28th November.

Jon, Karen, Norman, Virginia, Steve, Val and Glenn.
Weather, Very cloudy on high ground with a smattering of snow. Generally dull at lower level. No wind.

The six of us grouped in the main village car park and set off on the dot of 08:30.Our first objective was the folly called ‘White Nancy’ a pure white dome of cement perched high above the town affording full 360 views of the peaks, Cheshire planes, Lancashire and as far reaching as the Welsh mountains.
Steve who lives locally in Poynton is some what of an expert on trivia and local history in this part of the Peaks regaled us with tales of how the folly got its name and pointed out various landmarks that were visible given the murky weather.
We were soon trooping along Kerridge Edge which again is a superb vantage point for nearly a mile. At one point, near the trig point Virginia dived off behind a tree…Thinking the obvious I carried on..but then realised she was rummaging around the base of it. It turns out she is a ‘Geocacher’ and was depositing her ‘trinket’…something I knew nothing about but by the end of the walk knew enough for it to pique my interest and check the website out.
Soon we were off the edge and heading towards Walker Barn and Macc Forest….heading higher and higher into the gloom. Karen noticed that the temperature was dropping and not long after she had commented we hit the ‘Snow line’….OK it wasn’t quite that dramatic…but there was a slight smattering on the ground.
We climbed up and over Charity Lane and decided to take refuge in the porch of Forest Chapel for our first break stop. The chapel is a lovely little church but in these bleak conditions took on a rather spooky appearance with the snow, crooked tomb stones and dark shadows. The league of Gentleman used this church in the rather sinister Christmas special when ‘Papa Lazarou’ claimed his final wiiiiife in the form of ‘Bernice’..the Hell Fire preacher…..

Once fed and watered we pressed on to our second objective, Lamaload reser. To be honest we could have been anywhere really given the lack of visibility. No Views, no nothing… just truding up hill and down dale. The cloud started to finally lift while we had lunch overlooking Windgather Rocks and Shining Tor. Lunch was the usual affair of general light hearted Banter, Steve and I trying to out do each other pointing out various view points and John trying to press gang more people into attempting the ‘100’.

Next objective was Sponds Hill overlooking Lyme Park. Finally the cloud had completely cleared. We could finally see where we’d been…and where we were going. Sponds hill is a gentle climb and is certainly not taxing..But the Views are really pretty special…Even the sprawling mass of Manchester looked impressive as it appeared to be the only place that was getting any sun. We made our way down to the Bowstones and into the Park via the Dear Park. We did see some rather magnificent beasts hiding in the long undergrowth…and even a herd of fallow dear…complete with ‘White Harts’…The house soon came into view and Virginia wanted to know if we passed the pond made famous by Colin Firth emerging in a damp state in the film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice…..personally I can’t see what the fuss is about….a bloke coming out of a muddy pond in a wet shirt….If that was me I’d get a right ear bashing off Val wanting to know “What I was playing at?”

Once through the park we dropped down the pleasant tree and rhododendron lined track to West park gate….From here we did have about 3 miles back to Bollington on the canal. This soon passed by as conversation flowed and we did make rapid progress.

Super walk and good company.
20 miles..on the nose.

Award for most obtuse trivia is self awarded to me who started spouting about ‘Vekoma’ roller coasters and how the ‘Corkscrew’(now dismantled) was one of the first steel railed roller coasters in the UK….don’t ask????

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