“You must be desperate” someone observed when I suggested that I wanted to explore some paths I’d not been on before and I was thinking of walking around Cheadle.
So I’d anticipated little interest in this walk. It was therefore an unexpected pleasure to set off from the foyer of John Lewis in Cheadle at 10am with four other takers.
This was very familiar territory for Paul and Jeanette, whose schools we passed, as well as numerous other places of remembrance, and overall the route seemed to please everyone present.
Once we had escaped from the shopping complex, underpasses led us into Bruntwood Park, where vibrant autumn colours shone brightly on a day with sunny periods that degenerated into heavy cloud with spots of rain.
After an hour or so, on joining a brief stretch of tarmac, we encountered ‘One Thirty’ on Hulme Hall Road. A moment of indecision drew a face from the doorway… “You will come in, won’t you?”
The coffee and cake was excellent. This was a great place to stop, even if it did result in late lunches for us all.
After a few minutes on tarmac, with various points of interest to P and J, we entered Carr Wood, where a pleasant path leads through the wood next to Bramall Park Golf Course.
As Lady Brook was approached, the colours were still great, despite the heavy cloud and spits of moisture.
We diverted to admire the timber framed Tudor manor house, Bramall Hall, that dates from the 14th Century. It lies in parkland of 70 acres and has been owned by the local government authority, currently Stockport MBC, since 1935.
The house is a museum. We must visit it.
We exited the well groomed park, which hosts a scenic Saturday morning parkrun (we must do it), to join a sometimes boggy path alongside Lady Brook.
The main line railway that we had earlier crossed by way of a footbridge, was now high above us as we approached Lady Bridge.
Looking back, it was hard to discern that this was essentially an urban walk, with housing estates bordering the green passages we found between them.
At some point Lady Brook mutates into Micker Brook, which drains into the River Mersey in Stockport. We took time to admire the colours; in a week or two the trees will be bare.
It was a little surprising (to me, anyway) to find quite a large weir in the middle of a housing estate.
“Look! It’s a weir!”
We followed Micker Brook until a path through Brookfields Park led us towards Bruntwood Park, where we reversed our outward route and returned to the John Lewis foyer.
All in all, a very satisfactory outing on pleasant paths. Here’s our route - 16 km, with minimal ascent, in around 4 hours including breaks.
We will reconvene at some point at Bramall Hall for a circuit to Poynton and back, followed by an optional visit to the house if it’s open.
After the walk we returned home via Alpenstock, my favourite outdoors shop, in Stockport (35 St Petersgate, Stockport SK1 1DH). Their lease expired some time ago and Jose has decided to retire rather than renew it. She will be closing the doors for good on 30 November. Meanwhile, whilst she has run down the stock, there may be bargains to be had if you care to pay her a visit. If you tell her you are there on my recommendation you could secure rather more than the usual 10% discount for items that are not on ‘sale or return’. Good luck, and happy shopping.
PS I hope nobody minds this interruption of my postings from 2006!