Saturday, 23 July 2016

Shining Tor, Cat Tor and the Goyt Valley

What wonderful thing did life give me for free today? A wonderful walk along the border of Cheshire and Derbyshire, with historic ruins and FREE FOOD

How? Just get up and go. You can do it too
Errwood Hall

 

 The Goyt valley is a favourite of mine. It's got woods to get lost in, ruined buildings to play in, high hills to view from and babbling brooks. It's a beautiful and fascinating place and it's all free, including the parking.
A long walk up The Street to Pym's Chair and a view I've never appreciated before. With the aid of some new binoculars I could make out the hills near my hometown of Glossop (Lantern Pike, Chinley Churn and the Mare's Back quite easy to spot) but also the vista round past the airport to Jodrell Bank. Having been driving a desk in all the sunshine this week it was great to be out and part of it. From Pym's Chair it's a stride over Cat's Tor to Shining Tor along the Cheshire/Derbyshire border with constant views of the Cheshire plain.
Meadow Pipits aplenty over the moors here, kestrels hovering in the thermals running up from the plain to these high hills. Cotton grass thrives here.
Shining tor
Shining Tor is the highest point in modern Cheshire. It's a gentle ascent from Cat's Tor and from afar it's hard not to focus on the
para gliders that soar around the summit. On reaching the trig point it's odd to watch the sails of these gliders suddenly appear over the lip of the Tor and then disappear again below one's feet.
A quick banana and then over Shooters Clough and down to the Goyt Valley. The Cat & Fiddle pub is in the distance, an alternative starting point.
Bilberries
This descent to the Goyt is dominated by the most delicious bilberries.
There are millions of them spread either side of the path. Nobody picks bilberries yet they taste just like blueberries, which are really expensive in the shops. I grabbed as I passed, and munched all the way through Shooters Clough to the ruins of Errwood Hall.
This once magnificent hall was the home of the Grimshawes, a wealthy merchant family from Manchester. Sadly, the hall was only used for less than 100 years as the family dies out and it was soon demolished (over eagerly) as the nearby reservoirs were built. I'm not going to give you any more details as I urge you to visit David's excellent site and lose yourself in the photos there. I've been bringing my children here all their life, it's a great place for hide and seek.
Errwod Hall
From the hall I carried on down to the road and back to my car. An absolutely wonderful walk.
Errwood Hall