View from Oban Bothy

View from Oban Bothy

Friday, 30 April 2021

Hale – Knutsford Circular 30th April 2021

Kay, a regular with the After Eights walking group, was keen to do a slightly longer walk than the group usually do. She’d proved her mettle on a 10 mile Peak District walk some weeks earlier so I had no hesitation in suggesting this little bimble to her.

We left Hale at around 9am, it was bright and fresh (= cool), and joined the footpath heading east, that more or less followed the course of the R Bollin, under the M56, past the golf club, through Rossmill, and out almost as far as Castle Mill.

It was now getting rather warm – although we were moving at a fair old lick. Time to take a layer off.

Climbing out of the Bollin Valley, we followed a short stretch of tarmac to pick up more footpaths to eventually go under Manchester Airport’s Runway 2 via the rather magnificent River Bollin Culvert.

River Bollin Culvert, under Runway 2

For Helen H, aka 'Bat Lady'

One of the few planes seen that day

After a gawp at the tunnel, we wandered SW(ish) alongside the runway to eventually roll up around the back of Mobberley…where we we treated to hailstones and snow. Nice.

Waterproofs were quickly donned, and we were off – no time to linger. Well not for long anyway.

Crossing the Chester - Manchester line

A short stretch of tarmac took us, via a brief stop to say hello to friends Brian and Linda who live on this route, to a quiet and secluded entrance into Tatton Park. It’s one of those places that you’re unlikely to know where it is unless you know it’s there. If you know what I mean.

Kay posing by Tatton Mere

Prior to WW1 this area was cleared of trees to allow aircraft to take off and land. 

It was later used as a landing zone for No1 Parachute Training School in WW2

Tatton Deer

North through the park, initially following the eastern side of Tatton Mere, then to the No 1 Parachute Training School memorial….where we stopped for butties and a brew.

As I munched my butties, and Kay chomped on her ever-so healthy Rivita, we watched a plane come into land at Manchester Airport. Only the 5th or 6th plane we’d seen all day – testament to continuing Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Suitably fed and watered, we marched on, passing Tatton Hall and exiting the park by the Home Farm entrance (exit?) on the Tatton Mile. Which isn’t a mile at all.

Next came Rostherne, reached by following a Church Path, which is defined as  'A path, often crossing fields and designated as a customary right of way, leading or shortening the way to a parish church’.

There. Don’t tell me this blog isn’t educational. Even if the rest of the content is appalling. 

Kay and Rostherne's Village Pump

St Mary's Church, Rostherne

Another brief break, this time in the churchyard of Rostherne’s St Mary’s Church. The church is Grade 1 listed, and a church existed here as far back as 1188. So it’s a bit old.

Off again – Kay had ants in her pants and wanted to get moving.

Rostherne Mere

We followed the concessionary path around Rostherne Mere, which exists on the ground but doesn’t appear on the OS map. The path, not Rostherne Mere.

More tarmac followed, until we took to paths to take us back to the M56.

All was well until….

We weren’t going to let a little thing like a life-threateningly dangerous bridge put us off. Apart from anything else we were only a couple of miles from our cars, and we were damned if we were going to follow some airy-fairy footpath diversion….of which we saw no sign anyway.

We scrambled over the barrier, avoided falling into the river, and over the next barrier to safety.


A footbridge over the busy M56 (easy to see the effect of relaxing the Covid-19 lockdown) and more footpaths took us back into Hale and our cars.

‘Twas a good day out, I needed the exercise (I always need exercise), and Kay got her longer walk in: win – win!

Where we went:

Around 18 miles of Cheshire flat(ish)ness.


Thursday, 29 April 2021

Styal – Ringway 12 mile circular 26th April 2021

My Plan (Ho-ho!) was to be out of the door for around 7.30am to do a 6 – 7 mile brisk walk before breakfast, leaving the rest of the day for important jobs. Like decorating. And gardening.

I closed my front door behind me at 9.20am, so much for plans. It was quite chilly, too chilly for the shorts & T shirt I was wearing. There was still a frost on the part of my lawn that was shaded from the sun. The chill encouraged me to get my finger out and get a move on.

Leaving Heald Green I left the busy main road and joined quiet footpaths – very quiet when you consider how close it is to dense housing.

South towards Handforth, I passed through Outwood Farm, it brought to mind something that might have been dreamt up by Professor Quatermass.

At Styal I called in to have a quick chat with my friend Caroline at her very excellent Primrose Cottage Nursery – if you need plants and stuff like that you’ll do no better than here. Caroline really knows her stuff.

Onwards to Quarry Bank Mill, a National Trust property -  and very popular. As the lockdown restrictions are easing this place is getting busy. I managed to avoid the crowds and continued south to The Carrs on the outskirts of Wilmslow, before turning west to Morley Green – home of the Morley Green Club  - and, er, rather excellent ceilidhs:

Just sayin'

Quarry Bank Mill


River Bollin

For Conrad

For Alan R

North(ish) now, to follow the eastern edge of Manchester Airport. Not much activity – Covid-19 travel restrictions and all that.

Ripe for redevelopment?

River Bollin....again.

Cheshire fencing. I've not seen it outside of the county.

Rubbish dumped on the edge of Styal Village - reported

Back into Styal village ….and just a couple of miles of the dreaded tarmac to home. Oh well.

Where I went: 12 miles of flat pleasantness.

My route ended up a bit longer than originally planned: Home > Heald Green > Styal > Quarry Bank (NT) > The Carrs, Wilmslow > Morley Green > Manchester Airport > Home.

I’d have brought butties if I’d known. 

(Disappointing photos c/o my otherwise half-decent Oppo 72 phone) 

NW Air Ambulance Fund Raiser: 30th October 2021

HopGoblin Ceilidh Band have always run our New Year's Eve and Summer Solstice ceilidhs as not-for-profit, ticket money goes to hire the ...