My Favourite Local Walk – Macclesfield Forest
I am very fortunate that there are some really beautiful walks from my house but someone else picked them as their favourite walk! So my other best favourite local place which I really love is Macclesfield Forest. (can I just say this has nothing to do with the fact that the bacon butties at Teggs Nose café are absolutely THE BEST!) Anyway the reason I love this area is that there is such an amazing choice of walks from a low level stroll to an uphill route where you can experience amazing views across the Peak District and towards Cheshire’s highest point, Shining Tor.
My actual favourite route is a 8/9 mile high level circular which takes in all the best paths and includes three very good ascents. I love it because its a horseshoe shape and you can see where you started from and where you need to get back to from all the lovely vantage points around the walk. Whenever I feel the need to blow the cobwebs away, sort out a hangover, get my lungs expanded or just lift my spirits this walk does it all. Also I guess with my background in fitness it is for me the ultimate ‘outdoor gym’. I know some of you really don’t like the tough final climb back up to Teggs Nose but the endorphin rush you get at the top makes it all worthwhile (and the chocolate chip shortbread – just saying!) I never fail to be amazed that we have got such a great walking area on our doorstep.
My Favourite walk in the whole wide world – Loughrigg Terrace & The Rydal Coffin Trail.
As you may know I am not widely travelled, but I have spent time in various parts of Europe. There are beautiful walks in the Austrian, French, Italian and Swiss Alps, the Pyrennes and the Tramuntana mountains of Mallorca. However I always come back to the spot described by William Wordsworth as “the loveliest spot that man hath ever found”.
Grasmere sits in a bowl. At its bottom, a perfect circle of water, a tree bristling island and bright green fields of cows and Herdwick sheep. Surrounding these, steep, craggy hills crowd in, colourful with purple heather, dark trees, either bright green or browning bracken, and pale rough grass. The diminutive height of these fells combined with their steepness and closeness, means that there’s a confusion of hills and valleys, waterfalls and traditional lonely farmhouses in every direction. Wordsworth was right – it is every kind of loveliness concentrated in a relatively small area – The English Lake District.
Many of you have heard me talk about my Dad, Freddie, who introduced me to the Lake District fells at the age of 6. My family owned a caravan in the Lyth Valley so all our weekends and school holidays were spent exploring the Lakes. Dad and I would get up at 5.30am every Sunday morning and dash off to the central fells, being under strict orders from Mum to be back by 12.30 in time for Sunday lunch at The Brown Horse Inn at Winster. We were always late!
Our (sometimes quite scary) adventures included climbing the Langdales Pikes, Bowfell and Crinkle Crags, the Coniston Fells, Scafell, Great Gable, and Helvellyn. With my Mum and sisters we spent many happy times wandering around Grasmere, Rydal and Loughrigg Terrace. Whilst I love the high fells I feel that this walk route is the best 9 miles of loveliness – typical Lake District paths with some of the prettiest scenery in the world. No matter how many times I do this walk I never get bored with it and if you haven’t done it ring me and I will take you there.