We like going for walks together at Whitley WI.
Six intrepid explorers from WI set off in two cars to Frodsham for our September walk around the Sandstone trail in Frodsham. Ann O’Brien had taken her usual care to ensure that our walk was not too strenuous, so we started at the top, rather than the bottom of Frodsham Hill. This meant that we that we had the magnificent views over the Mersey Estuary without the climb. It was a beautiful, very warm day and, depending on which way you looked, you could choose whether or not you wanted the vista to include the new wind turbines that are being installed all along the marshes. A great feature of the walking group is the wide ranging conversations en route, so you almost forget how far you are walking – do we prefer wind turbines, pylons, solar panels or power stations, etc.?
It would seem that wherever you travel in Cheshire you will meet up with a friend/relation of somebody in WI and today was no exception. Rita’s cousin was busy picking baskets full of wonderful blackberries; we all now know where to go to find lots of fruit with minimum effort. The crop is particularly good this year due to lots of summer rain which has also encouraged lots of nettles, brambles and other greenery. Must remember the secateurs next time!
We finished the day with a delicious light lunch at the nearby Ring o Bells on Bellemonte Road, Frodsham which we would highly recommend. Thanks again to Ann for organising the walk, much enjoyed by everybody.
A good day!… 10 happy walkers left Whitley and set off for “Little Switzerland”, a beautiful area of Cheshire near the picturesque village of Willington, Kelsall.
We parked at the Boot Inn where we were made welcome and headed up a steep path and into the hills. It was not long before we were high up, overlooking the Cheshire Plain. The varied walk took us through forests, up and down hills and fields, secret paths, and along parts of the Sandstone trail.
If we had stayed longer, we could have ended up as extras in the ITV series of “Paranoid” which was being filmed at Windsor’s Fruit Farm, Willington.
Lunch at the “Boot” was cheerfully enjoyed, the service was great, and we must have behaved as extra chocolates from the management were brought and enjoyed. Thanks from all to Ann O’Brien… our dedicated walks leader. The only question was “where are we going next?”
A Walk in the Woods by Susan Burtonwood
There were only 5 of us on this walk, Ann O’Brien, Eleanor Evans, Pat Sharpe, Jenny Roberts and Susan Burtonwood. Our intrepid leader, Ann O’Brien chose the challenging Giant’s Castle Walk through Styal woods, definitely not for the faint hearted, especially on what was so far the hottest day of the year. At least for most of the time we had the canopy of trees to protect us from the sun. The ‘walkers’ have done this route over the last 3-4 years so we planned to have our picnic on ‘Our Log’ which we photograph everyone on it each year and that is what we were aiming to do again this year.
We set off from the village, passing the red brick Oak Cottages which were built for Mill workers who used to grow vegetables on the surrounding fields and what is now the village green. Passing Norcliffe Chapel where The Greg family used to attend, we entered the Northern Woods. Despite today’s high temperatures of around 310 the path was very muddy in places. We descended down a flight of stone steps to Chapel Bridge, which was built for Robert Hyde Greg so he could access the Mill from his home at Norcliffe Hall.
We strolled through the woods, passing the overgrown Folly Bridge, admiring the giant redwood with its red bark. This was one of the many exotic specimens that were planted by the Gregs’ at Styal. We are told Folly Bridge features in paintings by Caroline, Robert Greg’s daughter.
We passed the river Bollin and the Oxbow Bridge – we can see why the Oxbow Bridge was brought to this isolated location by helicopter in the 1970’s.
Our ‘stroll’ continued through beautiful scenery, the canopy of Beachwood allowing the light to filter through to encourage growth on the woodland floor and shimmering on the flowing waters. By now we were ready for something to eat so we were looking out for ‘Our Log’.
We came to Giant’s Castle Bridge, here the ¾ mile Tailrace Tunnel takes water from the Waterwheel pit at the ggMill and returns it to the river. However; what we did also see from here were more steps… lots and lots and lots of them spiralling up above our heads! Sweets were handed round and we had sips of water as we braced ourselves for the climb, we took our time, stopping to admire the scenery (well actually, for most of us to catch our breath), before we descended through Giant’s Castle Wood. .
As we strolled along, we came to a new seat in a very pretty setting beside the river, thinking we must have passed ‘Our Log’ and feeling hungry, we decided to have our picnic there. It was very tranquil sitting there, listening to the flow of the river and the birdsongs, chatting amongst ourselves sharing our goodies and saying our “hello’s” to follow walkers.
We continued our walk through the woodland , but it wasn’t long before we came to a clearing, where we were exposed to the glorious (blistering) sunshine, thankfully we were soon back in the forest and Lo – there was ‘Our Log’! We took a photograph of 4 of us on the log, and also one of the surrounding areas to help us identify the spot for future visits. I know it may sound silly, but we were all so pleased to have found it.
As we made our way back to the car park, by now we were all really feeling the heat, we realised we had been out for over 3hrs and some of us needed to get back home to pick up grandchildren. It was a very memorable in temperatures we will never forget and we look forward to our next visit in 2017, preferably on a much cooler day!
Going on these walks is very sociable, it gives you the opportunity get to know other members and share their interesting stories as well the exercise whilst enjoying the ‘big Outdoors’ and seeing some amazing places close to home. Don’t be ‘put off’ by this particular walk, yes there are lots of steps, but in ‘normal’ temperatures it is well worth the challenge if you are reasonably fit. Furthermore, Anne informs us that our next walk will be ‘pretty tame’ so do come and join us. – As always, our sincere thanks to Anne for arranging these walks.
Tuesday 12th April 2016 – Meeting at Whitley Village Hall at 10.30am
We will be walking for approximately 1 hour 15 mins through the fields of Whitley and back to Whitley Village Hall. From there we drive a short way to No 2 pit which we will walk around to see the wonderful work carried out by Whitley Parish Council.
After that we will drive to Antrobus Golf Club for lunch. Arriving at approximately 12.30pm for 12.45pm. Friendly staff, good cheap food and wonderful views.
Members are welcome to join for any part of the walk or just for an enjoyable lunch.
Please let Pat Sharp know if you are coming to the lunch, by the morning of 12th April so she can let the Golf Club know.
Here are a few of our past walks:
Marbury Country Park and Anderton Boat Lift
The walk started in the Marbury Country Park car park, off Marbury Lane near Anderton. We took the path past the rangers’ hut and followed the signs for ‘The Mere’ and ‘Big Wood’. Through the woods to the Trent and Mersey Canal, continuing along the path until reaching a lane, turning left leading to a bridge over the canal. Crossing the bridge we went down onto the towpath towards the Anderton Boatlift. At the boatlift we crossed the canal over the footbridge, left onto Old Road, then left onto New Road, first turning on the right up a grassy path, then over various stiles across fields to Cogshall Lane. We take the path on the right passing through Kennel Wood, crossing a footbridge over the Cogshall Brook, then up to the Marbury Road. Turning right we make our way back to the car park where we started.It was a bit muddy in places but nevertheless the walk was enjoyed by the four of us
Weather – Cool, Distance – 3 ½ miles
Enjoyable lunch at the Spinner and Bergomot
Delamere Forest – Blakemere Trail.
The walk started at Linmere Lodge following the red waymarkers, passing the Go Ape! High Wire Forest Adventure course then following the path down to the Blakemere Moss, a wetland, the largest of any sites in Delamere forest. Ice on the water and frost on the trees make a remarkable sight with Pam, Carol and Jean.
The River Weaver at Frodsham Bridge
From Frodsham Bridge, the walk takes you beside the River Weaver before turning inland across field paths to join a cross-country lane which gradually climbs to the hamlet of Bradley. A gentle descent back to the bridge is along paths and tracks – from where there are long views across the Weaver valley.
Weather – sunny, distance – 4 ¼ miles
Crossing Frodsham Bridge we turned left to cross a tarmac drive then straight ahead to a gate through a small spinney. The path runs parallel with the river, which is 20 yards away, over to the left. Emerging from the trees the path is closer to the waters edge. We continue along the path passing a redundant lock on the way. We eventually turn away from the riverside along paths through fields and make our way to Bradley. We arrived at a Lane and turned right and carried on along it passing the entrance to the Catton Hall Shooting Ground. On the way we came across some Llama’s in a field popping their heads over the hedge. They became centre of attraction for a short while! We all decided it was a lovely walk – good company – good weather.
Lunch at the Bears Paw in Frodsham was enjoyed by all.
Delamere Forest Circular
This walk takes you past three meres (lakes), one of which (Flaxmere) is so far through its natural development that there is rarely any water visible. The walk takes you out of the forest and across farmland with views towards the forest.
Weather – dry, distance approx 4 miles time allowed 2 hours
This was a lovely walk taking in forest, fields and plenty of water birds to see on Blakemere
Lunch at The Carriers Inn – Very nice must go again.
Wigg Island Community Park
Situated on the southern banks of the River Mersey several hundred metres east of Runcorn-Widnes Jubilee bridge, affording stunning views across the Upper Mersey estuary.
Weather – Rainy – Distance approx 1 ¾ miles time allowed 1 hour.
Lovely walk with plenty of observation points across the estuary. Ducks and swans in the water along the canal spur (former Runcorn-Latchford Canal). Several picnic areas around the park.
Lunch at The Brindley – very nice.
Moore Nature Reserve
Nature reserve situated between the Manchester Ship Canal and the River Mersey.
Weather – Cool but dry – Distance approx 4 miles time allowed 2 hours.
This was my first walk in charge as leader taking over from Sarah.
Lunch at Red Lion in Moore.
Tatton Park on a cold but lovely sunny day. 13 of us walked (led by Rita Carter), probably around 5 miles and afterwards we went to the Antrobus Arms for lunch. The day was greatly enjoyed by us all.
Dunham Massey Park
We went walking in Dunham Massey Park today (11 of us) led by Pam Straw and Jean Leicester. After rain storms in the morning, our walk was blessed by sunshine and it wasn’t too cold, even saw the deer on the way round. Had very tasty food in the restaurant after the walk to end off the trip.