View from Oban Bothy

View from Oban Bothy

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Martin’s Muddy Meander

12 miles from the Leathers Smithy

Timperley Taxis, aka Martin & Sue, collected Long Suffering Rick and me on what was forecast to be the driest day of the weekend – not difficult, the previous day had been more than a little damp. A muddy walk was expected – and a muddy walk is wot we got.

Martin had put the word out that he was doing this walk and it was pleasing that around 14 walkers turned out to endure enjoy it. Unfortunately he’d left his paper maps at home but as this was quite familiar territory it really wasn’t a problem – he had his very clever phone with him anyway….we only took a few wrong turns!

We set off walking south from Ridgegate Reservoir, following a section of the Gritstone Trail. Not much mud…yet.

Along the Gritstone Trail towards Croker Hill we had grand views over the Cheshire Plain:

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Looking west to Jodrell Bank Radio Telescope

The mudlessness wasn’t to last, I was glad of my PacerPoles when we eventually hit the slippy, slimy brown stuff.

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First climb of the day

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Following the slutch

Leaving the Gritstone Trail just before the comms tower on Sutton Common, we headed west and downhill to our lunch spot.

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The plan was to have lunch at the picnic tables of the closed Fool’s Nook boozer but it wasn’t possible. A pleasant spot (ie not too muddy) was found by the Macclesfield Canal swing bridge, just across the road from the pub.

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Martin

Then followed 3 miles of relatively easy walking, north, along the Macc Canal towpath.

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Slutch on the Macclesfield Canal Towpath….

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….then not much slutch at all. Swing bridge close to Lyme Green.

Then it started to rain, just a little earlier than the BBC had predicted. I was a bit worried that I might not have had my wetlegs with me, I’d just grabbed my bag without checking before setting out. No need to worry, they were lurking amongst the usual detritus that gathers at the bottom of a well-used pack.

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Approaching Macclesfield aka Silk Town, famous for, er, silk.

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Sue modelling the latest rainwear

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Wellies may have been a better option…

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…or a mud sledge

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Judith sprinting up the last climb of the day

Where we went:

Leathers Smithy 12 miles route

12-ish miles with around 1600’ of upness. And some mud. Non-FitBit steps: 25,400.

A grand day out – thanks to Timperley Taxis for organising it, arranging for good company and for providing yummy shortbread.

Martin has a far more detailed account here – along with much better photographs. In fact the quality of Martin’s images has got me considering a better quality compact camera. My Lumix DMC-SZ3 does the job but I could do with a compact with a better sensor and lens. Time to start looking again.

Friday, 5 February 2016

A Katsouris Walk

Our standard(ish) Curry Walk route into Manchester to buy some bike bits.

It all began with text messages, first to Long Suffering Rick at stupid o’clock in the morning (I couldn’t sleep), the other to Martin at a rather more sensible hour: I had to go into Manchester, needed to get some exercise and I fancied a nice lunch out.
I’ve written up this route previously so just photographs and a few words:
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The graffiti along the Bridgewater Canal doesn’t quite match the standard of some on Martin’s blog
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Waters Meeting, Trafford Park. Leigh and the Lancashire Coalfields to the left, Manchester city centre to the right. Map below.
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By the Trafford Park Freight Terminal. Old Trafford football ground is visible to the right of the picture
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Throstle Nest Bridge
Pomona Island, picured below, is part of the former Salford Docks. It’s now likely to be redeveloped with a huge housing scheme – another of Peel Holding’s plans to extract as much dosh out their asset as possible. Local feelings are running high, most folk don’t want the area to be built on but to be tidied up and used as an inner city park. The local authority have a history of not objecting to any of Peel Holdings plans so locals have a battle on their hands.
In the 1970s and 1980s the dock was host to the North Westward-Ho!, a floating pubship that saw some success for many years – perhaps more as a novelty venue rather than a serious boozer. More information here on the excellent Pubs of Manchester blog.
The area is very much a waste-land but that has it’s attractions, it’s actively promoted as a filming location.
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Towards the former Port of Manchester, now Salford Quays, home of Media City
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The Manchester Evening News have published an excellent selection of photographs of Salford docks and the Port of Manchester throughout the years, available to view online here.
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Looking north to Ordsall Hall, Salford,
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Ordsall Hall
Ordsall (pr: ‘Oddsull’) Hall, Salford's Grade 1 listed Tudor manor house was first recorded in 1177. Since then, it has been home to medieval gentry, Tudor nobility, Catholics loyal to the crown, butchers, farmers, an Earl, an artist, priests, scout troops, mill workers, cows and several ghosts. So say the local council.
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Lock connecting the Bridgewater Canal to the Manchester Ship Canal
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The building with the curved roof: YHA Manchester

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An early EE Lightning in the Museum of Science & Industry. More photos here.
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On Deansgate: Chopin on the Jo-Anna, trying to woo a lady-fair.
Action in Manchester was limited to a trip to Cotswold for Martin, to Evans Cycles for me, and the very excellent Katsouris on Deansgate for a ridiculously good value, and quite enormous lunch.
Thanks to Rick & Martin for coming along, it was good to get out for a bit of a stretch and to catch up.
Below is our route through Pomona Island
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Total walking distance (door to door) around 10 miles, Ascent: negligible. Non-Fitbit Data: 19480 steps.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Wednesday 3rd February, Timperley to Stockport Rtn

With Ronny

A similar route to last week’s used by Martin and I, but with a couple of variations – one of which was that it was a return trip. The other notable difference was that I stuck to fairly good surfaces throughout.

The Plan was to nip over to Decathlon in Stockport to collect some bits.

The River Mersey looked only a little swollen, surprising considering the recent rainfall.

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In order to miss the gloopiness of the Transpennine Trail alongside the River Mersey I diverted through Fletcher Moss Gardens. I’d heard of it but hadn’t visited – my loss. According to Wiki the park is named after local Alderman Fletcher Moss, who donated the park to the city of Manchester in 1919. It’s part botanical garden and part wildlife habitat, but also offers recreational facilities such as recently refurbished tennis courts, rugby and football pitches, and a family run cafĂ©. I didn’t try the cafe – that’s for next time.

Anyway, some photographs taken around Fletcher Moss:

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Silver Birch, lovely to look at…and excellent firewood

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Sunset from Fletcher Moss

Unfortunately Decathlon didn’t have any of the bits I needed. It wasn’t a wasted trip though, I really enjoyed my little trip. And I didn’t see Jo Brand again.

Where I went, I came back by the same route:

Timperley to Stockport return 27km

Around 17 miles of niceness.

 

And this is Ronny the Ridgeback:

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Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Monday 1st February, Dunham again

After a busy few days I was in need of a walk, if nothing else then just to get some fresh air. Long Suffering Rick readily agreed to join me and so off we went. The Plan was to do the ‘usual’ route along the Bridgewater Canal (aka ‘The Duke’s Cut’, being as what it was the Duke of Bridgewater’s canal, cut to transport the output of the Lancashire treacle mines).

There was quite a strong wind blowing – against us of course, but at least it wasn’t raining.

Much of the canal towpath has been resurfaced over the last year or so, in fact it’s now possible to walk / cycle / run into Manchester City centre from Altrincham without getting muddy feet.

The ‘new’ path allowed us to move at a good speed. Unfortunately, travelling in the south westerly direction (our direction) the money must have run out just beyond Broadheath so we were back to the mud after a couple of miles.

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Where the money ran out

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Bridgewater Gloopiness

Despite the mud we managed a good pace into Dunham Park – which coincided nicely with butty time. Considering it was a Monday the park was surprisingly full.

Our return leg routed us through the Devisdale conservation area, a wonderfully tranquil area. It wasn’t always so:

From the eighteenth century the 'Bowdon Wakes' were held on The Devisdale. Events such as horse, pony and donkey racing, climbing the greased pole, juggling, hen racing and foot races would run across three days and often involved heavy drinking by both men and women alike.

My kinda place then Smile

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Disused tennis courts at Denzell House in the Devisdale – gives some idea how grand the place must once have been.

Back into Altrincham, an unsuccessful shopping trip for a case for my batphone, followed by a quick sprint home. Nice.

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Timperley Brook

Just up the road from JJ Towers is a small but popular church. The powers-that-be in the church have decided that it’s not economic to have a resident church minister. The vicarage has been sold off, a large number of flats are due to be built on the plot. I though it prudent to photograph the building before it succumbs to the wrecking ball:

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The Holy Cross Vicarage, Park Road, Timperley. February 2016

Thanks to Rick for once again coming out on one of my last-minute, seat of the pants walks.

Where we went:

Dunham 9 miles

Around 9.5 miles and very flat

Next up….well due very soon: Another Curry Walk.

PS: 19337 steps.