16 Biddulph – Cheddleton

Biddulph to Cheddleton 11.5 miles (18.4Km.)

Cheddleton

Cheddleton

The plan was to finish book one from Biddulph where it’s possible to get a train from Hathersage to Congleton then a short bus ride to Biddulph. The train ride along Edale and under Brown Knoll was an interesting different perspective of the hills where so often I’d stood and looked down on passing trains. Awaiting a connection at Chinley I recalled a bagging of Chinley Churn one early morning some years back.

Biddulph Grange Country Park is another serious dog walking location but walking away from the car park this activity quickly fades away.

Biddulph Grange - Himalayan Walk

Biddulph Grange - Himalayan Walk

The Himalayan Walk was pleasant even on this dull damp autumn day but not a patch on the paid for experience in the formal gardens.

The section of path on the collapsed bank has been repaired but I wondered why a bridge had not been installed across the stream. I had to make the detour to Trent Head Well having lived for so long close to that river. The approach over a fast flowing small stream added to the disappointment of the dribble struggling to emerge from the well.

The forecast had been for blue sky and some showers but a downpour at Stockport station set the tone of the day and I was soon donning waterproofs which then stayed on for most of the day. So the view back to Mow Cop and appreciation of the watershed of England as rain ran down to my boots was somewhat diminished.

Stonelowe Hall

Stonelowe Hall

Stonelowe Hall is well worth a backward glance, the owners clearly have a will to conserve with stonemasons at work as I passed. For me there was no stunning feature in Staffordshire, it was a series of small pleasures and a number of grand small houses provided interest along the way. The crossing of the Caldon canal then the Leek branch, which later crosses the lower canal over Hazelhurst aqueduct, brought back memories of many boat trips along this lovely stretch of waterway. The disused rail line may one day have steam trains operating, if plans by the Churnet Valley Railway (Moorlands and City Railway) are fulfilled.

Hazelhurst top lock

Hazelhurst top lock

Approaching Cheddleton I sheltered in the church porch to study the guide for section seventeen. A fortuitous break saving me from an especially heavy shower. A look around the church made me realise how the temperature had dropped because the church interior felt so warm and cosy.

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Great English Walk map of section 16

Map of section 16

Great English Walk hills and dales of section 16

Section 16 - the work


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