Tag Archives: Bollin Valley Way.

BOLLIN VALLEY WAY. Into the Mersey.

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.

Last view of the River Bollin as it disappears to the Mersey.

Last view of the River Bollin as it disappears to the Mersey.

The Mersey Ship Canal.

The Mersey Ship Canal.

 

BOLLIN VALLEY WAY. The middle stretch.

Prestbury to Ashley/Hale.

Rush hour.

Rush hour.

Having braved the morning rush hour at Piccadilly I was back at Prestbury before 9am. Spent the first half hour adjacent to the largest sewerage plant I have ever seen. All was quiet, I really mean quiet after all that commuter bit, as I rejoined the ‘way’ – I saw nobody till Wilmslow. That was apart from the lady with a plum in her mouth who instructed me how to open a difficult gate in her garden obviously designed to deter walkers. Nice house by the way.

Recent floods have eroded the banks of the river and attempts to restore the channel have been made – why not let nature take its course. There was a perfect example of an oxbow lake further on today.

Arriving in Wilmslow I went up into town to find a coffee, the first place was a Waitrose store which I thought would host a cafe but only offered an expensive machine which sufficed. Refreshed I returned to the river and a popular walk along it. Dogs and elegant ladies. I fell into step with one of the latter with her equally elegant terrier Spikey – he mistook me initially for a postman and yapped loudly. Having made friends I was escorted through the grounds of Quarry Bank Mill and Styal Estate – fascinating and worthy of a return visit when the gardens are open. Thanks to my anonymous guide. Strangely the official Bollin Valley Way doesn’t use this section of river bank but the North Cheshire Way does.

Quarry Bank Mill.

Quarry Bank Mill.

Styal Village.

Styal Village.

Quarry Bank Gardens.

Quarry Bank Gardens.

I returned to the river and had a roller coaster trail  – at one point alongside it and minutes later up steep steps high above. This continued for some time until I realised I was below one of Manchester Airport’s runways and had to disappear into  a tunnel under it. Emerging the other side I climbed up to a view point to be told by an ‘observer’ that an A380 flight was taking off – it was dramatic when it appeared – Massive. Planes continued taking off every couple of minutes as I walked on through reclaimed wetlands and woodlands on the airport perimeter. I have to say they know how to make mud in Cheshire. Strangely I found walking in the vicinity of the M56 more noise polluted than the airport environment. Speeding up to catch a 4pm train I made some simple navigation errors around Hale golf club and the back tracking lost me valuable time so as I walked towards Ashley the train disappeared. Luckily the Greyhound pub provided a warm welcome for the hour wait for the next train and reflect on a hugely enjoyable 14miles.

 

BOLLIN VALLEY WAY. Out of the forest.

Source to Prestbury.

Baby sitting duties in Manchester brought me down this way so I took the opportunity of exploring a new area. A dark early morning start from home on the bus and then trains transported me to Cheshire. When I researched this route on the LDWA site I was surprised to see it started in Macclesfield town, what about the true source of the River Bollin up in Macclesfield Forest? The helpful taxi driver dropped me off in Standing Stones car park high in the Forest. In thick mist I had to take a compass bearing to find the right path out. Amazingly within 50m I found a stream gurgling out of the hillside, was this the Bollin? I decided it was and began my walk down it. From my map I expected to be following lanes for a few miles but to my delight there were new paths everywhere and I was lucky that some took me through the forest in the right direction. The reservoir walks were popular with dog walkers,  above would be Teg’s Nose but no chance of a view today. Dropping into a a hidden valley the Bollin Brook picked up pace. Here I came across Gritstone Trail signs, a walk I enjoyed many years ago. A little further and I walked below the canal used by the Cheshire Ring walk, more recently completed.

It was already lunchtime when I walked into Langley, the interesting looking pub was closed so a park bench sufficed. A sign celebrated a William Smith who founded, in 1826, Langley Mill [now derelict] which became the largest silk printing works in the world. There are many humble cottages around presumably mill workers’ dwellings originally. quite a contrast to Langley Hall down the road. The were other signs of past industry – dsc05115

The Bollin has an unhappy journey through the industrial part of Macclesfield, famous for its silk mills. It emerges the other side in a country park which gives easy riverside walking, mainly used by dog walkers, to the village of Prestbury. Along here I picked up the official Bollin Valley Way markers.

As dusk approached I caught my train up to Manchester in time for the rush hour crush on the Metro tram.