Walking with; Ruthy and Rach
Sometimes in this world of highest, longest, fastest and furthest where the walking blogosphere is filled with tales of derring-do as packs are hefted across the wilds of Scotland, one forgets about the simple pleasures afforded by a gentle stroll amongst the plants and birdlife of Spring. Sometimes, simply putting one foot in front of another and meandering aimlessly along a towpath or two can bring a kind of quiet satisfaction unburdened by superlatives. Any walk that contains encounters with a Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail, numerous families of Mallards and Canada Geese and the odd Moorhen can’t fail to please and this canalside ramble certainly did just that.
We left Marple Bridge and cut onto the Peak Forest Canal in the midst of the Marple Locks. The walking was easy, the weather was short, sharp showers interspersed with brighter intervals and in the first mile we already had a Kingfisher and Grey and Pied Wagtails to our name. This innocuous patch of path is actually part of the E2 route, a trans-European path running from Galway to Nice, a distance of over 3000 miles, it’s also part of The Cheshire Ring Canal walk which comes in at a more manageable 98 miles and might make a good project for a long weekend! We followed the path towards Strines before crossing beneath the canal at Stanleyhall Woods and following the lane towards Ridge Fold where we cut cross country and hit the Macclesfield Canal which is also part of the Cheshire Ring. We mooched and meandered back to the confluence of the two waterways and from there onto The Midland http://www.midlandmarplebridge.co.uk/, where the beer, the chips and the welcome were enough to gladden the heart and remind one of the joys of such simple pleasures as a canalside stroll followed by a pint.