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

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Lyme Park Walk 14 April 2013

Lyme Park Walk 14 April 2013

 Denise’s mystery walk Plan X,Y,Z.   13 of us set off from Disley station car park. As I was still suffering from the tail end of a chest infection, I had decided on a “light” walk of 8 miles. Well, with plan X, Y and Z en route, we ended up doing 9.6 miles according to my trusty piece of “SWOG walk string”. Error number one was only just over a mile into the walk.

 Chris and Geoff were slightly ahead and I called them back, to go along what I thought was the path through the bottom end of Crow Wood. Naturally Chris had been right and I managed to lead us through bog and through briar like Puck in Midsumme Night’s Dream, ending in a rat trap position at a locked gate by a wall surmounted by barbed wire. Plan X was a small retreat to a gated road which took us round the north end of Platt Wood on the N.Cheshire way. For the umptieth time I left my trusty stick behind and Sheelagh kindly backtracked with me to retrieve it.

 The head wind was almost as bad as it had been on 24 March polar walk, but thankfully it was not an icy wind. After a short shower, we had no more rain and trekked down to the NT café complex by the pond where we met up with Campbell who had earlier gone AWOL over the barbed wire when we were in the “rat trap”. A good spot for a coffee break. We walked down through Haze Bank Wood to West Parkgate, a short way along Shrigley road and took the tracks down to Macc Canal where we found an ideal lunch spot sheltered from the wind at the bridge by the Lyme View Marina.

 Plan Y came into force when I mistook bridge number 17 for the following one over the canal. This took us up to the rear of Redacre Hall Farm, a most interesting building with great arches into the stabling and back on to the Shrigley Road, whereas I had intended to go on the next footbridge via Throstlenest Farm. At West Parkgate, we went on the track below Hase Bank and came back into Lyme Park with a great view of Lyme Hall. Plan Z was to cut along the original carriage drive from Lyme Hall down to the end of the Park, instead of the dog leg to East Lodge as originally planned.

 As it was, the walk was somewhat longer than planned and I think I have to go back to orientation lessons in the near future. Nevertheless, everyone still enjoyed the breath of warm fresh air as a change from the recent icy blasts.


Saturday, 13 April 2013

Majorca Porta Soller 22nd March - 29th March 2013

Majorca Porta Soller 22nd March - 29th March 2013

17 SWOG members (should have been 18 but unfortunately a slight mishap with a passport meant one less) left Manchester Airport on a very cold snowy morning. After a short delay we finally got to our destination and was welcomed with warm and sunny weather.

On the Saturday morning we all walked into Soller as the market was taking place, whereby we all enjoyed the shopping and partaking in a refreshment or two.

Sunday morning saw us all walking into Soller again, as this route was part of the walk that Dave was leading. As it was Palm Sunday the square was very busy and an outdoor service was taking place. We are took part in this by waving our olive branches at the appropriate time.

 Following this we all walked to the village of Fornalutx and had lunch overlooking the valley. A very nice leisurely walk back with ice cream in the square at Soller, Mmmmmmmm.

On the Monday we did split into different groups, and eight of us left at 9.30am to undertake a 19km mountain walk lead by Chris, up and along the Alfabia ridge.  The walk left at the back of the church at Soller and we had a steep ascent up the mountain. The path was very good up to a certain point and then became very challenging. The route was marked by red spots on the rocks and did at times take a while to find them. One of the difficulties with clambering over the rocks were that amongst them were very prickly shrubs, not a good idea to have worn short trousers! We were very surprised when we almost reached the top to meet several cyclists, don’t know how they would have managed to get down over the rocks. Eventually we got to a refuge building which was our point that the descent should have took place. Unfortunately there was no path down so after some discussion etc we decided to go back the way we had come. After a very challenging and quick descent we reached Café Soller at 18.50hours. A very welcomed drink and rest was had.

Tuesday saw us all head for Palma. We all did different things but four of us decided to be very lazy and took the tour bus.

On the Wednesday the majority of us walked to Deia, we all headed for the beach café and had drinks etc overlooking the bay before making to the village to get the bus back.

Thursday was a leisurely day, some went into Soller, others took in the rays and the active ones took the ferry over to the gorge which they all really enjoyed.

I am more than sure that I speak for all of us by saying we all had a fab holiday, plenty of laughs, beautiful place, lovely weather with a great crowd. Many thanks have to go to Dave and Joanne for arranging the holiday and having us all with them on their 8th wedding anniversary - sure they loved that!!


Friday, 12 April 2013

Criccieth Easter 29th March -1stApril 2013

Criccieth Easter 29th - March - 1st April 2013 

 The first 4 pictures are of my walk in the hills North of Criccieth, that was scenic but hard work as paths shown on the map barely exist on the ground and it took all day to walk about 7 miles. The last picture is of Aberdaron on a very chilly Easter Sunday where we did a short walk round the headland.

We stayed in a Brownie lodge/camp just outside Criccieth that was warm and well equiped and for a bargin price of £10/night-well done Sue W for booking it. We had the place to ourselves and were only a stones throw from the beach.


Thursday, 11 April 2013

Daffodil Dell, Swettenham, 7th April 2013

Daffodil Dell, Swettenham 7th April 2013

Despite the fact that I had advertised this as a fairly flat walk, we soon ran into a bit of a climb on what was a rather eroded path. A new member to the group lost her boot and sock in the bog. The day was saved by Colin who fished out the boot with his walking pole but the sock was never found having sunk deep into the mud.

 We had a pleasant morning break on the banks of the River Dane. Eventually we walked past the Lavender Fields and ended up at the Swettenham Arms for lunch, where we met up with our cycling group. My original intention had been to visit Daffodil Dell, but this is now a private residence and regrettably not open to the public.

 The daffodils on the banks outside were still quite impressive and much to my surprise in full bloom. A pleasant days walk in an area not often frequented by the group.