Ski Club of Manchester Midsummer Walk Around Marple, Sunday, 28th July 2013

By Dave Miller

Sunday 28th July got off to a bright start and saw a large group of SCoM walkers collecting at Rose Hill Marple station car park eager to get going on Helen's ramble around the area. There were 18 walkers plus Freddie the dog to begin with, a great turn out, but numbers were bolstered even further as the walk progressed

From the car park we headed south on the Middlewood Way for a short distance before turning east onto Marple Golf Course. After crossing the busy course on the Cown Edge Way with a wary eye out for flying golf balls, we reached the towpath of the Macclesfield Canal close to Hawk Green. Here we turned left and followed the Navigation along to Marple locks where we were able to watch a couple of narrow boats negotiating the flight.

A pleasant stroll along the canal banks brought us in short order to the environs of Brabyns Park which we crossed to reach Compstall and the fringes of Etherow Country Park where there was a Toilet and refreshment opportunity. This was timed perfectly by Helen as we avoided a heavy shower whilst taking our morning coffee under cover. At this point we picked up another 4 walkers who for various reasons had opted for a slightly shorter walk.

After re-crossing the road we dropped down to a pleasant path along the bank of the River Etherow which brought us in due course to Upper Watermeetings Farm and then up onto the Peak Forest Canal where we took time to admire the impressive aqueduct built in 1800.

A short trek east along the canal side and a farm lane brought us to Chadkirk Chapel and garden where we found a country fete in full swing. This provided an opportunity for refreshments and we spent a short time here eating lunch and looking at the various stalls and displays, including Tai Quan Do adherents and Birds of Prey, not sure which were scarier. After lunch another toilet break was possible in Chadwick Country Park (very civilised walk this) just before we reached the A627.

A very short step along the road brought us to the bridge crossing the River Goyt where we were able to witness the community hydo-electric scheme (turbines driven by twin reverse-Archimedes screws) in full operation. The heavy rainfall of the previous day meant an ample water supply for the screws and in excess of 40Kw was being generated (authors opinion—a lot of money, circa £1m, and equipment to run a couple of dozen electric fires).

From here we took a further short step along the road and turned off east on a footpath through wooded slopes to find the banks of the River Goyt which we followed back to Marple Dale Hall and thence into suburbia and our return to the station car park bang on schedule and with 9+ miles under our belts.

The last half hour was dampened by persistent rain but this did not contrive to spoil an excellent walk which provided healthy exercise, excellent rural aspects, many points of interest and of course the opportunity for a good natter with friends from the club.

Thanks to Helen for another great day out.