May is National Walking Month and we did do quite a bit of walking in Arran, but I started off on my big walk on the penultimate day. James saw me off and I headed north up our lane and over the brook, the first of many watercourses that I will cross. At the end of the road is a path alongside the brook which goes to Brookhouse Green. It can be walked, cycled or ridden but has not been a through road for the last 200 years when a ford was in place. Unfortunately, many digital maps have not caught up with this and endless peoples’ satnavs send them down what they think is a through road. I used to walk around these lanes a lot when we had the dog. Just north of us there are farms and some equestrian centres.
I exchanged greetings with a runner, a cyclist and a guy working on his garden. After 3.7 miles I came to Brereton Green where I paused for a while. The A50 south of Brereton is known as Newcastle Road as it eventually leads to Newcastle under Lyme. A stretch between Brereton and Holmes Chapel is called ‘Dog Lane’ and I have no idea how that arose. I did spot this old sign almost hidden away at the side of the road.
I had a fairly early lunch and rest at a bench in Holmes Chapel and then set out to complete the remaining eight or so miles. Unfortunately, the forecast rain set in soon after so it was time to put the camera away and don the waterproofs. It persisted as I walked for two miles up the A50, then on a B road towards Northwich. Had it been dry, a stop at Shakerley Mere would have been in order. This is a lake with wildfowl and woodland around it where we used to walk the dog. I continued, getting splashed by trucks as there were huge puddles at the side of the road. In Lach Dennis, I diverted up the quieter Birches Lane, through Lostock Green and into Lostock Gralam, my destination. After a bridge over Wade Brook, I passed this smallholding with black sheep and pigs.
The main road that runs east to west through Lostock Gralam, Manchester Road, is part of the Roman Road, Watling Street. Lostock is also the home of one of Cheshire’s oldest football clubs, Lostock Gralam F.C., who have played continuously at their Manchester Road ground since 1892. They are one of the Cheshire’s leading amateur clubs, despite being based in a relatively small area. Lostock’s population is just over 2,200. My total distance for today was 13.6 miles, giving me time to dry off before meeting James for an evening meal.
The wonderful weather continues into September and for this year at least the village fete could rely on sunshine for the day.
We have not always managed to attend as we have sometimes been away for work or pleasure but today, took a short walk (just under two miles) there and back. There were lots of different stalls but I resisted the temptation to buy as I am trying to declutter and do not need any more hippy attire just now as I will not be able to get to Glastonbury until 2019.
The scouts had a climbing tower which some brave souls were attempting to get up.
Being a farming community which used to be known as the garden of the potteries, it was no surprise to see vintage tractors on display but also a competition to see how many plates you could shatter.
There were several competitions including some for dogs which we could not enter as our dog died last December. Music while we were there was provided by a local wind band but later, back at home while I was picking fruit for the evening meal, I could hear other artists’ music drifting across the fields.
We saw some of the local wildlife and a local haulier appeared to have been taken over by the Minions.
All too soon we had to return home to get various jobs done around the house and for James to get some rest before his night shift.