Sunday 28th March 2004 - Whaley Bridge, South Lakes

This month's walk is based on Whaley Bridge. The coach will leave school as usual at 8.00 am prompt and there will be NO toilet stop en route. The B and C walks all start and finish in Whaley Bridge where there are toilets and the usual end of walk facilities. The B+ walkers (first off the coach) will need to be “booted up” and ready to go with rucksacks etc as coach parking is very limited at their start point on the A6. Toilets are available after half an hour walking for the B+ walkers. We plan to leave at 5.30pm to be back in Formby at about 7.15pm. Conditions are expected to be muddy and walking boots will be essential.

Booking forms need to be returned by Thursday 18 March at the latest.
‘A’ Walk
Distance: 12 miles
Ascent: 1,250 ft
Ken Bryning
Bob Scurr

The walk starts on the A5004 a mile south of Whaley Bridge at SK008798 near to Taxal church.
We climb steeply to Taxal Edge and Windgather Rocks, before following the ridge via Pym Chair, Cats Tor to Shining Tor (1844ft).
Descending SE then NW leads us to the Errwood and Fernilee Reservoirs in the Goyt Valley.
This is a popular recreation area and we may well have the luxury of a picnic table for lunch!
The return is via the Midshires Way back into Whaley Bridge.


‘B+’ Walk
Distance: 10½ miles
Ascent: 1,200 ft
Dave Purdy
Glennis Poole

Starting at the “Royal Oak” on the A6 between Hazel Grove and High Lane, we skirt some woodland to reach the towpath of the Macclesfield canal which is then followed south for a mile to the marina at Higher Poynton where there are toilet facilities and a very interesting visitors centre. (Lots of leaflets and walk ideas if you don't already know the area).
Leaving the canal, we then start to climb very steadily for the next 3 miles, first through farmland then through the grounds of Lyme Park to pick up the Grit Stone Trail which takes us via the “Bowstones” (Robin Hood connection?) and over the long ridge of Sponds Hill with distant views of Mam Tor and Kinder Scout.
Turning east, we descend into the valley of Todd Brook and then climb out again (!) to reach Taxal Edge near Windgather Rocks.
From here it is all downhill towards the River Goyt and then through charming Taxal into Whaley Bridge.
In view of the short journey from Formby, there will be plenty of time to complete the walk so that, weather permitting, we may have an extended coffee break in the grounds of Lyme Park to allow “Pride and Prejudice” fans to go Darcy hunting!


‘B’ Walk
Distance: 9½ miles
Ascent: 950 ft
Barry Whitby
Peter Houghton

Leaving Whaley Bridge,we climb steadily via Toddbrook Reservoir to Taxal Moor and then along Taxal Edge. With good views to the west, we continue past Windgather Rocks to Pym Chair, the day's high point.
Now descending in a south easterly direction, we soon pass a small shrine before reaching the derelict Errwood Hall, set amongst a profusion of rhododendrons.
Our return to Whaley Bridge takes us alongside the Errwood and Fernilee Reservoirs, the River Goyt and finally through Smallcross Wood.
This walk is little more strenuous than normal but with all the climbing completed by lunchtime, is well worth the effort.

‘C’ Walk
Distance:8 miles.
Ascent: 600 ft
Janet Purdy
Ray Webb

Starting from Whaley Bridge, we walk over the dam at the end of Toddbrook Reservoir and proceed to the attractive village of Taxal via fields and hard paths.
We then drop down to the Goyt Valley through a woodland nature reserve and cross the river to walk along the disused railway track at the side of Fernilee Reservoir.
Crossing the dam at the end of this reservoir (with extensive views), we return through more woodland and a gentle climb to Overton Hall and along Whiteleas Road where we drop down to the river again and back into Whaley Bridge.
Most of the walk is on hard paths, though there may be some muddy patches!