Sunday, June 20, 2010

Walk report, Sunday 20th June 2010

Some features of this walk:

  • A footpath that passes through a shed
  • There are two Coppock House Farms in this area – we pass both!
  • We’re not actually walking as far as the Himalayas, but we will see Annapurna!
  • Free-range saddleback pigs
  • Some magnificent exotic cockerels
  • We touch the edge of Lindow Moss
  • Some of the walk is a bit spoiled by having become the bland monoculture outdoor board game of a golf course. We’ll hurry through that bit
  • The once-moated manor of Hollingee
  • Some unusual warning signs in the fields (beware of cattle)
  • A quintessentially British cricket pitch

We start in Mill Lane, Mobberley, near the Roebuck and Bull's Head pubs on a gloriously sunny morning. I lead the group up the narrow Dam Lane opposite the latter. Dam Lane becomes a narrow track and where it turns sharply right we go straight on through a kissing gate into a field, which we cross to the stile on the far boundary. A slight descent to cross a small brook takes us into the next field and on to the first of two Coppock House Farms we will pass today. The path takes us along the south side of the farm buildings, across a wooden bridge, and eventually to Antrobus House Farm on Faulkener's Lane, near the Frozen Mop pub.

We cross the Mobberley Brook by the road bridge, then turn immediately right over a stile, across some small fields, to pass though a passage in the end of an outbuilding to emerge by the busy Knutsford Road, which we carefully cross to take to the fields again through a hay meadow, a cattle field, and another hay meadow to emerge onto Moss Lane. This countryside, in the rich full growth of high summer, is stunningly beautiful especially  on a fabulous day like today.

The saddle back pigs are sheltering from the sun in their arks, so we don't see them today as we walk up the quiet Moss lane, but we do see the bungalow of Anna-Purna on our left as we take the left fork in the road and Paddock Hill Lane goes off to the right. We pass though a gate as Moss Lane becomes the drive of the next Coppock House Farm on our walk. Passing the seat by the roadside where weary walkers can rest if they like, we take the path around the west edge of Coppock House Farm, and the lovely exotic cockerels are clucking around their compound as we pass.

We are in 'golf club' country for a while here, but soon leave it to cross a stile into a field of horses to arrive at the once-moated manor of Hollingee. We turn left down Hollingee's drive and where it turns sharp right we carry straight on through a kissing gate onto Mobberley golf course not far from the club house. We are soon past this uninspiring section of the walk, to emerge onto Burleyhurst Lane, where we turn left towards Benkeyhurst Farm, where we take the right fork at the road junction. A short walk along this quiet lane brings us to Holt House, opposite which we cross a stile into a field. A wooden bridge on the far side of the field leads to a series of paths through further fields, each stile with a red metal sign advising us to 'Beware Of Cattle'. We wonder if this is some sort of insurance requirement, or just the farmer protecting his interests in the event of a 'cattle / walker' incident.

We pass through a series of cattle fields and hay meadows, and as we rise to the higher ground the squat tower of Mobberley Church comes into view between the trees. Soon we emerge onto Church Lane at the car park of the Church Inn, before taking the kissing gate where the road turns sharp left. We pass Mobberley cricket ground, dip down to cross a tributary of Mobberley Brook, to emerge on Knutsford road just across from Mill Lane, where we started the walk.

On such a wonderful day, it would be remiss not to finish with a well-deserved pint of Storm Bitter (brewed in Macclesfield) in the garden of the Bull's Head.

Vince Chadwick

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