Marple’s Bluebells and Canals Day Walk
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Visit the spectacular bluebell wood and nature reserve at Etherow Country Park as we follow a walk in and around the town of Marple on the outskirts of Greater Manchester. In addition to the colourful display in the country park we will visit a variety of points of interest, including the flight of sixteen locks and an aqueduct along the Peak Forest canal and the Mellor archaeological site which includes a replica of an iron-age roundhouse.
What to bring
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: A good comfy pair of walking socks is essential really; they keep your feet warm and drier than normal socks.
Gaiters: Gaiters attach to the bottom of walking boots and extend to just under the knee. They provide waterproofing for the bottom half of the leg. They are not essential to have but you will feel the difference if you have them.
Walking Trousers: You should have a suitable pair of trousers for walking in, jeans are not suitable as they take on water when wet and will make you cold. The same goes for jogging pants/tracksuit clothing. You would be best advised to get a pair of comfy walking trousers from one of the many outdoor equipment outlets (Cotswold, Blacks etc)
Waterproof Trousers: Waterproof trousers are essential in case of wet weather. They are also good to be worn when it is not raining as they can act as a windproof barrier, which keeps the legs warm. Waterproof trousers should be breathable, so be sure to check that as when it’s raining on a warm day – you can get wet legs from sweat on the inside if they are not breathable.
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.
Other Layers: On top of your base layer, you can have a variety of options such as a micro fleece, a fleece jacket or a rugby/sports top can sometimes be good. Having one or two additional layers gives you flexibility when the weather is changeable – the more layers, the more flexible you can be in adapting to the weather.
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 but they can be expensive unless you shop sensibly, don’t forget your OutdoorLads discount for Full Members at Cotswold outlets.
Hat: As most heat is lost through the head a good hat is essential.
Gloves: Gloves are essential in the colder months, 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. As an option you could store your items in waterproof bags inside just in-case or ensure the bag has a waterproof bag to pull over the top.
Mobile Phone: If you choose to bring your phone, then you are well advised to buy a waterproof bag or if that is not possible a simple food/freezer bag will suffice.
Food & drink
You will need a lunch for the day and also plenty of water for the walk (at least 2 litres). We would also recommend a hot drink or maybe soup if it is cold.