Macclesfield Canal & Lyme Park Walk
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Indulged too many mince pies & wine over the Festive period? Then why don’t you join Ian on this fantastic leisurely walk along the Macclesfield Canal from Bollington passing Clarence Mill, once a thriving cotton mill during the Industrial Revolution.
After a few miles walking along the canal, we then make our way across fields to Lyme Park, owned by the National Trust. We’ll stop for lunch in the grounds of the park at the Timber Yard Courtyard. The cafe does sandwiches/hot meals if you wish to eat here. After the walk we’ll head upto Cage Hill which boasts stunning views across the Cheshire Plain. On a clear day you can see the Welsh hills and the Mersey Estuary, planes landing at Manchester Airport and also Beetham Tower in Manchester. So hopefully the weather is good.
Plodding on we take in Lantern Wood with fine views all around as we head back to Bollington through the park via the Gritstone Trail, and across Bakestonedale Moor.
If time allows we can do an optional route upto White Nancy and Kerridge Hill before a well earned drink in one of Bollington's finest pubs.
What to bring
Be sensible with what you bring. The following is a full kit list, but decent boots, proper walking trousers/shorts and waterproofs (if it likely to rain) are a must. Jeans are generally to be avoided and you should avoid cotton t-shirts.
Boots: Hiking boots are arguably the most essential piece of kit when hiking just about anywhere. Walker’s should make sure that their boots are both waterproof and breathable, and provide good ankle support. Boots should also be in good condition.
Socks: Walking socks are often overshadowed by those new to hiking, with many novices failing to invest in proper socks. Good walking socks are essential in regards to keeping the feet dry, and in turn stopping the development of blisters. Sports socks and other socks not designed for walking will often become waterlogged, or damaged which will in turn blister feet.
Gators: Gators attach to the bottom of walking boots and extend to just under the knee. They provide waterproofing for the bottom half of the leg, and are essential in keeping the feet dry.
Walking Trousers: Walking trousers should be of a windproof design and made of a rip stop material, that will stand up to walking through ferns and undergrowth. They should also ideally be water resistant, or at least not gain weight, and lose their insulation properties when wet. Jeans are therefore to be avoided, as they are heavy when wet and provide no protection from the elements.
Waterproof Trousers: Waterproof trousers are essential in keeping the legs dry, as water resistant trousers will not keep out any significant rainfall. Walker’s should look for waterproof trousers that are breathable, in order to avoid being soaked with sweat.
Base Layer: A breathable base layer should be chosen in order to let sweat escape from the body. This should ideally consist of a breathable synthetic, specially designed fabric, though a cotton T-Shirt is sufficient.
Mid Layer: A Mid Layer goes on top of the base layer and should consist of a 100 weight micro fleece, or a rugby typed thick shirt. The layering system is important as it allows walkers to quickly adapt to changes in the weather as well as body temperature.
Outer Layer: The outer layer should consist of a windproof jacket or a thick fleece. This is the final layer and walkers should ensure that this layer provides ample warmth.
Waterproof Jacket: A good waterproof jacket is one of the most important pieces of kit you will require when hiking. Walkers should look for a jacket that is both waterproof and breathable in order for them to be protected from sweat. Materials such as Gore-tex are often the best choices.
Hat: As most heat is lost through the head a good hat is essential. The best hats are those of a fleece design, with wool also being acceptable.
Gloves: Gloves are essential in the colder months as walkers will require the usage of their fingers for various activities such as map reading. Windproof or better still waterproof gloves are the best choice.
Rucksack: A good Rucksack that is comfortable to wear is essential, and required to carry both food and equipment. Day sacks should have a capacity of around 30 litres with equipment being placed in water proof bags inside.
Emergency Equipment: A number of items should be taken in case problems occur whilst walking in the hills. Emergency equipment becomes of greater importance the further from civilisation walkers are. Equipment should include spare food stuffs of high energy, a survival bag, a whistle, a medical kit, a torch and something to make fire, either storm proof matches or a firelighter.
Food & Water: At least two litres of water should be brought for each day hiking, with more being taken if cooking is required. Enough food for the duration of a walk should also be taken. Food should be of the high energy variety, with hot food being able to be eaten raw if necessary.
Map & Compass: A map of the area being walked in is essential as well as a compass. The map should be in a waterproof bag or be of a waterproof design.
Mobile Phone: A mobile phone should also be brought and kept in a waterproof bag for use in emergencies.
Food & drink
Please bring a packed lunch/drinks you may need before the walk as we won't be passing any shops on the walk. You’ll find a Co-Op in Bollington village not far from the carpark. Maybe a hot flask if you wish.
Food can be purchased at the tearoom at Lyme Park.