Thursday, 12 May 2016

Fields, streams and ghosts of the past

Today's freebie? More of that wonderful countryside

You know the score by now. I post reviews or comments about something that didn't cost me anything, just to show that good things can be had for free.

My monthly train ticket to work usually sits unused at weekends, but on Saturday it gave me a 'free' (no extra cost) ride to Broadbottom station. From there a wander down past Summerbottom and along the lane to Hodge Fold. It was a beautiful day, the finest day of the year so far. Cows grazed lazily, lambs skipped free of care.

From Hodge Fold to Botham's Hall and then up the hill through Back Wood towards Werneth Low. The views back towards Glossop are spectacular, a watercolour tint to the scene.
Etherow Country park

Bluebells lined the path back down through the woods to Etherow Country Park. For such a lovely day it wasn't too busy. The main part of the park is flat and popular with dog walkers and families. It's very accessible for a variety of users. Only one model sailing boat on the lake and that was a proper sailed affair, nothing powered. A fish finger and salad lunch at the cafe and then onwards.

Brown Low barrow
I've walked up the hill through Ernocroft Wood a dozen times and it never gets easier. My knees and my head don't agree on the beauty of hills. Across the road and another hill past the tatty Erno Farm to the last peak of my walk. The landscape turns harsher here, the hedgerows replaced by stone walls and the lush green grass a harsher type across Ludworth Moor.

From here one can see across to Cheshire, Lancashire and the top of Derbyshire. On a clear day Wales is visible. For several thousand years  Brown Low barrow has looked out across this land. Are tribesmen buried beneath? Today it's sheltered by a small copse of trees, but on a quiet day...

A long winding walk takes me down from the moor, along more lanes and through woodland where just the singing birds and I had the world to ourselves, not another soul for an hour.

My walk started and ends at the site of Broad Mills. Once a bustling industrial complex, once the scene of the harsh daily grind of labour. Now it's a tranquil country walk though woods and meadows, the ruins of the factory a reminder of when cotton was king.

9 miles, 4 hours of bliss.

Dye vats at Broad Mills

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