Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Saturday 19 December 2020

Tuesday 15 and Friday 18 December 2020 - Two Trips to Shutlingsloe

It's our tradition to enjoy an evening walk up Shutlingsloe, 'The Matterhorn of Cheshire', shortly before Christmas. As we aren't supposed to move around in large groups these days, six of us went up on Tuesday, and five on Friday. It was a warm evening for both trips, if breezy on top. Tuesday's walk was enjoyed by Sue, Al, Andrew, Diana, Joe and me.

The cloud level hovered over the summit, making it all a bit 'atmospheric', especially when the singing started!

Someone kindly provided mulled wine and goodies, then we went back down to Trentabank, using torches that weren't necessary on the ascent, to avoid stumbling.

The lights over Greater Manchester were impressive, even if my crappy photo suggests otherwise.

On Friday's excursion I was joined by Richard, who took this selfie on the summit.

Graham, Gwynedd and Claire also came along, hampered slightly by Gwynedd's forgetting to bring a torch, which on this evening we used for the ascent as well as the descent. We half expected my nephew Toby to turn up, but he must have been distracted by new fatherhood duties. ('Hello Toby'.)

My summit pictures were all blurred. Apologies for that.

Unlike on Tuesday, there was no evidence of anyone else on the hill on this evening, but there was a bit of drizzle on the ascent, albeit the view over Manchester was clearer this time.

Due to Covid, we missed our usual beers at the nearby Leather's Smithy and went straight home on both evenings, on Tuesday abandoning the car park to some disco ravers, and on Friday - in my case - after a few laps of the car park. Oops!

I haven't gone into more detail, as I've written about various trips to Shutlingsloe, many times before.

Hopefully, those who survive until next December will be able to enjoy a Covid free walk, preceded by a pub meal and followed by some welcome beers.

Friday 18 December 2020

Friday 18 December 2020 - Alderley Edge revisited

In fairly dreary weather, six of us (me, Sue, Graeme, Paul, Jeanette and Jenny) and Rufus the dog assembled at the National Trust car park by the Wizard cafe to enjoy a modest stroll in the environs of Alderley Edge.

I've written about this area many times before - there are already 18 postings with the 'Alderley Edge' label, so I don't propose to labour further in this entry.

The dull day made for difficulty in getting any decent pictures, but here are what I did manage to take. Click on any of them for a better image/slideshow.

Above, our socially distanced group on the corner of Bradford Lane and Hocker Lane.

Below, Rufus led the way along Hocker Lane.

A brook by Hocker Lane

We ventured briefly into Alderley Park, where Jeanette used to go running at lunch times when she worked for AstraZeneca. There are various ornamental ponds, etc, as well as Radnor Mere and some well used paths and a host of picnic tables, some of which are under cover. We enjoyed coffee and cake here, whilst it tried to rain.

We got back to Hocker Lane and headed towards Clinton Hill, where the next two pictures were taken.

On reaching the B5087, a busy road, we were presented with a home made sign discouraging use of the public footpath past Adders Moss Farm. Not wishing to upset the residents, albeit the use of the path would be harmless and legal, we took an alternative route along the road and then past Mount Farm, where no objection was made, though we had to negotiate slurry and a muck spreader.

We made it without mishap, apart from a short 'Martin's meander', to the environs of Alderley Edge, with Rufus doing the navigating after I'd been sacked for going the wrong way.

Back at the friendly cafe, we enjoyed takeaway coffees (thanks, Paul), and a line up of the reconstituted 'Three Musketeers' was captured on film.

Luckily, the picnic tables have been fitted with substantial covers to keep clients dry. This is the way of the current world - takeaway fare consumed outdoors under cover.

Here's today's route - rather less than 10 km, taking us two and a half hours.

Thursday 17 December 2020

Thursday 17 December 2020 - A Sunny Day in the North

While I was supervising the decorator and vetting TGO Challenge routes, and Sue was supervising vaccinations with an unexpected result, these two went swanning off to distant sunny parts. It looks cold, though. Where were they today?

Wednesday 16 December 2020

TGO Challenge - Wild Camps (No 47: 16 May 2013)

After a semi rest day (late start, only 17 km of walking, tent up at 5 pm) I reached NH 888 363, just above a lunch hut in which Ali O, who arrived at 8 pm, spent the night.

I'd come over Carn na Sguabaich, which presented no difficulties, and hurriedly got my tent up at about 350 metres, perhaps not in the best spot, but just before the arrival of a hailstorm.

Tuesday 15 December 2020

Where Now?

Click on the image for a better view
Well now, wherever is she striving to reach this time? I'm sure that BC will know...

Monday 14 December 2020

Sunday 13 December 2020 - A Christmas Walk Around Tatton Park

Unfortunately we had to cancel our usual Christmas walk and lunch at the Crispin in Great Longstone, due to a pesky virus that's doing the rounds. Anyway, not to be defeated, Sue and I met Richard and Jenny in Knutsford for a somewhat scaled down version of the traditional walk - a 10 km stroll around Tatton Park.

The weather could have been better, but we avoided the worst of the rain on a heavily overcast day. 

Jenny had even brought a Christmas hat!

A group of runners passed us on what may have been a charity event. They were certainly dressed for the occasion.

A table in the courtyard made a poor substitute for the Crispin, but luckily we were in the lee of the wind and despite being at the edge of the covered area, we remained dry (and warm).

This walk ('The Christmas Walk') has traditionally been a time of planning trips for the forthcoming year. We tried. Without much success, but I resolved to look at the information from Collett's, who would be a good firm to go with when it's possible to make plans. I later discovered that they aren't taking summer bookings until 26 January, and on reflection anyway, things are very uncertain at present. Our ambition may be restricted to more of the same (local walks) for the foreseeable future.

The tent in the Tatton courtyard - I've not seen that before - was great, and the takeaway lattes were much appreciated.

We completed our clockwise circuit, encountering large herds of both fallow and red deer en route, as well as a bit of 'good ole Cheshire mud'.

There were also families out with quite sophisticated picnicking equipment. Good for them! We went home for lunch, before zooming with the family.

Here's our route - a shade over 10 km. 

An excellent little outing.

Sunday 13 December 2020

Saturday 12 December 2020 - A Visit to Dunham Massey

After our usual Saturday morning activities - (not)parkrun, quiz, gathering at Wythenshawe, etc - Sue and I met up with Family Roberts for a 9 km stroll along the towpath to Dunham Massey, returning through the golf course in the dark.

The top picture shows the view from the canal towards Dunham's exciting Christmas Lights. (You may need a magnifying glass!)

Here's the towpath, in one of its less muddy places.

Group photo obligatory...

Once in Dunham Massey's grounds, the children were transfixed by the magical fallow deer. Or were they?

A fabulous new set of fountains has been laid on for the thousands of Christmas visitors.

And the trees had acquired some strange coloured hues.

The children were transfixed.

Or were they?

Anyway, we had a lovely walk in fine company, I took some crappy pictures in the dim light, we admired what we could, and we all went home for a nice cuppa, after thanking the weather gods for providing a warm and dry, if rather gloomy day.