Outdoor Discoveries

What originally was a news section for the rest of the website soon became a place for me to write about human-powered wanderings in the countryside. Photography inspires me to get out there, mostly on foot these days, though cycling got me started. Musings on the wider context of outdoor activity complete the picture, so I hope that there is something of interest in all that you find here. Thank you for coming!

A little tinkering and a little toddling

10th April 2011

If you have been here at this part of cyberspace before, you may have noticed a navigation bar at the top with an indication of where you are on the website. In spite of the glorious weather that has been with us over the last few days, I didn’t have the opportunity of celebrating its arrival with a trip away somewhere. In fact, I more needed a rest at home after the hectic demands of work over the last few weeks. It was during my little recuperation that I made the little modification that now appears at the top of every page on the website. Hopefully, it will help to make getting around here that little bit easier.

That isn’t to say that I never got out at all. As it happened, I stole out of the house for a few hours to stroll from Bollington back to my abode again. What that granted me was the chance to look over familiar hills whose sight I haven’t been able to enjoy for longer than really should be the case. My course took me from the top of Bollington into Ingersley Vale and from there to the White Nancy by way of the Gritstone Trail. Surprisingly perhaps for terrain that I have trodden a good few times already, the route had plenty of new twists and turns for me to explore. Given the vantage point that it is and the glory of today, it came as no shock to me to find folk lounging around the White Nancy, but that is never to say that the place was overrun. As it turned out, there was plenty of time for undisturbed stopping and staring.

Rainow as seen from Kerridge Hill, Bollington, Cheshire England

That sense of space for relaxation was very much a feature of the afternoon escape. It meant that details such as my camera batteries running out of charge before they should have done or there being quarries to my right on Kerridge Hill made no inroads into my sense of enjoyment. Again, neither the haze over the Cheshire plain nor the drifting sound of a horse show PA system from below me had no impact on how I felt either. The familiar hills to my left were what was holding my attention as I wandered along the Saddle of Kerridge. The sights may have been seen before they also were a little different in the glorious sunshine and with fresh green foliage in the process of emerging.

Being drawn along the ridge of Kerridge Hill was the cause of changing my intended route. By now, my camera batteries had completely run out of power but I stuck to recharging my own internal batteries instead of getting grumpy. It seems that having to commit scenes to the photographic plates of the mind was a help too. Any sights of freshly emerged greenery or cherry blossom against a bright blue sky were treated much in the same way as scenes savoured of a glorious late July evening on my first trip to Skye. One upshot of that was that an evening cycle from Dunvegan to Portree from quite a few years ago still remains in my memory now.

It didn’t take long for me to be dropped on the side of the B5470 Macclesfield-Whaley Bridge road at a saddle between Rainow and Higher Hurdsfield. From there, I followed that road down into Macclesfield with a deviation onto the Middlewood Way and a short section of public footpath on the way home. This had been a walk that never was far from civilisation, but there was plenty of time and space during which to relax too. The peacefulness of the evening must have had something to do with it and has put me thinking that I need to get back to sampling experiences like this again. It’s just no good feeling as if you are being kept away from enticing areas of hill country while watching BBC programmes on the iPlayer like Country Tracks (the recent one on south Cumbria, for instance) so a spot of re-balancing looks to be well needed.

Travel arrangements:

Bus service 10A from Macclesfield to Bollington.


  • Martin Banfield says:

    A very nice stroll. There are some lovely circuits from Bollington that start or finish on Kerridge Hill. You are lucky to have such great countryside right on your doorstep. It’s a worthwhile 30 minute drive for the Timperley Tipplers!

  • John says:

    Martin, you’re not wrong about the quality of the countryside. It’s just that I seem to recently have spent much more time gazing upon Kerridge Hill from my house than walking around it. As yesterday confirmed for me, that needs to change. For some reason, my walks around Bollington always have been linear affairs but that may be because I live not so far away. If I had to travel there from further afield and go home again, I am sure that my approach would differ.

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