But today the sun was shining, the rendezvous at Twinnies Bridge was 11.30, and a finish in time to return home for lunch was promised.
A very small van that was dispensing 'real' coffee in the small car park, together with a ritual doling out of chocolate caramel shortbread, provided sustenance before we headed off through the National Trust woodland towards Styal Mill, closed today, but picturesque with the winter sun bathing the old mill's bricks with a soft glow.
A little circuit in Styal Country Park, beyond the mill, was sufficient for today, before returning via the mill car park and the field paths above the woodland.
We were heading deep into the woods, following the cleft wrought by the River Bollin. Who would have thought that jumbo jets were landing just a few metres away from this spot!
We eventually emerged from the woods to enjoy the easy walk across fields and back to Twinnies Bridge in good time to return home for lunch.