Long Walks in October 2021

6  Oct 2021 Pym Chair  Leader: Stephen, Length of walk: 8.5 miles, Driving Distance: 25 miles, Number walking: 11


Pym Chair is in the middle of nowhere. Actually that’s not even true because the chair was named after a rock outcrop that has been quarried away, while an informative sign explains that nobody knows why the feature bears that name. It’s a miracle anybody can remember that it exists; it doesn’t appear on the OS 1:50,000 map. It is actually south of Kettleshulme and east of Rainow with little in between. A short walk to the east lies the Goyt valley with its dams.

From the car park the leader set off for Shining Tor walking along the boundary between Cheshire and Derbyshire, which was, for the most part, marked by flagstones. The air was clear allowing extensive views of sunlit moorland; early on the cooling towers of Fiddler’s Ferry power station were visible, but they disappeared later.

After coffee and cake at the highest point of Cheshire the group returned a little way north to take the path into the valley where the Todd Brook rises and makes its way to Whaley Bridge (see the report of the walk in October 2019). The southern end of the valley contained nothing but rough grass and reeds but later flocks of sheep populated the area.

The leader selected a pretty site near Saltersford Hall for lunch and some of the walkers wondered what the great Capability Brown would have made of the area. It could be a delightful landscape albeit difficult to reach. Their views might have been different if they had to lunch in rain and wind.

After following Todd Brook north the group climbed out of that valley into another where they wandered through the garden of Dunge Farm. This had been landscaped with a lake and a waterfall, but the maintenance budget was insufficient to keep it in top condition. Maybe the owners don’t like sharing it with random walkers clomping through.

The final climb took the walkers up to Taxal Edge and thence to the top of Windgather Rocks for afternoon tea. On the way back to the car park, the leader met a fellow geology teacher packing away the kit from a session of abseiling and had to be prised away to shepherd his charges back to the cars.