Saturday, 19 May 2018
Thursday, 17 May 2018
On such a nice evening Sue and I felt obliged to attend Stockport Walking & Outdoors Group’s (SWOG) evening walk to Happy Valley, which we visited on 11 April with Paul and Jeanette. It was a lot greener and completely mud free on this occasion.
Our route was much shorter this time, with plentiful parking in a large lay-by at SJ 912 857 (SK7 5JY), from where 23 ‘Swoggers’ strode off, led by Louise, at 7.30 prompt.
A steep path past Norbury House Farm led very quickly to the well manicured footpaths of Happy Valley Nature Reserve. Lady Brook was benign and shaded in the evening light.
Thanks to a virtual absence of stiles, the group made good progress, though the stalwart vanguard pictured below did have to pause occasionally to allow re-grouping. It’s difficult to get 23 people to walk at the same pace; Louise did well to keep them together.
We stopped at SJ 900 859, where our path started the top of the clockwise ‘lollipop’ route (see map below).
There’s a choice of several paths to Bramhall Park, tonight’s being the direct one, whereas you could choose an alternative to the south. There were some lovely Copper Beeches in the park next to the golf course.
After passing an active running club training in the grounds of Bramhall Hall, we endured a short section of busy roads before re-entering the Nature Reserve at the point where Sue is shown at the head of this posting. Then past mallards and small weirs as we proceeded alongside Lady Brook, with magnificent residencies to our left, before crossing the brook at the bridge at the base of our ‘lollipop’.
Returning along the excellent path we’d come down earlier, there were many glances back to the sunset, and up to the tree tops to vociferous thrushes.
Here’s our route – 6 km with about 40 metres ascent, taking a leisurely hour and a half.
A lovely outing on excellent paths.
Monday, 14 May 2018
Once the paths have dried out I enjoy an 18.7km circuit on the bike along the Bridgewater Canal to Stretford, then along the Trans Pennine Trail (TPT) to the Bay Malton pub, before re-joining the canal towpath to get home in a shade under an hour.
I reported on the same ride on 3 April 2017, but it has taken until now for me to get back on this route this year. It’s muddy in winter and I don’t like having to clean the bike after such a short outing.
On this visit the towpath was justifiably very busy, but the TPT was empty apart from a couple of horse riders.
Here’s the route, which includes about three km of tarmac but which is otherwise pleasantly off-road and provides an hour’s good quality exercise.
Afterwards some hangers-on appeared with their mum, who promptly abandoned them and went for a run. Wasn’t Jessica looking smart in her Princess outfit, trying to outdo Jacob in some sort of primeval contest?