Our planned assembly point at Tesco in Portwood didn't work, as I'd forgotten that Tesco charges £70 for stays over three hours. So we went to the small free car park by Vernon and Woodbank Parks that we use when visiting Woodbank parkrun. There was plenty of room there.
Whilst I'd planned to follow the river bank, it proved easier to start along the wide path through Woodbank Park, before dropping down to the banks of the River Goyt from the point pictured above.
We continued along the Midshires Way footpath and took a wrong turn into Offerton, where we decided to re-trace our steps in preference to walking through a housing estate. This route took us beside a subsidiary river that flows into the Goyt. Our maps show a path on the west side of the river, but that has long gone, with a bridge and a good path now leading to the main A626 road, after an annoying diversion up what should have been signed as a private footpath to a house
A short stroll along the road took us past the 'Spice Tower' restaurant, situated in a building that used to be The Wrights Arms, a low-ceilinged roadside inn dating from the 1800s.
A little further on, and just beyond a ford that would have been 'interesting' today, with the river in spate, is a bridge dating from 2012 that provides dry access to Chadkirk Chapel. Here, my two companions for the day, Graeme and Graham, posed dutifully.
A bit of research revealed their identities:
In the middle is Douglas Tattersall - former Clerk to Bredbury and Romiley Urban District Council who arranged the purchase of Chadkirk Estate and Etherow Country Park for the people of Stockport before the Council was disbanded in 1974.
An enthusiast could probably spend hours studying the graveyard. Again, you can click on the information board to discover a little more. The graves here date from 1762.
On the hill leading to the canal, we passed a strangely shaped house - Kirkwood Cottage - the house looks as though it could have been a toll house but there is no evidence to prove this. Because of its peculiar shape, it has had some creative nicknames over the years, including the Mouse Trap, the Pepperpot and the Concertina House.
The towpath was muddy, but nowhere near as muddy as that of the Bridgewater Canal around Dunham Massey. We had a pleasant stroll along it before coming off at Romiley.
There's a good footpath from Romiley to Bredbury Hall, near where there's a new 40 metre long bridge over the Goyt that was lifted into place as recently as 17 July 2020. It's in the same style as the Chadkirk bridge. I'm told that these bridges could be dangerous to cross in a thunderstorm!
The mess of the construction site lingers, and the cycleway up to Woodbank Park has not yet been completed. From the bridge you can see a large mill, and if you look carefully at the next picture you can see why it's called 'Pear Mill'.