Long Walks in April 2024

17 Apr 2024 Ilam Leader: Peter, Length of walk: 9 miles, Driving Distance: 32 miles, Number walking: 16

Start from Ilam Hall car park DE6 2AZ

Click here to see a map of the walk.

Following the death of Rob Goodwin, Peter arranged this one because it was one of Rob’s favourites. One very popular walk from a while ago was the walk from Madeley, which included 52 stiles. That’s worth repeating.

After checking out the National Trust toilets, the group set off down the path alongside the River Manifold. After a while the river changed to the Dove and before leaving the river, the group stopped for coffee in the sunshine.

Lesley was so invigorated by her refreshments that she made an enormous leap to cross one of the many raging torrents in the riverside meadows. A photographer was on hand to record the marks left in the grass when she landed. The marks will be worth looking for the next time the group goes that way.

The soggy meadows were an indicator of the route to come as the path climbed the valley side and went through and sometimes around a long stretch of slippery mud. Rob must have asked for divine assistance because nobody fell over in the mud. After a while some walkers started to enjoy the muddy experience.

After a long detour to the west, the route went south and then east to ensure crossing a stile with an impressively deep mud patch either side of it.

The group stopped for lunch by the derelict cottage above Okeover Hall. The remaining building provided a shelter from the wind which did its best to remove the heat provided by the sunshine.

With Okeover Hall behind them, the group crossed the bridge at Mapleton and took to the muddy path along the River Dove. The final stage of the return journey returned by the Coldwell bridge to the riverside path used at the start of the outward leg. The leader assured the walkers that the mud on the section left untrod would be too much for them.

As the walkers crossed the river to Ilam village the sunshine disappeared and rain sent them hurrying back to the cars.

© Sandbach U3A 2024