Shutlingsloe & Wildboarclough from Ridgegate reservoir, Langley – Mar 2020

If I’m totally honest dear readers, I’ve been needing this walk for some time. My head’s not been in the best of places for the last couple of months and I find a good, long hike works wonders to reset my balance.

So that admission out of the way, I give you a 7 ΒΌ mile (11.5 km) trek around an area South East of Macclesfield on the edge of the Peak District National Park. I’d planned to do this in some fancy new welly boots but the ones I ordered were too big so I took the chance and went for it in my hiking boots. Luckily, despite all the rain we’ve had, the ground wasn’t too bad … although there were a few areas that required some deft footwork!

Unfortunately, my Samsung Galaxy watch decided not to play properly today so I have no GPS route for you to play with. Just some rather nice images. I had lots of sun, plenty of cloud, a little rain and some hailstones … and as for the wind, well it was very windy! The last part of the climb to the top of Shutlingsloe was a little on the scary side as staying vertical was hard going!

And there you go, brief and to the point but I wanted to share it as it was the first of the year. I’m looking forward to many more.

Little Moreton Hall & Mow Cop from Ackers Crossing – Dec 2019

The weather forecast for the last Monday of 2019 looked really promising; <5% chance of rain for the whole day, plenty of sunshine and minimal cloud cover … perfect. The next thing to sort was the walk. I typed ‘Cheshire circular walks’ into Google, hit enter and one of the results linked to go4awalk.com which happened to list ’60 easy to follow circular walks in Cheshire’ … 2 for 2 on the good luck stakes! Then I noticed it was a chargeable site … ooh dear. I read on and it’s actually very reasonably priced per walk so I thought why not. We’re so used to getting everything for nothing (or so we think) these days but sometimes it’s worth splashing a little cash, plus the site has a few other useful functions such as being able to upload images you take of the walk for other’s reference and even to find walkers to accompany you on your journeys. A login was created and money changed hands before I downloaded details for today’s walk.

The distance looked good (8 miles / 13 km), grade 4 so easy going and only a 30 minute drive away. With days being so short at this time of year, I don’t want to be travelling too far so this was ideal. I’ve posted the GPS track of my walk below … you may notice I got a bit lost around Mow Cop folly which turned it into a 9 mile walk and meant the sun was very low in the sky by the time I got back to my car!

Walk route
I got a little lost around Mow Cop, you can laugh along with the original kmz file in Google Earth if you must!

There are some interesting links to detail about the places in the walk, and some personal detail I’d like to add, but I’ll put them at the end so you can get to the images first …

So, time for some points of interest. Before I start I will say that I may invest in some ‘walking’ wellies for next Winter … the amount of mud I had to walk through where I couldn’t avoid it was crazy! I don’t mind walking through mud other than the fear that water will get into my boots and I’ll spend the rest of the walk with wet & cold feet.

The first place worthy of note is the 500 year old Little Moreton Hall, a truly amazing National Trust property that is so crooked it’s hard to believe it’s still standing. I’ve visited once and the Long Gallery on the top floor is a real sight to behold.

Next up, Mow Cop and it’s crowning glory folly. Easily seen on the horizon from many parts of my home town of Crewe it seemed to attract everyone I knew as soon as they’d passed their driving test! The folly actually sits on the border between Cheshire & Staffordshire so you get amazing views of both when the weather is favourable. I’ve driven up Mow Cop a few times over the years and the 22% rise shown in the gallery above can catch you off guard in a car, coming as it does straight after a right hand turn … it’s even tougher to walk up, even if it isn’t that long! There’s also a new one to me, the Old Man O’ Mow which I’d not heard of before … I wish there had been time for a little detour now, maybe next time.

Last, but not least, is something that can also be seen for miles around … the historical and world famous Lovell space telescope situated at Jodrell Bank, which is part of the University of Manchester and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Construction of the Lovell telescope began in 1945 and used ex-military parts such as drive gears from battleship gun turrets. It tracked Sputnik after it was launched by the USSR and one of its companion dishes at Jodrell Bank tracked Apollo 11 during it’s mission to the moon. There’s lots more interesting information to be found on Wikipedia.

So there you have it, hopefully a little something of interest for everybody!