Monday, 7 May 2018

Mow Cop (even the landlord knew nothing about the beer)


Woodland scene on our walk on Sunday



As promised Sunday dawned warm and clear with a promise of carrying on the same until evening.  Whilst we were having our breakfast outside our neighbours came up and said they were moving their boat back to the other end of the moorings.  They said they didn’t want us to be offended but they wanted a barbecue in the evening and were worried about smoking us out.  We didn’t mind at all and we were planning steaks on the barbecue in the evening anyway 😉

Our neighbours escaping from us

We wanted to go for a good walk and, to avoid the heat of the day, we set off straight after breakfast.  I had planned out a six-mile circular walk taking in places like Little Moreton Hall, Rode Hall, Rode Pool and Ramsdell Hall.

We were torn between wearing walking boots or sandals; there could well still be a lot of mud around following the prolonged wet weather recently, but we opted for sandals in the end.

We set off west from the canal – we were keen to avoid the milestones on the towpath!  Just after setting off we came to our first obstacle; water that was leaching from muck pile was right across the lane but we managed to scramble round without getting muddy.

Looking back to the boat with the muck puddle and, on top of the hill, Mow Cop castle

We crossed a few fields before coming across our second obstacle.   The exit from the field was through a kissing gate in the corner and that corner was particularly wet and had been churned up by the cows.  I’ve probably said before that Karen is a bit nervous of cows and the trouble is they are generally inquisitive especially when you have a dog.  So, cows tend to walk towards us and, although they usually stop just before reaching us I suppose it can be a bit disconcerting.  Having spent my first two years after leaving school working on farms, cows don’t bother me, but I do understand Karen’s feelings and tend to keep between her and cows. 

   
We really had to go through the kissing gate as the only other option was an electric fence.  With the cows in the way we finally found a spot where we could crawl under the fence; however, we still got our feet really rather wet and muddy.  Mind you, they soon dried out, but we must have looked a sight as we walked past Little Moreton Hall.

  

This is a National Trust property and was built over 500 years ago and is really rather impressive.  At the end of the driveway to the hall we came out on the A34 and had to walk down it for about 100 yards before finding the next footpath.

The field we came out on next had recently been ploughed, harrowed and crowned.  Our immediate thought was do we walk round the outside as the path had disappeared and the going would have been difficult with sandals.  Then Karen spotted a temporary sign further up the side of the field.  Of course, farmers have to remark paths when they plough the fields and this farmer had gone the extra mile 😊

  Helpful temporary sign


It looked like a quad bike had been used to mark out the path

As well as good old stiles there were plenty of modern metal kissing gates and we kept up our family tradition when passing through them.  Each of us, once through the gate, leans over and gives the following person a kiss on the cheek.  We love it when we are followed by other walkers as, if they don’t hang back, their leader will also receive a kiss and so the custom continues 😊

Crossing an arable field, we saw our first sign of silage making this year.  The grass in the next field had already been cut and tedded into neat rows.  I used to love doing that when I worked on the farm; so satisfying keeping the lines neat and tidy and making sure every last bit of cut grass had been gathered into a row,

  Silage field top left
After going past Rode Pool, a mile-long lake constructed as part of the landscaping of Rode Hall gardens, we entered our only wood of the day.  Although the season will soon be over, it was wonderful to see so many bluebells in bloom (picture at top).

We then hit Scholar Green, the only village we passed on the walk and stopped in the Rising Sun for well earned drinks.  Buddy, of course, turned up his nose at the fresh water provided in the dog bowls, preferring to wait until we got back to the towpath for water from the cut.

There were several real ales on offer and I fancied trying one I had never heard of before.  I asked the guy serving and, he too, knew nothing about it so asked the landlord. To our surprise he told us he didn’t really know anything about it either as he wasn’t in to fruity ales.  I tried it anyway and it was a lovely golden colour but was quite lively and I think the reason my tummy was a bit queasy later in the afternoon.  Mind you it didn’t stop me opening a rather nice bottle of Rioja to go with our steaks!

We only had about ½ mile left to walk after the pub and most of that was on the towpath.  As soon as we got there Buddy was straight to the water for a long drink.

We love the way the stone bridges on the Macclesfield have weathered

Now we were back on the towpath, Buddy was off his lead and was soon releasing his unspent energy tearing up and down.

Enough of running, he laid down waiting for us to catch up


Passing Ramsdell Hall, just down from where we are moored

When we got back to the boat an artist had set up by the bridge making for a tranquil scene.

  Sign saying 2 days mooring allowed
It was only when I looked at the picture above that I noticed the mooring limit here is two days and we had arrived on Thursday.  Well, we’re planning on moving on Tuesday and there was still room for other boats, so we didn’t feel too guilty.  In addition, when we arrived, it wasn’t known when the leak further up was going to be fixed so we felt justified in staying put until we knew what was happening.

Lengthening shadows over the evening barbecue and plenty of room for two more boats to moor
Peaceful at 6.30 on Monday morning

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