Church rambling group from St Paul's Church, Heaton Moor, Stockport. Meet second Saturday in the month except January. Anybody is welcome to join our group. Contact details posted in church or go to church website: http://www.stpaulsheatonmoor.org.uk/
Chatsworth Park - Saturday 9th May 2015
Nine hardy souls met up at St Paul's Road and drove over into the
Peak District via Sparrowpit, Stoney Middleton, Baslow and on into the
Chatsworth Estate at Calton Lees Car Park. I say 'hardy souls' as the weather was
not promising and your author was wearing over trousers and at least one walker
admitted to thermals!
We began by walking steadily up a hill until the road ended. A
further upward slope brought us to the top of the ridge that runs roughly south
from Baslow and provides the backdrop to Chatsworth House itself. The views at
this point made the trudge up the hill worth the huffing and puffing of some of
us. Behind each rolling hill there was another, more distant hill--and then
another. We walked through the the woods on forest tracks, while enjoying the
new greenery and the bluebells.
Above the Hall on this ridge are two lakes that feed the estate.
These are the Swiss and Emperor Lakes. The Emperor lake is very pretty with
benches to sit on and ducks and coots on the water. This was to be our lunch
stop. However, vital maintenance work had added heavy plant and a muddy lake
edge. We did find a log to sit on, with our backs to the machines, so it was
not too bad- and the rain was holding off. We took in the Hunting Tower with,
again, splendid views before continuing along the ridge and gradually loosing
height. After we had all clambered over a high stone stile we turned west and
into the estate proper before walking back along the river. Chatsworth was preparing
for a big horse trials event the next weekend and when we were 'close up and
personal' to the VERY large and solid fences one could only marvel at the
courage of both horse and rider in the cross country event. We were soon back
at Calton Lees and enjoyed tea and coffee and, of course, cake in the Garden
Centre coffee shop. We had earned it!
The first walk of the 2017 season started from the Pack Horse Inn, Birtle on the lower slopes of the Pennines above Heywood. On a cold wet windy Saturday we set off from the Inn to follow the road north on a long steady climb to the hamlet of Birtle where we then turned to follow the path along the edge of Ashworth Valley. Unfortunately from the top the views over Lancashire were obscured by cloud and mist but the views of the wooded valley with Cheesden Brook running through provided some compensation.
We made a detour from the route to visit Nabs Wife the site of the former Tea room and weaving mill known as Kershaws Bridge. The site is now occupied by a private dwelling although the old mill yard is still evident. From here we continued along the edge of the valley before turning to take the path across fields to return to the start point and a long leisurely lunch in the pub!
On a warm sunny Saturday eight of our members set off to walk a 5 mile circular ramble around Disley. Leaving the White Horse Inn we took the path through the church yard to the first part of the walk which was to take to the top of the Bowstones. The path climbs steadily along the edge of the Peak District and although the track is difficult in sections the route is not too demanding. The final leg to the top is on tarmacked road and although the road rises steeply it is only for a short distance and once on the summit we were able to enjoy excellent views across Derbyshire, Greater Manchester and Cheshire. Of course we could not walk up to the Bowstones without stopping to look at these 10th Century Anglican crosses with their interlaced carvings and lettering.
After a coffee break we then made the descent down from the ridge and into Lyme Park. The route takes you through woodlands and parkland until eventually you reach the Hall in the centre of the park. From here we set course f…
turnout for a what was an excellent walk on a warm October Saturday.
The route took us via fields of corn on the cob over to Budworth
where we then followed paths across fields to the mere. From this
point we continued along the trail to Maybury Country Park and
enjoyed a stroll via woodlands to the canal. After a short walk along
the tow-path we then followed the well laid out route around Neumans
Flash, with its abundant bird life, to return to the starting point
at the Salt Works.
Lunch was taken in
the Salt Barge which was the perfect end to a day in the fresh air