Nick i' th' Hill, Mow Cop and the Old Man - Staffordshire
12 people attending
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Join us on a return to Biddulph Grange (the country park, not the NT gardens) from where we’ll take a different walk to last time, this time heading west and south from the start point. It's a 9 mile / 14 kilometre walk, with 280 metres of ascent. The walk starts in Staffordshire and heads into Cheshire, before returning back across the county boundary to the start point. Depending on the weather, there should be great views west across the Cheshire plain, south to the Potteries area and west to the Staffordshire and Derbyshire moorlands. Interesting locations along the walk are:
Nick i’ th’ Hill – the Nick is a dip in the Congleton Edge, a sandstone / gritstone ridge overlooking the Cheshire plain. It is accessible by car from one side only, to provide access to a handful of houses. The Gritsone Trail passes through this location.
The Old Man of Mow – the Old Man is a gritstone pillar, 20 metres in height, in a location that was once a stone quarry. It is thought that the pillar was left standing because it is a lower quality of stone than the surrounding area. Stone was quarried for building and the better quality stone was used for mill stones.
Mow Cop Castle – Mow Cop is a village that literally straddles the Cheshire / Staffordshire border, with a foot in both counties. It is 335 metres above sea level, at the southern end of a sandstone / gritstone ridge – Congleton Edge – overlooking the Cheshire plain. The “castle” is a folly, designed and built in 1754 to enhance the view from nearby Rode Hall. It was originally a tearoom and picnic location for the Wilbraham family, who lived at Rode Hall.
Dogs: well-behaved dogs are welcome on the walk, but must under control at all times and on a lead when crossing agricultural land.
Accessibility by train: pickup from and return to a local railway station (Congleton or Macclesfield) may be possible. Message the event leader to discuss further.
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Photo credits: all photos by the event leader with permission granted to ODL for their use.
What to bring
What to bring
Boots: your most important piece of kit: comfortable, waterproof, breathable and designed for hiking. Trainers may be OK, depending on how rough the ground is and if its dry. Socks: proper walking socks will keep your feet dry and help prevent blisters. Gaiters: recommended for wet weather or boggy conditions.
Layered clothing: lets you quickly adapt to changes in the weather and to body temperature. Go for a base layer (vest or t-shirt), a mid layer (micro-fleece or shirt) and in cooler weather add an outer layer (windproof jacket or thick fleece). Trousers: avoid jeans as they become heavy and cold in the rain, and take ages to dry out. Breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry more quickly. On warm days shorts may be ok.
Waterproof jacket: carry one in your rucksack when walking in all but the calmest of weather. Breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry.
Hat or cap: useful for staying warm in winter and shaded in summer. Gloves: essential in winter and ideally waterproof.
Day rucksack: typically 20-30 litres, this should be comfortable to wear and allow you to use your arms freely.
Sunglasses: for any sunny day, even in winter. Sun cream: can be useful even on cloudy and winter days.
Lunch: bring a packed lunch unless otherwise stated. Snacks: a range of biscuits, energy bars, bananas, chocolate or dried fruit (for example) are always good to have. Put them in your rucksack where they are easy to grab.
Water and other fluid: bring between one and two litres, depending on season of the year and temperature. A combination of water, fruit juice, energy drinks and a hot drink is a good idea.
Medicines: essential if you have hay fever, diabetes, minor ailments, etc. A personal first aid kit with hand sanitiser, bandages and paracetamol or ibuprofen (for personal use only) is a good idea.
Food & drink
Bring a packed lunch, snacks for along the way and sufficient fluids (hot or cold) to drink. A hot drink is recommended in cooler weather.
There may be a pub stop along the walk in Mow Cop, depending on progress. We could also go for refreshments after the walk, either at the nearby National Trust café at Biddulph Grange Gardens ST8 7SD or the nearby pub, the Talbot, on Grange Road ST8 7RY.