J & J stayed over and after our statutory extra hour in bed and a leisurely breakfast we headed off to Alderley Edge for a stress free stroll in the rain on familiar ground for Sue and me. The others hadn’t been there before and enjoyed the same route as we had taken on that sunny day some three weeks ago. Today there were fewer people on the paths, but still a smattering of joggers and dog walkers, despite the unfamiliar rain.
Considering the wet dullness of the day the autumn colours strived with some success to be vibrant. Our walk took us past the Wizard’s Well to the Armada Beacon – yes, our second Beacon in four days! This one is situated at the highest point on the Edge, a natural site for one of a chain of signalling fires used to warn of imminent invasion in 1588. There must have been fewer trees then, unlike on Worcestershire Beacon where we were on Thursday, which may have been part of the same chain of beacons and would be as visible as ever today.
On we strolled, past old mine shafts and a narrow railway line heading into the base of the hill, before heading across farmland and returning to the Edge at the site of the Engine Vein, a 100 metre long fissure featuring bowl-like opencast pits where Bronze Age man mined copper ores around 4000 years ago.
Further on, past the Wizard Restaurant and across the road to Macclesfield, we encountered the site of some houses demolished in the 1950’s. How times have changed – they must have been too costly to maintain, and now the place where they stood has been taken over by woodland – whereas these days such places are making way for footballers mansions.