I had the pleasure of Andrew’s company again for this morning stroll from Danebridge through the wonderful countryside of the Roaches and Dane Valley areas, though this short excursion didn’t reach the actual Roaches!
Instead of our usual direct route past Hangingstone Farm, we chose on this occasion to use the path leading up to Snipe, with good views past lambing sheep to the undulations of Bosley Minn.
Before heading directly north to reach Hanging Stone, the track passes Park House, with fine views across the fields to our objective.
A brief but stiff pull up the escarpment leads to the Hanging Stone, and its memorial to Lt Col Henry Courtney Brocklehurst, killed in active service in Burma in 1942. I’ve written in more detail about this here, here and here. By coincidence I’ve just finished reading John Sweeney’s novel ‘Elephant Moon’ set in Burma in 1942. It’s about a party of schoolchildren who attempt to escape from Burma into India in the face of a Japanese invasion. I enjoyed it immensely.
Hanging Stone enjoys good views to the south. No recorded hangings have assailed the placid serenity of this Cheshire countryside.
Two kilometres along the ‘ridge’, we reached the junction with a lower path that can be taken by those without ambition. Looking back, Hanging Stone, some 70 metres below us, is just about visible in the distance, to the right of The Cloud’s bold outline.
Today’s short walk saw us reaching a narrow lane below Bearstone Rock and the Roaches. Sadly, despite the warm weather, there was no ice cream van parked here today. So we sat on a rock and enjoyed a cuppa and some cake.
Turning as if on a sixpence, we descended to Forest Wood, below Back Forest, serenaded by cuckoos, following the signposts to Lud’s Church, an unmissable highlight of this walk.
The links given above direct readers to postings that provide a detailed history of this wonderful chasm. It was a little damp today, but nothing that the old Keen Targhee trail shoes couldn’t cope with.
We met a few people this morning, mostly in Lud’s Church. After passing through the chasm, we headed towards Gradbach to join the footpath beside the River Dane for our stroll back to Danebridge. We’d enjoyed views towards Shutlingsloe for much of the walk. Here’s one of them.
A ‘dog lady’ had warned us about ‘mud’. She was correct, but there were always ways around or over it, including one or two boardwalks. The budget seems to have expired in the middle of this one.
Towards Danebridge, the woods were full of bluebells – only a short walk from the bridge for those who just want to enjoy the flowers.
Soon we were in sight of our destination, which was heaving with people now, having been virtually empty when we set off at ten o’clock.
Adjourning to the Ship Inn (see earlier links for its history whereby it is associated with one of a number of vessels) was a mistake. The drinks were pricey and our ‘sandwiches’, which took over forty minutes to arrive, turned out to be tooth risking crispy ciabattas with chunky chips. We’d have preferred a simple, honest sandwich! But others may enjoy the fayre here, and it was friendly enough so don’t be put off.
Here’s our route, one that I regard as a classic outing and am always pleased to repeat – about 11.5 km with around 350 metres ascent, taking 3 to 3.5 hours.
Click on the map for a slightly larger version.
Thanks for your company, Andrew, and note that this is the third of a series of four short morning walks, the final one being on Wednesday 1 June – another classic route, should anyone wish to join me:
7.5 miles (12 km) from the car park at Trentabank (beyond the Leathers Smithy in Langley) - SJ 961 711, starting at 10.00 am. (Parking may be available by Ridgegate Reservoir but make sure you use the marked spaces or you will get an expensive ticket.)