Does it rain in summer??
| Wednesday August 10th.
Baker Way & Chester.
15 miles from Delamere to Chester.
10 walkers and 1 dog.
Leaders: Ken and Jacqui Beevers.
Firstly we must say a big thank you to everyone who defied the grimmest of weather forecasts and turned up to walk The Baker Way from Delamere Station to Chester. Well, the dog had no choice really, but the rest were supreme optimists and true walkers.
Section one took us through Delamere Forest, an area of criss-crossing sandy woodland tracks that in the past have proved to be an East Lancs. LDWA map reader’s graveyard. We had no problems and reached Brines Brow with all points intact. Our coffee stop here was enlivened by an amazing interlude. Norman, having lost a small £1 wager with old friend Pete handed it straight over as astonished companions looked on (Well 75 pence anyway). As black clouds hovered and the promised rain looked imminent it was just another example of selfless happy and generous Norman cheering everyone up. Afterwards we climbed the second hill of the day, wandered happily along some leafy Cheshire lanes and arrived at the gates of Peel Hall, now a farmhouse and training centre for racehorses but formerly a home of the Earls of Plymouth. There was no messing with stiles or kissing gates - this being Cheshire the gates opened electronically as soon as they sensed our sweaty northern presence. Historic buildings, extensive stabling and a circling buzzard were admired before crossing several fields to the handsome little village of Tarvin.
This is the half-way point and with its renowned fish and chip shop it is an ideal place for lunch. The plan was to eat sandwiches in the churchyard, and John was going to embellish our own meagre fare with some of the shop’s finest fried foods. Sadly our visit coincided with a service for the arrival of a new occupant to the grave yard so we moved on, foregoing chips as someone had unfortunately had theirs. It began to rain in sympathy and lunch was a soggy affair under some trees in the Tarvin Community Woodland - serves us right. We didn’t stop long and for the next hour the rain and wind were unceasing, visibility practically nil, and the walk a bit of a trudge. When the rain stopped the paths through fields of maize and corn were very pleasant and by the time we arrived at Rowton Bridge for the final section along the Shropshire Union Canal to Chester it was practically high summer. All along this stretch the water was busy and bustling with holiday boat traffic - a great sight. Almost at journeys end, John explained to a disbelieving audience the purpose of the 200 year old 168 foot high shot tower which flanks the canal, which prompted further discussion at the end of the walk. This was celebrated in the comfortable surroundings of the canal side warehouse pub, ‘The Old Harkers Arms’.
As we left to catch our train back to the starting point at Delamere a restaurant boat went by full of ladies having afternoon tea. They all waved and smiled and looked as happy as Larry and this seemed to sum up our day. Never mind the weather, which wasn’t anything like the forecast - it was a great day out. Of course we would say that being the leaders for the day but honestly the dog is still talking about it.
Ken and Jacqui Beevers.
If you ever do the Baker Way in the future and are returning by train please park your car in the station car park on the other side of the track to the Station Café, as parking here is restricted to café patrons only. This way you will avoid charges being a bona fide train user.
Tuesday August 16th.
Adlington Amble. 5 mile evening stroll.
Leaders: Norman Thomas and Reg Kingston.
28 walkers and 3 dogs.
Another fine evening after some heavy showers in the day brought out a good number of people for this walk. Or was it the promise of the famous ice cream stop at Fredericks?? Although 28 people did complete the walk, one party of 5 arrived late and never quite caught the main group up. Still, a good time was had by all.
Leaving the Bay Horse it was a drop down into the valley, past some farms, across the golf course and over the railway and canal for a break at Fredericks. The selection on offer was quite bewildering, hard to know what to choose. The service was as quick as ever and we were soon off.
Passing some frisky cattle it was a walk along some muddy tracks and over towards the Motorway. From here we made our way to the Rivington Reservoirs spotting a rainbow on the way. There were good views over towards the coast with Blackpool Tower clearly visible. After a stroll along the reservoir it was time to make our way over the fields to the Bay Horse before the light went.
Sandwiches were served at the pub along with a choice of real ales, a perfect end to this years summer evening strolls. Thanks to all the walk leaders and to those who came along and supported them. See you next year!