Monday, 24 September 2012

Wilderhope Manor Hostel Weekend 21st-22nd September

On the 21st September 28 SWOG members decended on Wilderhope Manor hostel which is a national trust grade 1 listed Elizabethan manor located on the slopes of Wenlock edge in Shropshire. Saturday began with a fog which quickly lifted to leave a sunny day. Four people cycled to Ludlow and surrounding area whilst the rest drove four miles to Church Stretton. After a few hiccups with parking we set off up the Long Mynd taking a path up past the golf club and across the golf course up to the top of the hill. We continued up to the Trig point alongside which was a view point showing all the major sites including the Welsh hills. The views were magnificent and after a lunch stop we walked along the ridge top and gradually dropped down to Little Stretton where we sat outside in a pub beer garden sampling the local beers and then gradually made our way back to Church Stretton. After the evening meal at the Manor we adjourned to the magnificent lounge for alcoholic beverages(the pub is two miles away). Entertainment included modelling knickers worn in the usual place and as headgear. Sunday morning was dry but overcast,three went cycling,four sightseeing and the rest walked from the Manor for a local walk of around six miles around the surrounding countryside arriving back just as the rain started. How not to cross a bridge!!

How not to cross a bridge

Instead of jumping two feet to cross a river. You could use the broken bridge.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Canal walk Sunday 16 September Wigan to Barton

Canal walk Sunday 16 September Wigan to Barton

We had our usual gang of four for our canal walk. We proceeded from Stockport
to Wigan by train. At Manchester the train was joined by a group of  lads on their
way home after all night partying; they looked like the weather : grey and pasty;
one lad had a cut above his eye and blood splattered over his shirt.

It was a gloomy Sunday morning, we hardly saw Wigan at its best ! We found our way to the main Liverpool to Leeds canal and then the junction leading off for
the branch to Leigh and Manchester. The towpath was in excellent condition
which made progress easy.

Sue had declared that the forecast was for rain at 11.00am which would then set in
for the rest of the day. Sure enough the drizzle started on cue at 11.00; but fortunately
quickly petered out to leave a mostly dry day.

We stopped at the pub in Leigh at about half distance for lunch time refreshments and
then proceeded in afternoon by way of Worsley to Patricroft and Barton. After Worsley the drizzle became more persistent. We abandoned any plans of walking on
to Manchester and instead sought out the bus back to Manchester.

We were treated to a bus tour around the environs of Pendleton and Salford, involving criss crossing the Irwell about four times. By this time it was teeming down, so we
were grateful to have finished walking. The bus eventually took us to Shudehill where we were able to catch the tram to Manchester and then on by train back to

We had enjoyed a good walk and thankfully had managed to avoid the worst of the weather, For our next walk we will venture on to the Leeds to Liverpool canal main line; details to follow.

John H

Chrome Hill 16th September

Fortunately the met office was slightly adrift on the forecast rain for Sunday 16th September when 12 of us set off to do a circular in the Longnor and Chrome Hill area.

There was a bit of an autumn chill in the breeze as we set off due west from Longnor market place along Gauledge Lane. As ever, the Denise variety of walk took in a variety of muddy spots, including the boggy meadows below Fawside, where Hawkeye Steve H spotted a heron taking off from the bridge over the budding River Manifold and later a buzzard was spotted swooping over the next valley.

On the Barrow Moor road, the leader was slightly led astray and we walked further up the hill past the intended turning. Only a matter of two or three hundred yards detour, which would have meant missing the carefully chosen snap spot with great views over the Manifold valley towards Longnor.

We received an atomiser spray of drizzle through the partially sunny skies, which stopped almost as soon as we set forth once more and for the rest of the walk the rain held off.

The path followed a steep descent to cross a handy little bridge over the Manifold, followed by a steep climb over cow-infested meadows to Ball Bank Farm. The ascent was more gentle at the back of the farm, through dying bracken and birch trees to the summit with wonderful views all around.

After several meadows on the flat, with fine views of rocky Chrome Hill the descent to Hollinsclough village for lunch was along an amazingly rock strewn lane and even Chris H said he had never set foot on it despite his years of plodding the Peak District.

Lunch in picturesque Hollinsclough had the luxury of bench seating and even a table outside the local church hall.

After the break we walked down to the foot of Chrome hill, taking a track which crossed a footbridge over the Swallow Brook bubbling on the way to join the Dove and past Packhorse Hill.

A gentle ascent across meadows took us towards Glutton Dale and a slightly steep ascent rose over the brow to take us to Earl Sterndale and the Quiet Woman. (How did Denise escape having her head cut off there!)

In the field at the back of the pub there were several little donkeys, including one who looked just like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh stories and on top of the hill there were magnificent views over the Dove valley where a stony path with harebells, purple scabious, coltsfoot and other flowers grew on either side.

Yet one more boggy bit to cross before the final slow ascent to the top of the hill behind Longnor village and just as some of us were entering the tea room, the rain started.

Steve H reckoned it was a “good” 8.5 miles considering all the ups and downs of the walk.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Crowden Walk 9th September

A very warm sunny Sunday morning brought out 15 swoggers for our Crowden walk.
On a very clear day we had some great views of Torside resovoir and for once fantastic views over Featherbead Moss
and Rakes Moss. Finishing off cutting across to Laddow Rocks down the Pennine way and having an ice cream in the new shop at the camp site.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Macclesfield Forest - 2 September 2012

When Colin asked for walk leaders, he did not stipulate that they needed to read a map...!?
 So knowing the route fairly well (ish) 23 of us set off in a misty start which unfortunately lasted all morning.
 As we approached Shutlingsloe, Jack opted to avoid the summit and led a few around the base. A bit disappointing to not get a view when we reached the top, but hey at least it was not raining.
 Jack insisted on promoting his ceilidh tickets during lunch and even managed to sell a few (thanks Dave). Dont give up the day job Jack!
 Afternoon coffee was with a difference for Howard who was seductively fed grapes by Jackie ( see photo - thanks Colin)
 Howard was also rendered speachless ( I know this doesnt happen very often) by Jackie during a very probing conversation that cant be printed. Its true.
 We had an early finish just after 3pm which meant there was plenty of time for a drink in the Leather Smithy.
Overall a pleasant 8.5 mile walk , with the weather being kind to us.
Thanks for the back up map Steve H.