Friday, 15 March 2019
I had the pleasure of JJ’s company for the familiar stroll along the canal from Timperley Bridge to The Swan with Two Nicks, then through the grounds of Dunham Massey, then the golf course, to Altrincham.
I’ve reported on this route many times (see the ‘Dunham Massey’ label), including here, so I’m making today’s diary entry very brief.
Despite the recent rain, the unsurfaced towpath beyond the Bay Malton wasn’t too muddy. No water ingress for my trainers. But the path from the Swan to Dunham Massey was submerged in places, so to retain dry feet I manoeuvred along the fence in the manner recorded on at least one previous visit. JJ just splashed through the flood.
We were the sole customers at the Lavender Barn Tea Room. Good cake as always, sourced I think from somewhere along Washway Road.
There were no golfers to be seen, as we continued on through their domain, but as you can see from the above picture, they have inserted a number of large warning signs. At least it’s now more difficult to stray from the footpath – the old signs were somewhat harder to follow. JJ insisted on his “where’s that golf ball?” pose.
A jolly little outing. Thanks for your company, JJ.
Just to pad out this short entry, I downloaded a few images from Sue’s camera yesterday. There is a whole series of pictures from the Winter Garden at Dunham Massey, of which I’ve inserted a couple below. Maybe Sue will compose her own entry with a few more pictures.
Wednesday, 13 March 2019
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My regular Monday morning bike ride was shorter than usual due to uncertain weather and an assortment of commitments. Richard joined me at Timperley Bridge for today’s 37 km figure of eight route that took two and a half hours at a gentle pace.
The above picture was the only one I took, as we finished up spending most of the time in an unpredicted shower of rain. The photo was taken from Coronet Way (SJ 790 981), looking towards Centenary Bridge. What you don’t notice from the picture is the pair of Oyster Catchers on the small wharf in the foreground, and the Lesser Black-backed Gull perched beside them. The latter perhaps waiting for a tasty Oyster Catcher's egg!
I quite often do this ride for a bit of exercise, usually returning directly along the towpath from Stretford, rather than taking the Trans Pennine Trail past Carrington Moss to the Bay Malton, the route we took today.
There are currently lots of signs beside the Carrington Moss paths, inviting protests to a plan for 10,000 homes to be built in that area.
Here’s the route we took – 37 km with minimal ascent.
Tuesday, 12 March 2019
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After the excitement of Bakewell parkrun, Sue and I headed to Heatherdean Car Park, beside Ladybower Reservoir, to join a troop of TGO Challengers for a bracing stroll to Back Tor and beyond, led by the inimitable Graham Brookes.
Fifteen ‘Hardy’ souls set off in fine but breezy weather. Ali and Sue soon opted for a low level FWA route, leaving the rest of us to battle our way up to Whinstone Lee.
The views back were … well, you could see a view back, and it wasn’t raining, but it was pretty breezy.
Soon, the breeze intensified and a sleety sort of rain blasted our fair complexions. Waterproofs were donned by those of us who hadn’t already used them to stay warm.
Despite a bit of rain – the shower lasted for the rest of the morning – everyone seemed reasonably happy, and the two dogs, Rowan and Bella, managed to keep themselves amused with sticks and clumps of grass.
The route to Back Tor passes Wheel Stones, which I think are pictured in the next two pictures below, White Tor, Salt Cellar (a boulder), Dove Stone (another boulder), Dovestone Tor, and Cakes of Bread.
By now the breeze had strengthened and the shelter provided by the rocks was appreciated by everyone. As was the shortbread that Sue had brought along.
Views extended to the Mam Tor ridge and beyond, with lots of showers in evidence.
The path to Back Tor along Derwent Edge has been paved. So what used to be a slow, boggy experience is now a pleasant stroll, albeit in single file, and it’s good to see how well the surrounding moorland has recovered.
A mountain hare danced across the path ahead of us, a brilliant white colour against a dark background. As I write this, a couple of days later, the same hare will be superbly camouflaged in the now snowy conditions.
There’s a trig point on top of Back Tor. It has a metal plate with a number on it. Judith shouted “Please take a picture of the Flush Bracket*, I don’t think I can get to it!” This is what she referred to:
It was windy up on this 538 metre summit.
(Curiously, I have an ice axe with the same marking, numbered 1944, which I suspect is the date of manufacture.)
Anyway, you can tell from Judith’s stance of jubilation that she did actually make it to the summit herself, as she points to the crack through which access is achieved.
From Back Tor, it was downhill all the way to the Upper Derwent Reservoir that was used by 617 Squadron in WW2 as a practice ground for their ‘Dam Buster’ raids.
Just below Lost Lad, there’s a plaque ‘In Memory of W H Baxby 1901-1977 Erected by the Sheffield Clarion Ramblers in remembrance of his dedication to the club and his lifetimes enjoyment of rambling and the countryside’.
Here, Bernie and Penny had a bit of a faff whilst others admired the substantial erection in honour of said W H Baxby.
The stone path has bedded in particularly well hereabouts.
The fleshpots of Fairholmes provided a bit of seating and cover for a late lunch, and an escape route for three of our number. After that the rain eased and ten of us enjoyed the amble up through woodland to Woodcock Coppice, and the major junction pictured below.
There are some fine mountain biking routes hereabouts, but very few bikers, or walkers, out on this blustery afternoon. Four of our number decided to head directly to the Snake Inn from here, whilst the remaining sextet strolled along Bridge-end Pasture, admiring the rather atmospheric views across to the Mam Tor ridge.
A pleasant, gradual descent brought us to the main A57 road by Ladybower Reservoir, where motorists seemed to delight in splashing walkers by driving through large puddles that they could easily avoid.
Then, we’d got back to Heatherdean, and the same pleasant view with which we had set off.
The Snake Inn was closed apart from for our group, new owners having not quite got to the point of reopening the refurbished building. We hope they make a success of it, and despite the newly recruited chef ‘leaving’ mid-week, they managed to serve a good meal to the thirty or so TGO Challengers who had signed up for the weekend. These included stalwarts with names such as Pooler, Jocys, Walker and Knipe (immaculately turned out in a fine looking kilt and its accoutrements), none of whom had deigned to join the ‘official’ walk.
Alan Hardy had been itching to get behind the bar and eventually got his way.
Here’s the route that six of us took – about 19 km with 600 metres ascent. Other routes may have been slightly shorter or slightly longer.
Thanks go to Alan for organising the weekend, and to Graham for leading the walk.
Reports on other TGO Reunion walks can be found here.
* Flush brackets were fixed to walls at 1 mile intervals between Fundamental Bench Marks. They consist of a metal plate with a unique number. There is also a horizontal mark with three vertical marks pointing towards it from below (the same mark as was carved into walls for lower order benchmarks).
Sunday, 10 March 2019
As we were going for a walk nearby, Sue and I took the opportunity to get a bit of early exercise and ‘bag’ a parkrun on this rainy day.
We arrived at Hassop in rain and sheltered in the café’s vast awning before making our way to the start in what was to prove a welcome pause in the deluge.
It’s the first time I’ve seen unicycles on a parkrun!
Whilst I was somewhat encumbered by pessimistic waterproofs, Sue had stripped off to her normal running garb and finished just behind me, proudly announcing that she had overtaken someone just near the finish. Yes, that was a 70+ year old lady, Sue, who should be congratulated on getting very close to 26 minutes for 5 km!
Whilst it’s called ‘Bakewell parkrun’ the route actually starts at Hassop Station, to the north of Bakewell, and heads west along the Monsal Trail for 2.5 km, before returning the same way. The trail is wide enough to cater for a few hundred participants.
All very jolly. A shame we had to dash off. Full results are here.