Sunday, October 09, 2011

Walk Report Sunday 9th October 2011

The weather forecast today was not good, which may account for the relatively low turnout of walkers this morning for a walk from the Fool's Nook pub near Oakgrove (south of Macclesfield) led by John Harris. Five of us set off up the road next to the pub to Oakgrove before turning right up a minor road towards Hawkshead Quarry, where the road became a track. The climb from Oakgrove was continuous but not too steep, and soon fine views opened out to our right across Cheshire. The distinctive outline of the radio telescopes at Jodrell Bank were clearly visible in the foreground, while further afield Beeston Hill, The Pecfortons, Frodsham Hill, and Fiddlers Ferry cooling towers could be seen.

The climb continued past Croker House and Hanginggate Farm where the path turned left and steepened. At the top of the rise we left the path to cross a stile through a wall above us onto open moorland and joined the Gritstone Trail. There was no respite from the steady climb as we breasted Croker Hill and continued on up to the former Post Office radio tower on Sutton Common where we posed for a few 'summit pictures'. The views from this summit ridge spread in all directions; to the west an enhanced version of the earlier view in that direction, to the south Bosley railway viaduct, Bosley Cloud, Mow Cop, and even the far-off Wrekin in Shropshire. To the east Shuttlingslowe's familiar shape and the hills of the White Peak, to the north Macclesfield Forest, and to the north west the city of Manchester.

Descending from the ridge we passed close to Upton Fold Farm before heading back north on a series of level or descending paths before joining the track at the disused quarry below Gawsworth Common. This we followed for some distance before turning off to the right into the woods on a well-marked path along the side of a steep valley, around the northern flank of Gawsworth Common, steadily descending until we exited the woods facing south by a small pond just short of Rough-hey. From here a paved lane took us back to Oakgrove and a well-earned pint in the Fools Nook.

Contrary to the forecast, the weather remained dry all morning. But as we left the pub for home, it started to rain!


The group on top of Croker Hill (except me, who took the picture!). Peter, Marion, Ivy, and John.

Vince Chadwick

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