Walk in valley of living dread
AN isolated valley in the hills above Rainow, near Macclesfield, that was the setting for the novel Thursbitch by international-selling children’s author Alan Garner was the focus of a recent walk by East Cheshire Ramblers.
Spanning a period from the 18th century until the present day, the book is centred on a mysterious inscription found on a rock about a fictional death from exposure.
“Certainly, Thursbitch is an eerie place to visit at anytime,” said walk leader Steve Hull.
‘‘No wonder then that they were the inspiration for Garner’s novel of the same name,” he added.
“It must have been a very lonely place to live.
‘‘It seems that no-one is quite sure what the name means but two suggestions are ‘The Valley of the Demon’ or ‘The Valley of the Living Dread’.
Although the day had started out with heavy rain, the air was very clear and we had extensive views of the Peak District hills and further afield into north Wales.
The first objective was Waggonshaw Brow which we reached by a gentle ascent along field paths.
We descended to our first stop on the edge of woodland overlooking the Todd Brook valley, where we surprised a small herd of deer and watched as they scurried away from us.
After Thursbitch we climbed to the trig point on Shining Tor where there was good shelter from the wind behind a wall that gave us the chance to admire the view while we ate lunch.
We then walked over Stake Side down to the Macclesfield to Buxton road and along a pleasant permissive path to Bottom-of-the-Oven.
This was followed by an ascent to Forest Chapel.
Walking through the forest to Tegg’s Nose, we noticed that recent felling has opened up previously hidden views over the Cheshire Plain.
The walk ended with a pleasant descent along the upper Dean Valley back to Rainow.
For more information go to ramblerseastcheshire.org. uk.
●● The ramblers gather in the ruins of an isolated farm at Thursbitch, near Rainow