A September Ramble In Derbyshire

At 8.30 a.m., on Saturday 14th September, several people from St. John’s were ready to clamber aboard the coach bound for Buxton with the Liverpool Road Methodist Church Rambling Club.  [Gordon and I had already dropped our car off at St. John’s for the Eagles’ Car Wash!  (See below.)]
As always the walk was fantastically well organized. One group, the non walkers, were travelling all the way to Buxton.  There were two guided walks The “A” walk” and The “B” Walk.

About an hour out from Birkdale we stopped for a break at Lymm Services (not far from junction 20 on the M6).  We had been told that all the walkers were to don their boots at the service stop because the coach would eventually be dropping them off at bus stops at the roadside. 

The plan was that walkers would be dropped off at points that would enable them to walk in a loop before ending up at New Mills.  New Mills lies on the north-western fringe of the Peak District, about 8 miles east of Stockport. The “A” walk would be 6 or 7 miles long and the “B” walk about 31/2 miles.

Helen decided to go directly to Buxton as she had “never been there before and might never go there again”.  [I understand that everybody who went to Buxton had a lovely day.]  The rest of us connected to St. John’s went on the “A” walk so it is that which I shall try to encapsulate.

The weather was ideal for walking!  
David led us on one of the most delightful walks I have ever been on.  We walked up hill and down dale (David is “not known as The Grand old Duke of York for nothing”), along ridges with glorious views, through woodlands, along part of the Peak Forest Canal and beside the River Goyt.

We were entranced by this beautiful, fairy-tale toadstool!

We diverted slightly from our route to have our lunch at The Roman Lakes.  This is a leisure park, which appeared to be rich in archaeology and a diverse ecology.

We were able to take advantage of toilets and a covered bench by the lake.  

However, as soon as we sat down hungry looking geese approached us.  Nevertheless, although they were quite intimidating, after a short stand off during which nobody moved, they moved away only returning en masse once - for reasons which were not clear to anyone!

After lunch we returned to the main path and, following our intrepid leader, eventually reached the spectacular Millenium Walkway.

According to the Derbyshire Heritage website “In the millenium year Torrs Gorge was made passable for walkers by the construction of the spectacular Torrs Millennium Walkway. It has been described as ’a steel spiders web’ as it stands on stilts above the River Goyt and is partly cantilevered from the sheer stone railway embankment, reputed to be the ‘finest retaining wall in the country’s rail network’.
Completed in 1999, the walkway provides a link in Europe’s premier walking route, E2 which passes through New Mills on its way from Stranraer in Scotland, via Dover, to Nice in France.
The walkway provides a route through the previously impassable gritstone gorge at Torrs, New Mills which is an area of exceptional natural beauty and unique industrial archaeological heritage. An elevated 160m long cantilevered walkway provides the important ‘missing link’ for the Mid Shires Way, allowing people to walk the whole scenic, 275 mile trail.”

In the Torrs Gorge, beneath New Mills, there were a number of people climbing the sheer wall of the Gorge. 

We were amused to see this sign!  Would dogs really be fouling the cliff face?
We looked down over the Torr Vale Mill.  It was decision time!  A couple of people continued to follow David a little bit further but most of us climbed the 70 feet up to New Mills itself in search of refreshment!  The “B” walkers had apparently reached the town sometime before us.  I’m not sure how they got there but apparently they managed it without this steep climb! 

The bus arrived from Buxton (complete with all the non walkers) to pick us up from near the heritage centre promptly at 4.45 p.m. as pre arranged.

Thank you, once more to the Liverpool Methodist Church Rambling Club for their customary hospitality and especially to David for leading our walk.