Enjoying the delights of Lyme Park
WE are so lucky to have Lyme Park on our doorstep. The park comprises 1,400 acres of moorland, woodland and parkland and a myriad of paths. What a stunning place for a walk!
This particular six-mile circular walk started at Nelson Pit Visitor Centre and took us past Mount Vernon Wharf, where canal boats have been built since the end of the Second World War.
We went into Lyme Park via Haresteads Farm and picked up the Gritstone Trail to Knightslow Wood.
The Gritstone Trail is 35 miles long and runs from Disley to Kidsgrove, although we only did a tiny part of it.
We climbed to the brow of a steep hill, adjacent to Bowstones Farm and stopped for coffee, looking out over the spectacular view of Manchester and surrounding areas.
We then stopped to look at the Bowstones themselves. They are thought to be the remains of Anglo Saxon crosses which were objects of devotion and also marked the edge of an ancient kingdom.
After a short walk down a minor road, we turned back into moorland, crossed a high stone stile back into Lyme Park and walked downhill past Lantern Wood.
As we came level with Lyme Hall we took a small path behind the house and were greeted with glorious views of the sun-bathed hall and gardens.
This is my favourite view of the hall, beautifully symmetrical with life-size statues of Neptune, Venus and Pan gazing down on you.
The lawns slope gently down to the lake and you can imagine the Regency ladies and gentlemen strolling down to the reflecting lake.
We left the house and walked through parkland until we reached a ladder stile near Green Farm and left Lyme Park.
Having had quite a strenuous climb at the beginning of the walk it was all downhill from here to the canal towpath.
Macclesfield Canal was opened in 1831 and was used commercially until the 1950s. When the commercial traffic failed, barging gradually became a popular leisure activity.
We walked along the towpath, past the brightly coloured barges back to Nelson Pit. Three hours well spent!
For more details of East Cheshire Ramblers’ programme of weekend and midweek walks ranging from 4 to 15 miles in length, go to ramblerseastcheshire. co.uk.
The East Cheshire Ramblers pause to admire the view in Lyme Park