Wilmslow Express - - CITY LIFE LOCAL -

HEManch­ester Coach Ram­bles

trip to Am­ble­side on Palm Sun­day was to be this year’s first taste of spring in the Lakes.

Our walk from Staveley to Am­ble­side via Kent­mere, the Gar­burn Pass and Town End was pre­ceded by tor­ren­tial rain in the morn­ing but was a re­minder that you should never turn over in bed be­cause the rain is bash­ing the win­dow.

Squally as it was, even af­ter vis­it­ing for many years, the Lake Dis­trict never disappoints.

My ini­tial plan had been to walk to Kent­mere via the lane and paths above the eastern side of the val­ley over Staveley Head, but what my party didn’t re­alise was that I saw a filthy storm ap­proach­ing and I chick­ened out in favour of the low level path along Kent­mere Tarn.

But my ap­pre­hen­sion was to be short-lived – the heavy shower passed, the sky bright­ened and I recog­nised an old favourite route tak­ing me onto the moun­tain to the west via White­side End and added an ex­tra mile and few hun­dred feet above the val­ley be­fore drop­ping to Kent­mere: a to­tally dif­fer­ent route to that ini­tially planned but one which was en­gi­neered to fit in with the weather con­di­tions and a per­fect ex­am­ple of im­por­tant rule of lead­er­ship: never tell the group your ex­act in­ten­tions – you can adapt your planned walk to fit in with weather con­di­tions and no-one will be any the wiser!

The rain be­gan to fall heav­ily as we de­scended to Kent­mere Church and it was there that we were to take lunch.

The empty St Cuth­bert’s chapel may be sacro­sanct but there were no wor­ship­pers and I have al­ways viewed the porch as be­ing an ap­pro­pri­ate shel­ter for lunch for a re­spect­ful but wet and weary trav­eller and the Palm fronds re­minded that this was the be­gin­ning of Holy Week.

The climb over the Gar­burn Pass, an old route to the slate quar­ries, is a favourite route for the ge­ol­o­gist ex­am­in­ing the lava flows and min­er­al­i­sa­tion, but no-one else was to be seen un­til our un­in­ten­tional pil­grim­age dropped to Trout Beck Church.

The daf­fodils were just com­ing out: give it a week and there will be a huge yel­low car­pet cov­er­ing swathes of the Lake Dis­trict.

It was ap­pro­pri­ate Robin Lane was to take us back above the val­ley as robins were to be seen at a few points, fiercely singing, not for our en­ter­tain­ment but to ward off po­ten­tial com­peti­tors for ter­ri­to­ries and to at­tract mates.

A hand­ful of vis­i­tors were to be seen at Jenkin Crag, one of the best known view­points of Lake Win­der­mere, which was passed on our way down to Water­head, two of whom, a cou­ple of Ja­panese ladies clad in train­ers, light jack­ets and cam­eras and were still at the view­point when we de­parted yet some­how man­aged to beat us back to the car park.

Back safe, sound and dry we drifted off to the café at Water­head and then got an ab­so­lute drench­ing as we ran the hun­dred yards from the café back to the coach. C’est la vie!

Lots more in­for­ma­tion and pho­tos at Face­book ad­dress ‘mcr coach ram­blers’.

If you fancy one of our three walks at Church Stret­ton on Sun­day, April 12 with Manch­ester Coach Ram­bles Group go to www.manch­ester coachram­ or www.manch­ester­ram­ and click ‘Coach Ram­bles Group’ for de­tails.

Next Ram­blers Public Trans­port walk is Sun­day, April 19, New Hey to Staly­bridge. Catch 09.20 Rochdale tram from Mar­ket St. Meet New Hey 10.15. Re­turn by train from Staly­bridge. If you are trav­el­ling into Manch­ester by bus/train/tram buy a ‘Sys­tem One bus/train/ tram’ ticket from the bus driver, train guard/sta­tion or tram stop.

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