Sunday, 29 December 2013

Sunday 29th December 2013/14

Seven members of the group braved the winter weather and walked from Grassmere to Allcock Tarn.
When we reached the top the views were excellent, it was a clear dry day. (but not dry in the pub).
We walked back down to Grassmere and hand a few drinks in the pub, to warm up.

Monday 30th December 2013
The same magnificent seven rode the bus to Ambleside, the weather was horrible, wet and windy.
Took shelter in the the local shops and cafes. Topped up our supply of Kendal Mint Cake and took
the bus back home to Grassmere.
In the evening we had a lovely meal at Tweedies and celebrated three birthdays, with lots of clinking glasses!!

Tuesday 31st December 2013
Ten of us went for a  short stroll around Rydal Water, surprisingly nobody went for a swim!!!
We had rain in the morning but it dried up in the afternoon. We visited a tea shop at the mill,
for lunch and still managed to eat more cake!!!
Everybody got dressed up in their finery for the New Years Celebrations, some people even wore skirts,and thats just the men!!!
  Fire works were set off at midnight and a fine display they were.
Lots of "happy new year" kissing and well wishing continued into the early hours - letting the new year in.

New Years Day
No hangovers were visible, everybody up bright and early (ish).
We all set off home because the weather was not very nice.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Boxing Day Walk

15 people turned up for the Boxing day walk at High Lane by various modes of transport including walking, cycling, taxi and by car. The 6 mile walk took us along canal paths, muddy fields and tracks to the White Lion at Disley where a leisurely lunch was enjoyed. Here more friends joined us for the afternoon walk.

There were great views all day and we arrived back at High Lane at about 3.30pm, just before it went dark. There were plenty of people out and about walking off the previous day's turkey and trimmings.
Grasmere here we come.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Christmas Eve

  Over 20 people turned up at the Arden Arms Christmas eve pub night.

Plenty of new faces as well enjoyed the full range of Robinsons beer.

Plus the mince pies near the end. Sue Hudson thought she could do a solo for us.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Mulled Wine Walk

The mulled wine walk was again a successful and enjoyable occasion. 15 of us
turned out, several sporting festive hats etc. as you'll see amongst the
accompanying photos.
We took a direct route to South Head which meant that most of the climbing
was accomplished within the first hour. After coffee we decided to take
advantage of the weather and continue via Brown Knoll to the top of Jacob's

The wind had freshened, but in the shelter of a wall we had lunch
and the very welcome mulled wine and mince pies.
It was then all downhill with good views into the Sett Valley and a return
to Hayfield by 2:30. The George Hotel provided the customary warm
hospitality for a festive drink.
A good end to our autumn programme and a healthy preparation for the
inevitable over-indulgencies of Christmas.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Jacks Walk 15th December

It was a very windy, but dry day for Jack's Lyme Park circular walk. About
12 of us (including new member Geoff from Disley - welcome Geoff!) battled
the wind and braved the muddy tracks on this invigorating,
blow-the-cobways-away walk. Unexpectedly the sun glimmered through in the
later stages and illuminated the landscape as we approached Sponds Hill and

Bow Stones above the park. High dry-stone walls provided lunchtime
protection from the wind and the predicted rain obligingly waited until we
had finished. Then into the White Horse, Disley for a welcome drink.
Thank you Jack for leading this walk -'twas a good day!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Joan’s Walk Sunday 8 December 2011

8 Swoggers set off on the walk from Bakestonedale Road just north east of Pott Shrigley after I had commandeered Howard’s car to make the transport work. Unfortunately, my co-recce buddy Denise was unable to come along due to a night out in sunny Southport.  Bob Whittall was impressed by my plan, especially as I was able to guide everyone across a muddy field without getting bogged down. It was a bit of a dull day so no spectacular views, but quite good ones. In the end no photos were taken. After the descent from Charles Head, a little interlude at The Swan in Kettleshulme punctuated the walk. Denise and I had made a bit of a mistake on the recce, thanks to the incorrect instructions in the walking guide. We did it right this time, with quite a steep ascent up Sweet Hill to the tops of Sponds Hill, where the path descended after a fairly level stretch to the start point.  The finish was quite early, 2.30pm, which was not so surprising, as Denise had been making heavy weather of the recce because she had only just got over pneumonia. It was lovely to see Jackie and Mark after a long absence. They had been having a weekend in Buxton, so thought it was a good walk to join. Approx 7.5 miles

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Castleton Walk 24th November

Sunday 24th November found 28 SWOG members and Po the dog meeting up below Mam Tor on a cool and cloudy morning. We ascended the paved pathway up to Mam Tor, regrouping at the trig point for a group photo. In light intermittent drizzle we then followed the ridge via Hollins Cross later taking a coffee break just below Back Tor.

Refreshed, we climbed back onto the main ridge to Lose Hill, then descended gradually close to Losehill Farm and along Edale Road into Hope. Here we dispersed: either sitting on a church wall to eat our sandwiches, taking tea and scones in a cafe or visiting the welcoming Old Hall Hotel where a good range of Theakston's ales were on tap.

After lunch, in drier conditions, we followed the path on the south side of the river emerging in Castleton. Next we headed up the rather wet and muddy Cave Dale, regrouping half way up for a final drink. Eventually emerging from our dale we followed field paths and lanes back to our cars.

JLH p.p. GR & PH

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Centenary Weekend 1st-3rd Nov.

Centenary Weekend 1st-3rd Nov.

Jack and Ken at Hartington Hostel

The re-enactment of Ken and my-self's first hostel weekend fifty years ago was initially somewhat marred by not being able to stay at Hartington Hostel for the first night, due to heating problems. We were however re-located to Ilam Hostel with a generous compensation package that everyone was happy with. We arrived at the hostel at various times and spent a very convivial evening meeting up with old friends, our tongues loosened somewhat by the wine kindly provided by Hartington Hostel.

Although we had a rather a misty start and then about an hours rain, it was a rare opportunity to be able to walk the full length of Dove Dale. The river level was quite high so it made crossing the stepping stones quite exciting, but eventually we all arrived safely at Ilam Hostel. After a hearty Italian Buffet we got down to our evenings entertainment of an old fashioned Big Singsong. We were accompanied by Sue on ukelele, Geoff on guitar and John Pudduck on accordion. The songs were interspersed with jokes, monologues and poems, and my thanks goes to all the contributors.

Sunday dawned bright and sunny, if a little cool, we soon warmed up however walking up hill past  Throwley Hall ruins. We negotiated several rather muddy fields before descending into the Manifold Valley for belated elevenses. The walk continued up the valley and over a rather slippery ford to Wetton Mill. Lunch and comfort breaks were taken here before splitting into two parties. One group went over the hills back to Hartington, whilst the other stuck to the valley until reaching Hulme End where we picked them up by car.

Altogether a most pleasant and entertaining weekend with some of the best food I have had in Youth Hostels. We will all be looking forward to doing a similar thing next year.

Your beloved leader


Monday, 21 October 2013

Denise’s Walk, Sunday 20 October 2013

Denise’s Walk, Sunday 20 October 2013

 Well, the rain Goddess was blessed by the vagaries of the British weather forecasting. All we had was a wee shower when we were able to shelter under a canal bridge on the Macclesfield Canal.

14 of us set off from the Adlington Road car park at Bollington in sunshine. The first part of the walk took us along the Middlewood Way, including a mini “Stonehenge” offering set up in the grass verge. At Grimshaw Lane we joined the Macc Canal and headed southwards. At the bridge adjoining the Hurdsfield Road we enjoyed our coffee break.

We headed by various paths up over Cliff Hill and, as ever was, a wee googly by Denise took us on the wrong route as she failed to recognise right from left. However, it allowed us to have our lunch stop with lovely views over the Cheshire Plain. Re-tracing our steps, we headed on to the Gritstone Trail for a short while before heading up to Kerridge Ridge with magnificent views after some steep ups and downs.

Despite Chris Shea’s pleas for a visit to White Nancy, Denise stuck to her plan and we headed down a steep path beside Endon Quarry to the lane past Endon House and Endon Hall.

Across a meadow, we turned down a small path which took us to the Macc Canal once more where many po-faced fisheremen were involved in a fierce Sunday fishing competition.  We dived off to the left to re-join the Middlewood Way once more and hence to the Car Park.

Quite a few of us enjoyed a swift half at the Vale Inn just up the road from the Car Park and once home, within about 25 minutes, the heavens opened with torrential rain. Wow, were we the lucky ones!

The walk was finally 9.72 miles according to Jack's GPS, the extra .72 miles accounted for by the slight navigational error, but then it wouldn't be a Denise walk without one of those!!  

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Baslow Walk

 Baslow Walk 6th October

What a beautiful day! We were so lucky with the weather and had fantastic views all day - a perfect for walking. The earlier start meant we could make the most of the day.

The party of 14 started from the carpark in Baslow, we walked on the outskirts of the Chatsworth Estate up to the Robin Hood Pub. A footpath close by leads onto Birchen Edge to the Nelson Monument (coffee stop with views!) and the  3 rock formations with the names 'Victory', 'Defiance' and the 'Royal Soveriegn' carved into them.  The route  continued onto White Edge - at the trig there were 360 degree views -  many people with binoculars on the edge were watching the deer down below. Lunch was a picnic near the  'Grouse Inn' the turning point of the walk. We returned following great paths along Froggatt Edge (plenty going on here  with many climbers) and Curbar edge to Curbar Gap for a welcome ice cream stop and because the views were so amazing we carried on along the Baslow Edge to Eagle Stone and Wellington's monument before following the lanes back into Baslow.

Mileage - 11.9 miles

Thank you to all who came on the walk - it was a very special day.


Sunday, 29 September 2013

Conway Weekend

Conway Weekend  September

Following our arrival at Conway Hostel on Friday evening, most of our 31 members sought sustenance at the local Indian restaurant and Albion Public House respectively; an enjoyable (if not the most healthy!) start to what promised to be a glorious weekend.
For once the fickle British weather stayed true to its word and Saturday was indeed sunny and warm, providing perfect walking weather and sublime views of the rugged landscape. Three walks were arranged; two over the Conway Mountains of eight and twelve miles duration, and a third more difficult Snowdonia route, also of twelve miles, further inland. The shorter walk ended on the coast while the two inland were circular, finishing back at the hostel at 5pm. Dinner was found either at the local chippy or the hostel, whilst some chose to self cater, and the day was rounded off with an enjoyable evening at the quayside’s Liverpool Arms.
Sunday again dawned bright and clear, great for a seven mile walk around the Great Orm; fantastic views but a head for heights was needed for some of the route! The twitchers amongst us followed this with a trip to the nearby Conwy Bird Reserve whilst others headed for home after a wonderful walking weekend

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Pendle Hill 8 Sept 2013

Pendle Hill 8 September 2013

Twelve people ascended Pendle Hill in great weather.

Sadly we saw no witches on broomsticks, but were rewarded with great
views, even as far as Ingleborough in the Yorkshire dales.

We finished with a visit to the cafe in Barley.

A great time was had by all....



Sunday, 18 August 2013

Wardle Walk Sunday walk, 18 August 2013

Sunday walk, 18 August 2013

Fifteen of us set off from the Trap Farm Car Park at the foot of Watergrove Reservoir, just north of Wardle. Within 15 minutes, we had a horrid downpour but fortunately were able to shelter in the wooded cover beside the reservoir.  We lost two of our group shortly afterwards – well not really. Pete & Sue H had decided to join us and circle the reservoir on a shorter walk, then attend to family matters in the Rochdale area. 

The rain eased off and we ascended one of the packhorse routes which once went down into the village of Watergrove, now drowned under the reservoir. We had our morning tea break in the shelter of 3 of the few trees on the wild slopes of the area.

Following the Rochdale Way, fortunately the weather seemed to be in our favour and we had no more rain for the rest of the day. In fact it got sunnier and sunnier.

We passed the Lobden Golf Club on the Pennine Way and headed south to a pleasant lunch stop beside White Hill.

Next we circled Rushy Hill and two reservoirs, one devoid of water and the other with just about a third capacity.  A slight hiccup followed (what a surprise) in the area of Lobden House. Fortunately a local chap was able to put us right, as the gated road allowed us to pursue our route through a field of cows and heifers and down through a extraordinary collection of old vehicles, dog kennels and garden nursery products at Flower Hill Farm.

Arriving in Wardle from the west, we stopped for a well deserved drink in the beer garden at the Globe Inn.  After this we had a steep ascent via Wardle Fold and up what appeared to be a sunken stream, followed by a passage over very rough reeds and grass before we walked through the memorial woods on the side of Watergrove Reservoir.  The last stretch of reservoir wall revealed many date stones from houses and mills which now are drowned in the waters of the reservoir.

We returned to the car park in lovely sunshine after a circuit of about 8 miles, a bit short of what had been programmed, but a very enjoyable day.

Stanage Edge 11 August 2013

Stanage Edge 11 August 201

After an auspicious start to the weather on Sunday morning, twenty
intrepid walkers assembled at Grindleford station to enjoy what turned
out to be promising weather

The route took us through woodland, then by a "babbling brook" onto
Burbage Edge. From there we ascended Higger Tor via Carl Walk, (site
of a bronze age fort.) It was at this point that Denise fell over and
landed "flat on her face". 
Thankfully mountain rescue was not required
and Denise quickly bubbled into life again, casually smiling and
infecting everyone around with her infectious laughter.

 Another mile or so took us onto Stanage Edge where we sheltered out of the wind for
our lunch stop. Another stretch along the edge followed before an easy
descent to Hathersage was made. Little John's grave  (of Robin Hood
fame) in Hathersage Church made an interesting diversion. 

The final leg was to take the train back to Grindleford station where
we enjoyed tea and cakes in the station café.


Monday, 29 July 2013

Sunday 28 July 2013 Walk

 The Fantastic Four, a small but select band comprising Denise, Colin, Helen & Sheila, set off on a stretch of the Pennine Way from The White House Pub at Blackstone Edge in sun and fluffy clouds. The route took in Cow Head, Light Hazzles Edge & Reservoir and Warland Reservoir where we had our morning break in the shelter of rocks overlooking the Warland Drain outfall.  After less than half a mile we left the Pennine Way to head East on the Yorkshire  Reservoir Circuit, with a fine view of the Holder Stones. All around were lovely views of moorland, woods and the far away cityscape of Manchester. Turning south after the Cloven Stone, we found a sheltered lunch spot near the inlet to White Holme Reservoir.  Unfortunately, this was where our luck did not hold out after thinking we had escaped the forecast squally weather. 

 A few spots of rain as we packed up our rucksacks turned within a few minutes into a downpour, at times difficult to see through. Ironically, as we headed back on the stretch of the Pennine Way where we had first started, the sun came out again though not for long enough to dry us out. The lovely views somewhat made up for our soaking on our 8.75 mile walk.

Denise even smaller person Carter

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Tour De Cheshire

Tour De Cheshire 28th July

Six team members took part in this weekends training "Tour de Cheshire". The ride was led by Sir Bradley Wiggins (Steve Weaver ) with several pick up points on route. The Froomes (Pete and Sue Hudson),Victoria Pendelton (Allison Weaver) and Laura Trott ( Paula) joined at the Deanwater. Sir Chris Hoy ( John Gregory ) in keeping with his recent retirement, had a late lie in and joined the team at Redesmere.

 We raced along the lanes and tried our rough stuff skills on the bridleway through Davenport Hall. David Brailsford and Sky team doctor ( Paul and Pam) joined the team for refreshments at The Bluebell and offer the team support and racing updates via Cycling weekly.

 After lunch the Froomes headed of to Congleton for a train back to Poynton. The rest of the team sprinted back to Stockport ,or Redesmere in Sir Chris Hoys case, surviving one torrential down pour on the way.

Well done team Wiggo.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Sefton Coastal Walk 14 July 2013

Sefton Coastal Walk-Sunday 14th July

On Sunday, 18 of us set off on what was a very unusual and thoroughly enjoyable walk up part of the Sefton Costal Way. Things got off to rather a bad start when four of the party were led astray by their sat-nav and landed up in the centre of Liverpool instead of Crosby. It was decided that the main party should set off on the walk , whilst a few of us waited for the stragglers.

After a ten minute delay we set off passing the lakes in Crosby Coastal Park and then reaching the sea. Here we went to visit "Another Place", the 100 cast iron figures by Athony Gormley. Much hilarity followed as various poses were created with the statues. We set off again and shortly came across the rest of the party who had stopped for an unauthorised coffee break at the leisure centre. We were just about to set off when the ice cream van arrived, another delay! Eventually I managed to persuade my rebellious group that it might be a good idea to do a bit of walking. It didn't last long, soon we found some exercise machines on the prom, another delay.

From this point it was through the sand dunes and I felt at least now there would be less distractions. How wrong can you be, it was soon demanded that we had a relax and coffee break. Progress was steady for the next twenty minutes until we came across Alt Sailing Club. Here they were holding an event to raise money for the RNLA and it was not long before some of the party wandered in. I decided to throw in the towel at this point and declared lunch on the seafront in front of the club. Several of us bought delicious beef burgers, and a few managed to down a quick pint from the bar. By this time I was getting a bit worried as we had only travelled three miles in three hours!

I decided to crack the whip and apart from the odd stop for a rehydration break we made much better progress. At Formby we took the Red Squirrel Walk through the pine trees and over the sand dunes. It was requested that we take a look at the beach, but surprisingly we were soon sat on it. Several people went for a paddle and not to be outdone, Campbell went for a swim. I finally managed to drag everyone away and we managed to pick our way through hundreds of scantily clad bodies and down the road to the train station. From here we were quickly whisked back to our start in Crosby. Altogether a most pleasant and amusing day out.


Sunday, 7 July 2013

Low Bradfield Walk 7 July 2013

Low Bradfield Walk 7 July 2013

Nine non-armchair sports fans decided to brave the fine weather and head for the hills, starting in Low Bradfield, an attractive village near Sheffield, we walked along Dale dyke reservoir that burst it's dam in 1864 killing 244 people.

 Then on up to Back Tor where most of the photos were taken for lunch and welcome shade from the sun (remember it) with great views of Derwent edge, from here the path is paved to prevent errosion along Cartledge Stones Ridge and then Dukes road.

A  visit to the Old Horns pub in High Bradfield meant a final climb to be rewarded by a very welcome drink, then down to the sound of leather thwacking on willow at the cricket match in Low Bradfield.


Monday, 1 July 2013

Skiddaw House Weekend 14/15th June.

Skiddaw House Weekend 14/15th June.

Eleven of us enjoyed the weekend at Skiddaw House, a remote hostel, one and a half hour's walk from the car park and  set high on the side of Skiddaw (at over 1500 feet, the highest hostel in England). 

The forecast had been atrocious and we all expected our time there to be wet, soggy and thoroughly miserable. In the event Saturday was a bright and breezy day. The unexpectedly fine weather lifted our spirits immeasurably.  

Four rather more intrepid members went off to conquer Skiddaw, whilst others opted for a gentler, bus-assisted circular walk of the mountain.

We were made very welcome by the wardens, Martin and Louise, and we all enjoyed the experience of staying at this traditionally simple hostel, with its cosy, wood-stove heated communal area and fantastic panoramic view.  A good range of beers and wines at very reasonable prices were available -guaranteeing a jolly time!  A tasty communal meal was prepared by the group's resident chef and this was followed by a lively evening of conversation, Martyn's piano entertainment, a sing-song and a darts competition of which Harvey was the eventual winner, beating Sue H  quite
decisively in the final! All great fun! We were joined by the only other people in the hostel, Robin and Jill, a Yorkshire couple who were walking the Cumbria Way, and who seemed to enjoy the evening with us.

Sunday was a gentler, sunny day. We reluctantly left the hostel at 10 and made our way back to the cars and some of us did a short walk in the hills over looking the lovely valley of St. John's in the Vale.

We were sorry that four members who had booked to go were forced, for medical or other reasons, to pull out. We send our good wishes for speedy recoveries to the "infirm" and hope that these four may have another opportunity of visiting this hostel. It certainly was a weekend that all of us would wish to repeat someday.


Sunday, 9 June 2013

Matlock walk - June 9th 2013

Matlock walk - June 9th 2013

Today's walk took us to Matlock where 14 of us enjoyed the warm and sunny weather.  

Somewhat shorter than advertised, the walk took us via the attractive and ancient village of Bonsall, where we stopped for lunch and a drink at the King's Head. 

We continued via the Heights of Abraham,  high above the Limestone gorge and named after the similar escarpment in Quebec scaled by Wolf in his campaign against the French. There were spectacular views of Matlock way below us and  across the valley to Riber Castle.  

gentle descent through pastures of glowing buttercups brought us back to Matlock and refreshing ice creams in the park.


Saturday, 25 May 2013

Mystery Walk 19th May 2013

Mystery Walk 19th May 2013

Hi All,

Todays walk started with nine of us setting off from Tideswell crossing about 8 fields to join the Pennine Bridleway,which we followed into Weston a small hamlet with a few farms and houses,as we walked down the road we were met by two dogs that were jumping up and down behind a garden gate and another farm dog that came to meet us.

 We walked down the road and along Peter Dale to the end then up the hill to Wormhill,here we managed to find two seats for us all to sit down and have lunch in the sun,we then headed downhill and followed the river Wye spotting a lot of Trout in the river then walked up onto the Monsal Trail which was very busy with walkers and cyclists.

 We stayed on the trail for a few mile before coming off it and dropping downhill & crossing the River Wye near Ravenstor Youth Hostel then heading up Tideswell Dale spotting all the carvings of animals on the way and finally back in Tideswell where everyone said how they had enjoyed the walk.


Angelsey Weekend 19th May 2013

Anglesey Weekend .

The recent weekend 10 swog members went to some apartments in Treaddur bay Anglesey. Weekend what done by Chris Shea and the apartments were a high standard and very large. We had great views looking over the bay from the lounge window

 We did two walks over the weekend, The first started from Holyhead area and walking along the coast before crossing inland to a fine pub doing fine ales. Where we met some of the people on the short walk. From here we rejoined the coast path to head back to Treaddur bay. Where Chris drove us back to the cars to pick them up.

 After a short rest some of us did a short run before the meal that Chris booked at a local pub. The next day we drove over the east side of the island to Amlwch where we walked on a rollar coaster path north to Comaes before turning back inland to the start. In the evening eight us went to the Chinese where we had a great meal if little slow. The final day everyone did different things from Little Orme, Steam Rally and Seafood lunch. A great weekend Thanks Chris


Sunday, 19 May 2013

Stanton Moor 12 May 2013

Stanton Moor 12 May 2013

11 brave souls set out from the free Winster car park at 10.40am in fine weather but with rain threatened by the Met.Office by 4pm. Our initial route over fields and woodland soon took us by the ruin of an engine house as we climbed to reach our coffee stop on a sheltered grassy bank. Afterwards we proceeded by lane and over the edge of ploughed fields, passing some inquisitive llamas and soon after a peacock or two at Barn Farm.

 Venturing next onto Stanton Moor we passed a tall tower and then eventually reached the Nine Ladies Stone Circle. Here we took lunch at 12.30pm as the weather was still just about fine. After lunch, and after some fun and games trying to find the best route to the Cork Stone, we succeeded, tramped on down into Birchover, and rewarded ourselves with a drink and a good break at the Druid Inn.

 Refreshed, we set off towards the gritstone tor known as Robin Hood's Stride. Jo and I went in search of the nearby Hermit's cave whilst the others put on their waterproofs.The rest of the afternoon consisted of minor road and field paths, first to Elton (where the former Youth Hostel was identified), and later on a section of the Limestone Way, before heading directly into Winster and the public toilets at 4.20pm.

 Thanks to Chris H, Chris S, Pete H, Howard, Dave & Jo, Trish, Paula, Gill, and Shaun (who took the photos) for their company during the hike.

 Les H

Monday, 29 April 2013

Brassington 28 April 2013

Brassington 28 April 2013

Despite all the weather forecasts we had a wonderful sunny day, windy at times but nevertheless sunny. We set off from Middleton Top car park and walked along the old disused railway track which also doubles as a cycle track which if followed eventually leads to Parsley Hay. Within a couple of mile a track south is taken which skirts  Carsington Pasture and leads to the village of Carsington itself.

The views descending into the village are magnificent overlooking Carsington Water, this being a man made lake administered by the Severn Trent water authority. After a short coffee break we set off and walked towards the hamlet of Brassington, and eventually ended up in the Miners Arms for a drink and lunch.

Off again we walked to  Harborough Rocks , where the Mountain Rescue team were practicing a rescue on the rock face. The views from the top were quite extensive especially with the weather being so clear. From here we picked up the path and followed it back to Middleton, just as it started spitting lightly. An enjoyable walk of about 8.5 miles, and thanks to those who turned up. PaulB

Monday, 22 April 2013

Bollington Circuit 21 April 2013

Bollingtin Circuit 21 April 2013

 How lucky were we! After a forecast of rain from lunchtime, we were fortunate to have only about 5 to 10 minutes drizzle about halfway through the walk. 16 of us set off from Pool Bank Car Park (Free – yippee) in the centre of Bollington. Leaving Bollington to the north-east, we passed what at one time was the Cheshire Cheese (?) or Hunt Pub. Now a private house, with cottages to let in the grounds. Too much blathering (Denise of course) led us on a slight detour down towards Bower Clough, despite having done a recce earlier in the week.
 Back on track, Denise realised she no longer had her trusty and expensive stick. Harvey had picked it up in the lane as Joan removed her jacket and it was not the only time this happened during the walk. We had a pleasant morning coffee break overlooking the valley to Mellow Brook before heading down across meadows, streams, woods and small bogs to cross the field below Harrop Fold Farm. We crossed the Macc road and headed south east to Saddle Cote,down and up a steep valley.

 There were half a dozen horses in the sloping meadow, so we guarded Linda and Alison here as they are not fond of these noble beasts. Bank Lane was a steep, deep and stony track – probably a pack-horse track in the past – down to the bottom of the valley with a large pond, more horses and some Llamas as well. A soft and relatively sheltered pasture was a good lunch spot before progressing along the valley north past Crabtree Farm, Hollowcowhey Farm and up to Summer Close. Here the farmer appeared and was not happy with the route we intended to follow, so we diverted up the hill away from the lambing pasture and joined up with the well marked path to Charles Head Farm.

 At Charles Head we took a slightly different path to that of the recce, which had been along the metalled road towards Pott Shrigley. The track southwest down past Whitelands and past Further Harrop Farm (what a super farmhouse and grounds) was much more agreeable. Just past the farm we found a sheltered spot for afternoon snap. The last mile and a bit took us through the lovely Harrop Wood, where there will be lots of bluebells in the coming weeks, up a slight slope to Gausie Brow with an encounter with some very hairy, but peaceable sows, on the track.

 The last stretch took us along the Gritstone Trail back down into Bollington where 12 of the 16 adjourned for a well deserved refreshment at the Poacher Inn. Leaving the pub the rain had set in, so we were very lucky on the 8 mile circuit through some very varied terrain with lovely views everywhere.

Joan & Denise