Cracken Edge Walk, 4th September 2022
A ‘cracking’ 12 mile circular walk from Whaley Bridge to Hayfield and back, circumnavigating Chinley Churn. We shall explore the old quarries along Cracken Edge and the extensive historic canal basin at Buxworth, amongst other places en-route. Weather permitting, there will be splendid views all around.
Our walk begins at the public toilets in Whaley Bridge. We shall make our way along the Peak Forest Canal towpath, otherwise known as the Goyt Way, past Bridgemont, before crossing the River Goyt and climbing the hillside to Dolly Lane. We continue our climb towards Over Hill Road, pausing for a while for a break, whilst enjoying the view down the Goyt Valley towards New Mills and past Furness Vale towards Whaley Moor. Over Hill Road takes us down via farms and a quarry to Birch Vale, where we join the route of the former railway line into Hayfield. Hayfield is our lunch stop, with cafes, pubs, public toilets, picnic tables and lots of interesting buildings.
After lunch, we proceed along the pretty River Kinder valley via the Pennine Bridleway, which climbs alongside Elle Bank and beyond. We quickly get wonderful views of the Kinder Reservoir, William Clough and the forbidding mass of Kinder Scout in the distance. We slowly turn south in the general direction of Mount Famine. At the top of the ridge we shall have another short break to reflect on the scenery before turning south west to Peep-O-Day Farm.
By now, the view will have changed completely again as we head towards Chinley Churn and Cracken Edge. Cracken Edge is just below the summit of Chinley Churn. It was once the site of quarries for the production of stone slates. The last working of these quarries was around 1920. Much evidence of the workings remains, including piles of stone, entrances to small adit mines and the remains of an inclined plane used to get the stone down to the valley bottom. We shall have a short break here. As an alternative to a rest, you can take a short path to the top of Chinley Churn, for even better views.
Beyond Cracken Edge, we have a relatively short descent to Buxworth. The canal basin here was the place where stone was transferred from the Peak Forest Tramway into canal boats for onward transportation. The facilities here are extensive and relatively well preserved. It is then but a short walk back to Whaley Bridge for a well-deserved rest. The coach will leave from near the public toilets in Whaley Bridge at 6:30pm. If we arrive early, the departure time may be brought forward. (text by Richard Lake).
No need to book, just turn up at your most convenient pick-up point. Fare is £12.
The coach picks up at the following points.
(With the agreement of the leader other pick-up points
on the bus route may be available).
|“Staff of Life” pub, Hack Lane
|Priestic Road, opp McDonald’s
|Eastfield Side, (Blue Bell)
|Hermitage Lane stop, Sutton Road
|ASDA bus stop. Stockwell Gate.