Below is a brief summary of our recent walks
30 October - Sally’s walk today was great. Started from Youlgrave across to Robin Hood Stride for coffee. Then to the Hermit’s cave. On to Birchover where we detoured to see the so called Druidic rocks which turned out to be an 18C folly of a local parson, but nonetheless intriguing for that. Then up onto Stanton Moor for lunch and a viewing of the 9 ladies, today protected by 2 enviromentalists concerned about tree felling in the surrounding vegetation. Walk 10 miles beautiful mix of woodland and moorland.
19 October - Our final Wednesday walk for 2016 - only three of us for such a beautiful sunny autumn day. We started with a walk through Deep Hayes before heading through farmland to Denford - a brisk walk along the canal towpath to Cheddleton and then a steady climb up to the old school before going across the fields into Park Lane and back along the pathway of the former quarry. 5 miles, led by Liz.
16 October - Four hardy walkers drove from Leek to Hanchurch in pouring rain. By the time they parked, the sun was breaking through. We walked past 2 water towers and a water pumping station which had been turned into houses and apartments. 7.5 miles through Beech & Swynnerton with views of the Wrekin, The Long Mynd and the Clee hills.
9 October - Another beautiful sunny autumn day! Seven members set off from Longnor for a walk down into the valley to follow the River Dove along to Hollinsclough. We basked in lovely sunshine for our lunch at Hollinsclough before setting off back along the valley to Glutton Bridge. From here we headed in the direction of Crowdecote but before reaching this village, headed back towards Longnor with the usual long climb up the concrete farm track. However, this did enable us to enjoy some fantastic views of all the stunning hills surrounding the valley. A 6.5 mile walk led by Shirley and Liz.
18 September - A report from Geoff who led the walk - "Walking stretches the legs, strengthens the heart, stimulates the mind and soothes the soul! A strenuous walk in beautiful surroundings with good company is refreshing and uplifting.
They say that the best things in life are free and climbing a hill or mountain is one of life's joys. Taking in a 360 degree panoramic view is exhilarating. You don't have to be thousands of feet above sea level to get great views. The Peak District is somewhat short of good peaks and only Kinder Scout and Bleaklow are over 2,000 feet but there are many wonderful views from lower vantage points.
Local to Leek is the strangely named Wincle Minn. Not a peak, but a mile long ridge which gives great views across the Cheshire plains and the Staffordshire Moorlands. There are distant views of the Derbyshire hills, the Welsh hills and the Wrekin in Shropshire, Stockport, Manchester, Winter Hill and the Lancashire moors are visible on a clear day.
The Leek Ramblers were fortunate that the weather was sunny, and visibility clear for their recent walk which started at Danebridge, just over the county boundary in Cheshire. The first landmark was the splendid Ship Inn with links to Sir Philip Brocklehurst of Swythamley Hall and the explorer Shackleton renowned for good ale and fine dining.
Less than a mile up the hill we passed Wincle Grange, a magnificent old stone farmhouse. The Grange is built on the site of an old wool warehouse. The Cistercian monks, based in Combermere, Cheshire, farmed the land around Wincle in the 14th century. We followed the old road which linked Macclesfield to Dieulacres Abbey near Leek and Croxden Abbey, near Alton.
After a climb we started walking along the Minn and enjoying the wonderful views. We looked at the five standing stones, three of which are thought to be thousands of years old. One had a benchmark carved in it indicting it was used by the Ordinance Survey during the mapping of the country in 1830 to 1860.
We walked down to the River Dane and saw the weir where water was diverted along a feeder canal to Rudyard Lake; it is now overgrown and no longer used. As we passed the trout farm we saw a family catch a fine specimen, their dinner taken care of.
The end of the walk was celebrated with a pint of the excellent local beer at the Wincle Brewery."
14 August - Liz and Shirley led this 6.5 mile walk from Grindon in overcast but dry weather. Ten of us set off from the car park in the village and headed over fields to Ladyside Woods which took us down into the Manifold Valley. We crossed here to make the ascent to Thor's Cave where we had some spectacular views of the valley. We then headed into the village of Wetton and left via Wetton Hill over large open fields and again some gorgeous scenery. Lunch was taken in a sheltred but warm spot before we arrived at Wetton Mill. We then had a steady ascent of Ossoms Hill before joining a farm track to take us back to our cars.
10 August - Our Wednesday walk again attracted 5 walkers - leaving the Visitor Centre at Consall Nature Park to walk through open fields to a long flight of steps (202) to descend into the Churnet Valley. We came out by the now disused lime kilns - a very industrial area in the 19th Century to a now peaceful area by the River Churnet and Cauldon Canal. From here we headed down the towpath path, chatting to some boaters on the way and watching the steam train pass down the line on its way to Froghall. We then had a steep ascent back through the Nature Park with a couple of viewpoints to enable us to take a breather. A few more "ups and downs" and crossing a stream or two we came to Heron Pool - popular with anglers - before arriving back at the Centre. An interesting walk, looking at our industrial past, led by Liz.
26 June - A walk with a difference today - we only had 1 stile! Shirley and Liz led a 7 mile walk for 13 members. We started in Stone and went along the towpath of the Trent and Mersey Canal to the village of Burston. It was a lovely sunny day for us to have lunch by the pond and then a look in the small church. After lunch we returned through the Trent Valley and after all the wet and windy weather there were still fields of wild flowers and poppies for us to enjoy. The walk took us through the village of Aston which had an "Open Garden Day". Arriving back at the canal we visited Aston Marina for a welcome cuppa and icecream. Our walk then took us back along the towpath into Stone.
8 June - a lovely, warm sunny day for our walk from Ilam Hall along by the alternative path at the base of Bunster Hill to the Stepping Stones at Dovedale. We then circled round the dale at the base of Thorpe Cloud to the village of Thorpe. A gentle stroll along through fields until we met up with the River Dove and followed this back into Ilam before returning to the gardens for our lunch break. 5 walkers enjoyed this 5 mile walk led by Liz.
22 May - Led by Barry and Barb - the walk started at the Punchbowl car park on Cannock Chase, we were met here by John from Aldridge and Geraldine from Walsall. 10 us us set off for a leisurely stroll through the Chase until we arrived at Millford Common. Here we crossed the road to pick up the Tixall road, to eventually pick up the staffs and works canal. Several points of interest were passed on the way to our lunch stop, ie Tixall gatehouse, The Broad Water and the ornate buildings of Tixall farm. We then crossed the aqueduct over the Trent arriving at our lunch stop; the mill and boatyard at the junction with the Trent and Mersey canal; here some of our group purchased strawberries from the farm shop (they were very nice ). After lunch we continued on the Trent and Mersey canal, leaving at the tearooms we then crossed the Essex bridge to enter the Shugborough estate. It was then a gentle stroll through the estate passing the hall and the triumphal arch until we arrived back at our starting point.
POI - The Triumphal Arch - circa 1765. Essex Bridge is a grade one listed packhorse bridge over the Trent built in 1550 by the Earl of Essex. Tixall Gatehouse - built in 1580.
11 May - A rather overcast day, but, for the most, the rain stayed away for the four walkers who joined the monthly Wednesday walk. Starting in Wetton we walked through the village and skirted the lower part of Wetton Mill to what was once a hostelry, the Pepper Inn, and then through the dale to the Manifold Valley. A gentle walk along the former railway track to where the train used to stop for visitors to Thor's Cave. We made a steady ascent to the cave but, unfortunately, the views weren't spectacular in view of the cloud. Making our way back to the village, we stopped for sandwiches and met several other walking groups before returning to our cars. Walk of just under 5 miles, led by Liz.
10 April - It was a lovely spring day when 13 ramblers set off from Clough House car park in Wildboarclough to climb Shutlingsloe or the 'Matterhorn of Cheshire' as it is sometimes described.
Kathy led 9 to the top to enjoy the incredible views whilst Susanne led 4 along the easier route which goes around the hill. After we stopped for coffee we set off towards Macclesfield forest passing plenty of others enjoying the beautiful day.
A little walk along a country lane led us to Bottom of The Oven in the valley before we climbed through some fields, stopping for a lunch break, then dropped down to walk along Clough Brook to join the last bit of road back to the car park.
20 March - On a lovely sunny morning, sixteen of us, led by Barry, set off from Sheldon, making our way down the valley to Ashford in the Water where we had our coffee break beside the river. We then made our way up through the pastures, with some glorious views, to the top of Monsall Head where we had our lunch.
After lunch we made our way down to the river below (the weir was in full flow, and a sight to be seen) and followed it back to the A6. We crossed here and went through the car park to enter Deepdale and its rugged hills, making our way through the dale and a following a steady climb through a number of fields we arrived back in Sheldon. Kathy informing us we had completed 7.75miles.
28 February - Walk led by Barry and Barb 6 miles leisurely. On a pleasant Sunday for a change, 11 members and a "newby" - Melanie - set off from Combs Road then followed the River Wye for a short while until we reached Haddon Hall; here we crossed the road to enter Haddon fields.
We walked on until we joined a path that overlooked the River Lathkill - at this point we took our lunch break. After lunch we continued on through Over Haddon, eventually picking up the footpath back into Bakewell with a nice stroll through the town back to Combs Road.
21 February - We were pleased to be able to set off on our walk in dry weather following the torrential rain on Saturday. 12 walkers met at the car park in Tissington and after walking through the village headed over fields to eventually join the Tissington Trail - a former railway line from Ashbourne to Buxton. We then left the track to head down fields to Alsop en le Dale - a small picturesque village - and then had a short climb into a small woodland. After several fields we came to a quiet country lane and found a suitable place for lunch. The second part of the walk was not quite so dry as the first part! However, we had a climb up a rather wet track and then over fields before heading down into another valley. There was then a good climb up - a little bit muddy - but we soon reached the Tissington Trail once again and were onto firm dry land! A brisk walk back along the trail to the car park - and no rain! A 6 mile walk led by Liz.
14 February - On a bright and sunny, if cold, Valentines' Day, Kevin led 9 walkers on a circular beginning from the High Peak car park at Minninglow. This was a re-arranged walk with the new route purposely avoiding muddy and wet footpaths. Our objective was Longcliffe, with the outward route using tracks and quiet country lanes. The clear blue skies afforded good views as we made our way through the hamlet of Aldwark where we noticed clumps of snowdrops in flower. Lunch was taken on the picnic tables at the former railway station of Longcliffe on The High Peak Trail. An easy, level final section of the walk took us along the old railway track back to the cars.Before arriving back at the car park we crossed one of the many large embankments, testimony to the skills of the engineers of the time. A thoroughly enjoyable walk in perfect conditions.
7 February - 10 walkers joined Geoff on a lovely sunny, if a little cold, day for our 10 mile walk from Froghall Wharf. We set off through Moneymoor Wood and over to the edge of Ipstones and then turning right to head towards Foxt. We had a long and steady ascent (c.2200 feet) to Ipstones Edge where we were rewarded with stunning views, although slightly marred by rain clouds in the distance. We were very fortunate in that the rain missed us! A dry walk along the road as far as Windywaycross (a turnpike marker, dated 1882, to replace an older one). After a walk through boggy fields, we managed to find a dry spot, between two streams, for our lunch break. We then continued towards the hamlet of Garston where we saw a lovely display of snowdrops and then another short climb to Heathy Gore and eventually after passing the disused Moneystone Quarry reached the golf course at Whiston. We then made our way back via the former tramway to Froghall Wharf. We all enjoyed this lovely walk with some of the paths being new to all of us!
24 January - Eleven walkers enjoyed a five and a half mile circular around Macclesfield Forest led by Ben & Kirstie. A dry day and mild conditions made for a pleasant walk, starting and finishing by the Langley reservoirs. Most of the walk was on forest tracks or lanes, so no worries with conditions underfoot. Lunch stop was at the church in the picturesque hamlet of Forest Chapel. This is one of the highest churches in the UK standing at over 1300 feet above sea level. Throughout this excellent walk there were a host of opportunities to take in superb views; with the Cheshire Plain, Shutlingsloe, and Teggs Nose, to name but a few.
17 January - Not the rain but snow/ice meant we had to change our scheduled walk to Gawsworth. However, Isobel and Susanne quickly put together a short walk for us of about 4.5 miles around Leek. Five of us of set off from the car park to The Mount and on to Lowe Hill and then crossing over fields into Ballington Woods. The trees were really picturesque covered in snow but the path was a bit slippy underfoot. From here we walked past the back of the cemetry and then into Spring Gardens and then on to Brough Park. The park was very busy with families enjoying the snow with children sledging down the snow covered banks - great fun! We returned to the car park and then home in time to eat our sarnies!
10 January - Sid had to alter his scheduled walk, again because of the wet conditions under foot, but 10 walkers joined him for a scenic walk from Leek. We walked along the Leek branch of the Cauldon Canal and eventually turned off to go over to St. Edward's Park at Cheddleton. We walked through the outskirts of the village and joined the canal again by the Churnet Valley Railway Station and continued along the "refurbished" towpath to Wallbridge at Longsdon. We stopped here for our lunch break before rejoining the Leek branch of the Cauldon and returning to Leek. An enjoyable 7 mile walk and no rain!
3 January - A very wet day for the first walk of the new year. We had no walkers for Hugh's short walk but 3 walkers joined Mike for a walk around Hartington - they had a very enjoyable walk even if a bit wet!