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
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.
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
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
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.
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.