Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Saturday 6 May 2023

Wednesday and Thursday 3 and 4 May 2023 - Around Knutsford with Roger

Roger is a fellow TGO Challenger . He is currently engaged in a walk from Lands End to John o'Groats by a rather unorthodox route. It has taken him over two months to reach the depths of Cheshire. 

Over the years I've intercepted a few JOGLE and LEJOGers, though the only report I can find today is the account of my encounter with Daryl May on 1 April 2008. JJ was involved in other 'interceptions', which usually result in the complete stranger concerned being brought to Timperley, fed, watered and cleaned, and deposited back on their route the following day.

Roger is reporting on his walk here, (you can also click on the 'Roger's Walkabout' link to the right of this posting) and we had a long-standing loose arrangement whereby he would visit us en route.

So, on Tuesday night he wound up at Frodsham, with a plan to walk to Knutsford on Wednesday, so I drove out to Knutsford on Wednesday morning and headed along the North Cheshire Way to meet Roger at Arley Hall.

Few pictures were taken. The Cheshire countryside is pretty enough, but it doesn't have you grabbing for your camera every few metres. In fact, the first time mine came out was at Hollowood Farm, near the M6 motorway, where a dilapidated boat and various vehicles littered the farmyard.

The route was punctuated with wooden stiles in various states of repair, but apart from two locked gates at Hollowood Farm the route was easily negotiated, care being needed to avoid cramp on some of the stiles!

Apart from one large field of rape, crops were not in evidence, farmers preferring to generate crops of lambs, for whom there was more than enough lush grass.

This footbridge linking two large fields sported a 'pallet gate' which seemed very effective.

In complete contrast to Hollowood, Litley Farm looked clean and well maintained, the old buildings seemingly impressively intact.

Beyond here, all signs pointed towards Arley Hall, and I soon passed what I assume to be an old gatehouse, now needing serious renovation.

Beyond the gate seen above, a narrow lane led to Arley Brook Pool, where a Coot was chasing a rather laid back pair of mallards.

I stopped here for a while before continuing to meet Roger near the Arley Hall car park, then we returned to this same spot for a pleasant break.

The North Cheshire Way does have some path markers, but there's little evidence of it in the grassy fields through which the route passes. Roger posed for me here - he is wearing lightweight trail shoes and carrying a pack weighing less than 10 kilos. This is impressive, and Roger (in his 70's, with two new knees) is covering distances that many younger walkers would find too tough.

We soon reached the field of rape that I'd admired earlier whilst engaged in a long conversation with JJ.

The field paths finally turned into tarmac footpaths, and our final landmark of any interest was the cemetery at Tabley Hill.

I'd walked about 19km, whereas Roger reckoned he had got through 22 miles (35km). His report on the day is here.

After overnighting in Timperley - thanks for all the wine, Roger - we drove back out to Knutsford and with a few minor hiccups managed to wend our way past Knutsford Moor, where a lake and a playground had attracted numerous visitors - many in the company of push-chairs or dogs or both.

The route took us under a railway line before making its way to Parkgate Trading Estate, beside which the NCW path vanished into a dead end in a new housing estate. A lady in the show house pointed out the current route that goes past Parkgate Farm, and I left Roger to proceed towards Bollington on a path that looked viable.

I'd walked 6km or so when I got back to the car after this pleasant interlude. I very much enjoyed our little encounter, Roger, and wish you well for the rest of your journey.

As an aside... I am following Sue's example and using the 'Seek' app to record a few flowers, etc. I didn't need Seek to be able to identify the following flowers, but walking on my own on Wednesday it was a good opportunity to record a few specimens:

Herb Robert

Garlic Mustard

Cow Parsley

White Deadnettle

Forgetmenot (? variety)

Ribwort Plantain

Common Dandelion

Greater Stitchwort


Red Campion

Sunday 30 April 2023

Sunday 30 April 2023 - Craiganour (8) - Goodbye Craiganour, Hello Timperley

On a dreich morning by Loch Rannoch, we enjoyed a final flourish of eggy bread, bacon and maple syrup from Bee, before setting off in directions varying from Knoydart to Kent.

All 18 of us had enjoyed a great week in very considerate weather. I took a final picture (above), then Sue and I drove south, mostly in rain, via Aberfeldy and Crieff.

By the time we had reached Timperley and unpacked, the sun was shining and we enjoyed a 5km stroll through De Quincey Park and beside the Bridgewater Canal.

Everything looks rather greener than when we set off a week ago!