Scenic 10-mile walk to plea­sure ground for Vic­to­rian day trip­pers

Macclesfield Express - - EAST CHESHIRE RAMBLERS -

TWENTY East Cheshire Ram­blers en­joyed a fas­ci­nat­ing 10-mile walk back in time re­cently on a mid­week walk that took them from Knott Inn at Rush­ton Spencer to Rud­yard Lake, near Leek – once a favourite haunt of Vic­to­rian day trip­pers, in­clud­ing the par­ents of one of England’s most cel­e­brated sto­ry­tellers.

First stop was the par­ish church of St Lawrence the Mar­tyr.

Dat­ing from 1386, the beau­ti­ful old sand­stone church was reached af­ter a steady, 80-minute climb. The benches out­side of­fer clear views over the sur­round­ing Stafford­shire coun­try­side and were par­tic­u­larly wel­come for a cof­fee break.

Head­ing south, the party gamely crossed streams, climbed over stiles and walked through fields of graz­ing cows and sheep to reach Rud­yard Lake Vis­i­tor Cen­tre in time for lunch, with au­tumn sun­shine re­flect­ing off the 2.5m strip of wa­ter.

Con­structed more than 200 years ago to sup­ply wa­ter to the ex­pand­ing West Mid­lands canal sys­tem, the lake be­came a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion for hordes of Vic­to­rian day trip­pers ar­riv­ing by train on the North Stafford­shire Rail­way.

Among the vis­i­tors were John Lock­wood Ki­pling, fa­ther of Rud­yard, and Alice MacDon­ald who met there on a trip from the Pot­ter­ies and liked the area so much that they named their son af­ter it.

To­day, sur­rounded by well-wooded hill­sides, it pro­vides an at­trac­tive venue not only for walk­ers but also an­glers and sail­ing en­thu­si­asts.

In sum­mer the minia­ture steam rail­way is a novel de­light for chil­dren and adults alike.

Apart from a com­plete pro­gramme of mid­week and week­end walks, East Cheshire Ram­blers or­gan­ise reg­u­lar coach out­ings to other scenic lo­ca­tions through­out North­ern England as well as oc­ca­sional week­ends away and other so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties.

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion go to the web­site: ram­ uk

‘Among the vis­i­tors were John Lock­wood Ki­pling and Alice MacDon­ald who met there on a trip from the Pot­ter­ies’

●● East Cheshire Ram­blers by Rud­yard Lake

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