Fol­low­ing in foot­steps of min­ers

Macclesfield Express - - RAMBLING -

WALK LEADER HE­LEN RICHARD­SON

THE pic­turesque mar­ket town of Grass­ing­ton in the York­shire Dales has a history dat­ing back to at least the bronze age.

From the eigh­teenth cen­tury, the town had a thriv­ing lead min­ing in­dus­try and was home to hun­dreds of min­ers. Now it is known for its bustling cob­bled mar­ket square, quaint nar­row streets, stone cot­tages, cafes serv­ing qual­ity food, ar­ti­san shops and at­trac­tive lime­stone coun­try­side.

There is an in­ter­est­ing folk mu­seum in the town square and a na­tional park visi­tor cen­tre close by, from which a short stroll leads to Lin­ton Falls on the River Wharfe.

Grass­ing­ton was the des­ti­na­tion for more than 50 East Cheshire Ram­blers on a re­cent coach trip. With a choice of three walks: six, nine or 11-and-a-half miles, 21 ram­blers joined the mid-length walk led by He­len Richard­son.

Start­ing from the visi­tor cen­tre, they made their way through the mar­ket square and fol­lowed lanes, paths and an­cient field sys­tems north­wards on a steady as­cent up Kim­pergill Hill, to reach the high­est point on their walk at Bare House – a dis­used farm ap­prox­i­mately 1,275ft above sea level.

As early rain showers gave way to sunny spells, a grad­ual de­scent across rough pas­ture­land took them to an at­trac­tive dry val­ley, known lo­cally as Con­i­s­tone Dib.

Here they rose to the chal­lenge of scram­bling through a nar­row lime­stone cleft.

Soon they ar­rived in Con­i­s­tone vil­lage, where they en­joyed lunch by the river, be­fore cross­ing fields to Kilnsey Crag, to watch rock climbers scal­ing its walls in their at­tempt to con­quer the over­hang.

Their route con­tin­ued through mead­ow­land with an abun­dance and di­ver­sity of wild flow­ers, lead­ing into tran­quil Grass Wood, a Site of Spe­cial Sci­en­tific In­ter­est (SSSI) with its rich ground of flora, hazel, ash and birch.

Ex­it­ing the wood­land, the walk­ers crossed a field and were soon on Cove Lane, which led them back into Grass­ing­ton, for well-earned re­fresh­ments and the re­turn coach jour­ney in the late af­ter­noon sun.

For more in­for­ma­tion about East Cheshire Ram­blers’ cur­rent walk­ing pro­gramme, visit www. ram­blerseastcheshire. co.uk.

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