Old for­got­ten rail­way routes are putting walk­ers on right tracks

Macclesfield Express - - EAST CHESHIRE RAMBLERS -

LONG lost rail routes are a use­ful start­ing point for walks by East Cheshire Ram­blers, of­fer­ing both quick and easy ac­cess to the hills and dales of the Peak Dis­trict as well as a fas­ci­nat­ing re­minder of the re­gion’s in­dus­trial her­itage.

A case in point was a re­cent nine-mile walk from the canal basin at Wha­ley Bridge that ini­tially fol­lowed the for­mer Crom­ford and High Peak Rail­way, which was com­pleted in 1831 for the trans­port of coal and lime­stone.

Af­ter leav­ing the course of the line, the group crossed the River Goyt and as­cended a steep path past St James’ Church, Taxal, to­wards Over­ton Hall Farm be­fore de­scend­ing into Ket­tleshulme and head­ing north to en­joy the fine views across the val­ley.

Con­tin­u­ing west, the party of 12 walk­ers ar­rived at an un­usual land­mark known as the Dip­ping Stone.

Opin­ion is di­vided as to whether it once formed the base of a me­dieval cross or was a plague stone used to hold spring wa­ter where trav­ellers could wash their money.

The walk re­turned to Wha­ley Bridge via Tod­dbrook reser­voir – an SSSI (site of spe­cial sci­en­tific in­ter­est) which was also con­structed in 1831 to sup­ply wa­ter to the Peak For­est Canal and is now an im­por­tant wildlife habi­tat.

One of the county’s largest walk­ing groups, East Cheshire Ram­blers op­er­ates up­wards of 250 walks each year, in­clud­ing week­end and mid­week out­ings, coach trips and week­ends away.

There are also oc­ca­sional so­cial evenings as well as prac­ti­cal cour­ses on sub­jects such as map read­ing and deal­ing with an emer­gency out­doors.

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion go to: ram­blers eastcheshire.org.uk.

●● East Cheshire Ram­blers take a break to ad­mire the view on their walk from Wha­ley Bridge

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.