Ashley to Partington.
Arrived back in Ashley courtesy of my son on his way to work. A long surfaced bridleway had me off to a good start as the sun rose to a beautiful day. I was not expecting too much from this stretch so the blue sky was a bonus. Again the few walkers I met were dog walkers. A stretch next to the M56 was distinctly noisy and poorly waymarked, the River Bollin looking a little worse for wear. Things improved as I entered Dunham Massey estate, the path on a flood bank as the river meandered through the fields. There was a perfect example of an Ox Bow lake. The brick walls of the hall gardens up to my right hid any views and I didn’t have the inclination to divert into the grounds, magnificent as I know them to be from previous visits. Crossing the river at Bollington Corn Mill I wandered through the hamlet of Little Bollington too early for the Swan with Two Nicks to be open. A cobbled lane led to the Bridgewater Canal and then fields took me across to the village of Dunham Woodhouses. Here to stay nearer to the river in its last few miles I diverted onto the Trans Pennine Trail, an old railway on this stretch, and walked quickly to Heatley where the Bollin disappears across fields in to the Mersey Ship Canal. I followed lanes to the canal and then a pleasant path into Partington and a bus back to Piccadilly. A great walk improved by the start at the source.