The sun was trying to emerge as we passed through Macclesfield, but the Cat & Fiddle road had a different agenda. We spent the whole day in variable amounts of cloud and rain, despite a favourable forecast.
Eleven of us met at Derbyshire Bridge, from where Sue W led us south, past noisy but largely hidden red grouse, eventually arriving at Three Shire Heads amongst a flurry of walkers, cyclists, and trial bikers.
Elevenses turned out to be ‘twelveses’, or should that read ‘noonses’? Anyway, Sue’s box of CCS was soon depleted. At this point the rain intensified. Waterproofs were needed.
Soon it was time to cross the bridge and head up a sometimes muddy path to gain the Cat & Fiddle via the Dane Valley, where a dipper added colour to the scene, and Danebower Hollow.
The Cat & Fiddle remains sadly closed, with Robinsons still looking for a suitable tenant, so lunch was taken outside the pub, where a picnic bench served its purpose.
A couple of wimps headed back down the road to their car from here, but the rest of us enjoyed the path towards Shining Tor before turning down to Stake Clough and on to Goyt’s Clough beside the infant River Goyt. Even in the mist this was a pleasant route.
We finished reasonably early, before 3 o’clock, giving us a leisurely winter’s afternoon before popping round for dinner and Rummikub with Mike and Sarah in Northern Moor.
Here’s our route – 16km, 500 metres ascent, taking about 4.5 hours.