Let me expand. We walked from Heaton Park Metro station to Whitefield Metro station via Simister.
On a lovely evening Sue and I ate our tea at home (the Parkgate fish and chips experience had been delightful at the time but did have repercussions!) and squeezed onto a tram full of Manchester United fans – courteous as ever – for a few stops before the comfy ride to Heaton Park, where Alan and Sheila were strolling down the road towards us.
Setting off through the park at 7.30 we got the best light of the day, not that it did much to enhance the looks of the rather sad looking hall, in need of a coat of paint and closed for the winter. Alan is familiar with the hall (his daughter’s wedding was there) and I understand it’s impressive inside, with magnificent furnishings.
Here’s what the information board says about it:
Note that my pictures are of the back of the hall, not of the bow front.
From there we headed up to the nearby Temple and admired the clear views over Manchester to the Peak District, trying to pick out familiar landmarks (for images, see the slideshow).
The Temple has recently been renovated, like much else hereabouts – here’s a bit about its history:
We ambled down a narrow path and along a tarmac track, before heading towards the nearby Telecom tower. To the right of this a pedestrian gate led us into a field of wild horses, near the old fish pond that is hidden by a shrubbery.
The path took us to the park wall and a convenient pedestrian exit, from where a right turn led to a footbridge over the M60 and a boggy path to a pretty row of cottages on the edge of the village of Simister.
Opposite the smart and well kept Church of St George, the crumbling remains of Nutt Farm were a sad sight. But a right turn soon took us to the end of a lane and the pleasure of a pint of bitter in the Same Yet inn. The 18th century inn’s name was originally the Seven Stars, but sometime in the 1800s, the pub landlord, in a hurry to get his faded sign repainted, hired a local signwriter who asked what he should paint on the sign. Irritated by such an obvious question, the landlord brusquely replied “Same Yet” meaning “Same Again”. The painter took it literally, and as neither landlord nor signwriter could agree to change the mistake, “Same Yet” it has remained ever since then.
It was friendly but very quiet. We wondered how viable it was to run.
We emerged into semi-darkness with bats in the air. The half moon was casting a good shadow, so torches were needed only for boggy bits and to avoid lacerations from the odd bit of wire. Before that a good track took us over the M62 and then right at a T-junction to a farm, where the absence of barking dogs was something of a surprise!
The ongoing path through Unsworth Moss, past a tumbledown barn to Roe Barn, was easy enough apart from the need to use a field to avoid a short section of slurrified path. The less distinct path now led slightly left, past Roe Barn and on the right hand side of a thin fence, soon running beside a golf course. A small bridge led on to a broken stile across some football pitches, from where, as Alan pointed out, we could see light at the end of the tunnel. The tunnel under the M66, that is.
So, on we went, under the tunnel, past a school, keeping right beside the boundary fence, and we were soon assaulted by the bright lights of Parr Lane.
The remainder of our route, using a parkland path in the Parr Valley, several ‘ginnels’ to and from Cunningham Drive, and a final jink in and out of Whitefield’s small park, is shown below. It was more interesting than simply taking to the pavements – worth the exploration I had previously undertaken, but a shame that we were unable to gain access to the recreation ground behind Cunningham Drive that is Unsworth Football Club’s home ground.
Finishing around 10pm, we said our goodbyes to A & S, and were home by 11pm, joined in the latter stages of our tram ride by Manchester United supporters glowing from their Champions League victory over Chelsea.
Here’s the whole of our 11km route. It made for a most pleasant evening in excellent company. We are glad you took the trouble to join us, Alan and Sheila.
There’s a slideshow, including some images taken way back in the daylight of 6 April, here.