I’m due to lead a walk for the good folk of the East Lancs LDWA in October, and as with all such things a couple of pre-emptive recces are deemed important.
The route I plan to take isn’t original although there are a few tweeks and alterations chucked in to confuse the innocent and unwary, so here goes…
Sunrise from my bedroom window
I had foresaken my early morning run which was a shame because it was a lovely start to the day – but a 4.5 mile run followed by a 17 – 18 mile walk probably wouldn’t have been a good idea.
The actual walk will start in Hale, close to the River Bollin, but as friends Andy & Lynn had kindly offered to join me on the recce I drove to their home in Knutsford to start the circular route from there.
We set out around 10.30am and walked through the town, famous for Cranford, Knutsford Royal May Day…
….Penny Farthing races…..
…..the shortest river in England…
……and King Canute
Leaving the town we had to resort to tarmac for a mile or so but we were soon back on the wet, grassy field footpaths. My feet, inside NorthFace ‘Waterproof’ walking shoes, were soon wet through. I’ve had two pairs of these shoes now, they’re very comfortable but completely useless as waterproof footware
We walked NE out of Knutsford to skirt around the northern edge of Mobberley, there was a gloriously autumnal feel to the day.
We left the environs of Mobberley to continue NE alongside Manchester Airport’s main runway and then picked up the Bollin Valley Way which routed us under the runway via the River Bollin culvert – that never fails to impress me:
Our lunch stop at the southern end of the runway was a bit noisy but we had great views of aircraft taking off and landing:
Andy & Lynn at the high point of the route…a whole 60m metric metres ASL
It must have been a climb although we didn’t notice it….perhaps we’re just very hill fit. Although maybe not in my case.
Invasive species around the River Bollin, Himalayan Balsam abounds
Hale is the home to many large and expensive houses - particularly those that back on to the Bollin Valley. Not all blend in to the pleasant surroundings:
By early afternoon my feet had eventually dried out – perhaps my shoes are only waterproof one way: water can get in but it can’t get out.
More Bollin Valley invasive species: Giant Hogweed reaching for the skies
We head south past Rostherne, along a permissive path that’s not marked on the OS map. There are nice views over the mere, the autumn colours are glorious:
Rostherne Church…and a coffee & knee tablet stop
The next leg took us to Home Farm on the Tatton Estate. It’s a dead-straight ‘church path’ – well it should have been, but a large field was being ploughed and seed was being spread so we followed the field edge.
Home Farm amongst the trees
Hand-powered fuel pump at Home Farm
Andy posing with the piglets…and Mummy Pig
More autumn colours
Melchett Mere, Tatton Park
Not Very Nice Algae in Tatton Mere
One of Tatton’s residents, just chillin’
The one was more interested in pigging-out on acorns, he just wouldn’t pose.
We walked through Tatton Park towards Knutsford, keeping to the west side of Tatton Mere, exiting the park at it’s southern road gate. From there it was just a few hundred yards back to Andy’s house and my car.
‘Twas a good day out and a nice little stretch. I’ll be back next week to tweek the route a little further but in the meantime I’m fairly happy with the route as it stands.
If anyone fancies coming along on The Big Day, details are here
Where we went: Around 17 miles and a bit – it will be nearer 18 miles on the day. There’s some ascent but not a lot.
Note that the ‘proper’ walk doesn’t start in Knutsford, but in Hale at SJ773858 at 9am sharp on Sunday 15th October.
All the photographs were taken using my Lumix TZ70, any photo editing was with Photofiltre.
The route was recorded using my old Samsung S3 Mini with Viewranger installed. It has a far clearer display that my crappy SatMap 10 and battery life is similar if not better.
Thanks to Andy & Lynn for their company and very helpful suggestions on route tweeks. And the tea. They make very nice cups of tea!