Manchester City Centre – Marple.
In the mist an almost ghostly early journey on the Tram brought us back to Piccadilly. We disappeared underground where we had popped out last night, a few drunks were still staggering about from their all night session. In the depths water was rushing around us in numerous leats and escaping from leaky locks – audibly very similar to a caving trip in the Yorkshire Dales. Things improved when we left the Rochdale Canal and doglegged into the Ashton. New canalside developments seemed habitable, warehouse conversions or twee town houses with all the usual little balconies. This is Manchester – how often do you sit and sip your cocktails in the evening?
The freezing mist persisted. I was disappointed not to see much of the Etihad Stadium or the Velodrome and attached BMX course where one of my Grandsons would be trying to break something on his bike or himself.
This is a part of Manchester I don’t know and we passed quickly through the suburbs past a series of locks towards Dukinfield. There were no boats using this stretch and because of the mist we didn’t see very much. The Portland Basin at Dukinfield where we branched onto the Peak Forest canal looked popular, there was a cafe and museum, but as they were on the opposite bank and we were on a tight schedule we pressed on. More people started appearing, mainly dog walkers, as we contoured high above the wooded Tame valley. Our lunch stop sat on a stone wall coincided with the start of a snow storm! Old walled bridle ways linked up with unseen 19th century industrial sites below. A quick visit to a road above in ??Hyde [the home of Harold] produced an Aldi and The Cheshire Ring pub. After bypassing a tunnel we were now walking above the attractive Goyt Valley and more people [and their dogs] were taking their Sunday exercise. The Marple Goyt Aqueduct was the next attraction, a hundred foot high, with an exposed canalside. Probably best seen from below.Thinking we were dropping into Marple we were surprised to find a series of 9 locks taking us up to the road near the station. Our train wasn’t due for an hour so we hopped on a bus to Stockport and another to Altrincham and another to Timperley, didn’t cost us a penny!
Thanks Conrad. I’m keen to complete the circle now but that will have to wait till I arrive back from hotter climes.