Ring and Ramble 2012
Saturday, November 3rd,2012
This year’s Ring and Ramble really started at the Norton ringers Garden Party when a casual remark by Paul suggested we base the walk near his new home at Chapel en le Frith, We hadn’t covered this area before so there was some appeal.
Perusing the map, later, showed there were four towers which looked possible, Chapel, Taxal. Hayfield and New Mills. The distance involved in a walk between any two of them is about 6 or 7 miles, so a circular walk would be too far for the daylight available in November..
A solution was to ring at Chapel, 6 bells, continue by car to Taxal where we could park by the church, ring on the 6 bells, then walk up the Goyt Valley and back.
We obtained permission to ring at Chapel, it’s Paul’s new home tower, without too much trouble. Contact at Taxal was via the church office and found the ladies therel very welcoming. They even offered to supply cups of tea and allow us to eat our packed lunches in the church.
The day dawned wet, as had most of the days this year, but it improved as we approached midday and the meeting at Chapel.
Chapel en le Frith is on the old A6, now with a bypass. The side roads around the church are very arrow and congested, but we discovered a car park down a back street a short distance from the church. Passing the stocks and the old pub sign for the ‘Bull‘, we soon came to the church. A pleasant ring on the 6 bells. was completed, after hearing a little about some of the families in Chapel from the tower captain and being mesmerized by the clock pendulum. A quick look into the church revealed a splendid modern stained glass window.
Finding Taxal was a slight challenge. Through Whaley Bridge on the Macclesfield road, then left half way up the hill, along a narrow lane to arrive at a lovely secluded setting for the small church.. Plenty of room for us in the church car park.
Care was needed on the paths leading through the church yard. All very slippery with moss after the wet autumn. We were greeted by the ladies from the church who soon had the tea underway whilst we sampled this pleasant ground floor ring of six.
Then for the walk.. Keeping to the track running up the west side of the Valley it very quickly became soggy underfoot - mainly due to farm traffic using the unmade road. Once passed the farm, however, things improved and we dropped down to the paths by the Fernilee reservoir.
There was a choice of paths, water side or through the wood, so the party divided for a short time before all rejoined by the water. We had planned to cross the valley at the next dam. Some crossed below the dam others went for the higher route and the view, but eventually we were all together yet again for the walk back down the east side.
This is a slightly easier and more open route than the west side with good views over the water and surrounding hills. The early section being along an old railway track which used to link with the high peak mineral line.
The path becomes a little less defined as it crosses some meadows and enters a small wood before joining a leafy track coming down from the Buxton road. There is a bridge over the Goyt river here, as well as a ford, then a steep climb up the track to arrive back at Taxal church. So far we had had a good dry walk, but it came on to rain just as we reached the cars.
To complete a very pleasant day, we went back to Chapel to find the Fallow Deer Inn just by the bypass, and enjoyed a good meal in good company.
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