Tran­quil vale that con­ceals in­dus­trial past

Macclesfield Express - - EAST CHESHIRE RAMBLERS -

WALK LEADER HE­LEN RICHARD­SON

TUCKED away in a quiet cor­ner of the Goyt Val­ley near Marple, Chad­kirk Coun­try Park was once a busy in­dus­trial area which for more than 200 years from the 1750s grew up on the bleach­ing of tex­tiles and print­ing.

To­day there is lit­tle trace of its grimy his­tory – just peace­ful fields and wood­land that have be­come a haven for wildlife and walk­ers, in­clud­ing a party from East Cheshire Ram­blers who re­cently vis­ited the area on a 10-mile walk led by He­len Richard­son.

Af­ter join­ing the tow­path of the nearby Peak For­est Canal, they ar­rived at an aque­duct that used to carry the canal over the River Etherow more than 100ft be­low.

Pass­ing un­der the aque­duct and a rail­way bridge, they then fol­lowed the river to Etherow Coun­try Park for re­fresh­ments be­side a sun-dap­pled lake as patchy cloud gave way to sun­shine that lasted for the rest of the day.

Climb­ing grad­u­ally from the lake­side the route con­tin­ued through Martin Clough and past Wer­neth Low golf club to the ra­dio masts on top of Idle Hill and on to a me­mo­rial of­fer­ing sweep­ing, panoramic views of sur­round­ing land­marks which could be read­ily iden­ti­fied thanks to a con­ve­nient­ly­placed ori­en­ta­tion ta­ble.

Lunch was eaten in a pic­nic area at Highams Vis­i­tor Cen­tre, which has some in­ter­est­ing study re­sources much used by lo­cal schools.

There were more at­trac­tive views as the ram­blers then made their way down­hill along quiet lanes and across fields ablaze with daz­zling yel­low gorse to even­tu­ally cross a busy main road be­fore skirt­ing along the north­ern edge of Red­brow Wood and through a res­i­den­tial neigh­bour­hood back to Chad­kirk.

For fur­ther details of East Cheshire Ram­blers’ sum­mer pro­gramme of week­end and mid­week walks, coach out­ings and other ac­tiv­i­ties go to ram­blerseastcheshire. org.uk.

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