Our next ramble is an 11 mile walk along the northern section of the Gritstone Trail, from Disley to the Teggs Nose car park near Macclesfield. The itinerary includes the very popular Lyme Park and a monument called White Nancy. There is wonderful scenery all along this walk, so one not to be missed! I have already had requests from one or two people to repeat the walk some other time. If you can’t make 30th April but are interested in doing the walk at some future date, please do let me know some time over the next few weeks.
The Gritstone Trail is a 35-mile path from Disley to Kidsgrove. It follows the western edge of the Peak District, overlooking the Cheshire Plain. We plan to cover the whole trail over 3 walks, gradually making our way from north to south. There are some amazing views and very interesting places en route, making this a journey to remember. The first stage is from Disley to the Teggs Nose car park near Macclesfield. Stage two will be from Teggs Nose to Rushton Spencer on 3rd September. For any survivors, it is intended to cover the remaining section to Kidsgrove as part of the forthcoming Winter programme.
Our walk begins at Disley Railway station. After a brief climb to the edge of town, we follow the appropriately-named Green Lane which climbs very gently above Bollinhurst Reservoir, before descending to Bollinhurst Bridge. By now we should already see ‘The Cage’ to our right, a tower in Lyme Park. After crossing the rather delicate Bollinhurst Bridge, we gently climb again, with distant views of Manchester to our right. At East Lodge, we enter the grounds of Lyme Park and quickly reach our first stop of the day. Lyme Park has plenty of seating, a cafe and toilets – a very attractive place for our break.
After our respite, the Trail climbs up through woodland and onto the moors. A herd of deer was spotted along here on the recce. At Bowstonegate, we shall briefly stop to look at the Bowstones, a couple of inscribed Anglo-Saxon stone pillars.
We now have a gentle climb along a farm track to Sponds Hill and then down towards Brink Farm. The views along here are again very impressive. After a short road walk, we branch off to the south east along a very pretty path descending towards Berriestall Hall. Ahead, in the distance, we catch a glimpse of White Nancy, a hilltop monument reached later on our walk.
After crossing a very ancient bridge over Harrop Brook, we follow a road to Oakenbank. Shortly after, we pass the grounds of Savio House, a Roman Catholic retreat. This path takes us down to Waulkmill Farm, a picturesque old watermill. We shall make a brief diversion here to view the waterfall.
Beyond, is the climb to White Nancy. We follow a narrow tarmac lane and steps to reach the monument. It looks like a giant artillery shell. Painted white, it was built as a hilltop folly, with seats and a table inside. Nancy was allegedly the name of the horse that carried the materials to the site. We shall take a long pause here to enjoy the wonderful views, which are well worth the climb.
Beyond White Nancy, the Gritstone Trail follows the exhilarating Saddle of Kerridge to Kerridge Hill, before descending to Tower Hill on the Macclesfield-Whaley Bridge road. We follow this road briefly before turning south again towards Hordern Farm. We turn right just before the farm and cross the A537, It is then but a short climb to the end of our walk at the Teggs Nose car park. Toilets here should still be open when we arrive.
The length of this walk is deliberately slightly less than usual to allow everyone to take in the sights etc. The coach will depart from the Teggs Nose car park at 6:30pm, or earlier if we arrive in good time.