 16.5Km (10.25 miles) and ascent of 669m, so I rounded it up to advertise a walk of 11 miles and 700m ascent.
With the weather almost unbelievably promising sunshine and no rain, we set off by 9:50, reaching the top of Alphin for 11:00 & the traditional. Overcast, but with sem great clear views to the horizon. After a trot over some bare patches of peat, the impressive outcrop of rock below Wimberry Moss, then traversing narrow rocky paths and some squidgy bits: lunch was declared at 12:30 by Chew Reservoir. As I was no longer looking at my feet for trip hazards, only then I noticed that clear blue skies had crept up on us. Sunbathing was such a novel experience that it took the departure of Mark for a "longer walk" (to Laddow, Black Hill & an Westward arc culminating in Alderman's Hill) to prompt us to move on.
After a stretch across some more squidgy bits, we followed the route along the top of Dovestones itself. More great outcrops of rock, and some rough ground underfoot to Dean Rocks, Ashway Stone and the memorial to a former Oldham MP, James Platt, who had been killed at that spot by the "accidental discharge of a gun" in 1857. The accidental nature of which was questioned by a passer-by who informed us that he was an unpopular landowner in the area. As we turned Eastward towards Raven Stones we felt the real strength of the wind that had been building during the day: a few gusts brought us almost to a standstill. As we descended into the shelter of a small valley, we felt the heat of the afternoon, and talk turned to the mythical existence of pubs and ice-cream vans. If the earlier route had been rough & rocky underfoot, then a rapid descent amongst a jumble of rocks by waterfalls, was enough to separate the sheep from the goats . The excitement over, all that was left was a brisk walk back along the reservoirs' edge, to the car park for a 17:00 finish.
And the actual distance walked? For those who had heard the call of the ice cream van in the heat of the afternoon and swore it must have been more than 11 miles: they were right. The magic of the GPSr that recorded the actual "track" we made, not only showed how far we had strayed from the original route, but also the actual distance: 18.7Km (11.62 miles) and ascent of 741m. Ultimately at the mercy of the fractal nature of geography, I will try to be more precise next time.
More Photos HERE
More Photos HERE
Seventeen people set off from Grindon church on what appeared to be a pleasant day. However things soon changed for us all and we had to put on wet weather gear. This was how it went all morning and into the afternoon until it was decided to call it off. We had completed just over half the walk and reluctantly made our way back to Grindon. A lovely little trek and will certainly be attempted again. (in good weather)
Friday, 27 July 2012
Five people was out on Phil's pub night at the Corbieres Pub. Phil was not one of the five, so we did not no where the leader was. First time most people had heard of this pub. Quick google looked like it was a good pub with the best Juke box in town. You could easy miss as its in a back street just off cross street. That street that small you may have trouble doing a 3 point turn with a smart car. But once down the steps into the cellar we came across a two hand pumps of beer. The Pale ale was good. The main problem with the place was noise and it was not full but the sound just bounce around the curved roof. So we only stay for about 3/4 hour and we thought we would go to the Shambles. Then we so the large TV screen and went to watch the opening on the London 2012. So we finish the night there. It was a good party mood with all the different people around from their own country's cheering on. There was a big cheer when the China team came out and that put a stop to a takeaway. I think most takeaway staff was in exchange sq.
Wednesday, 18 July 2012
Twenty made the short car ride up the motorway to Daisy Nook and with luck the rain clouds kept away.
The sun was out but not enough to dry the muddy patches, I never disappoint anyone on the walk! Some nice flat bits but a few up and downs to keep the heart pumping as we went along. Maybe the hills were to close together but we are a walking group. Part way round most members noticed that we been doing figure of eight walk and most lost their sense of direction.
We had two new members who came along and they signed up with Sue in the pub later on.
Total distance of the walk was 7.10km in 1hour 48 mins and the leader did a 5km run before the start
Sunday, 8 July 2012
Three riders set off from the Deanwater, Woodford on Sunday for a gentle tour of the Cheshire lanes unlike the Tour de France which was also taking place on the same day. Keith (who had been a member of the group many years ago) is a regular cyclist and knew some quiet lanes and some off road tracks that were not on my original route which we did which were virtually traffic free.
We got to our lunch stop the Crown at Goostrey, a Marston's pub which has a new landlord and three decent beers on and a good menu (but we kept up the SWOG tradition of having our butties on a bench just before we got to the pub). We also met some other cyclists from the Cheshire Road Club who were also having a pint at the pub.
The route back to the Deanwater was a little hillier than going to the pub with a few little climbs up to Siddington and Gawsworth and a fantastic descent to Prestbury. It did not rain at all during the day which made the ride all the more enjoyable as I think there is nothing worse than cycling in the rain. Just to cap of a good day when I got home Bradley Wiggins was still in the yellow jersey in the Tour de France.