Sunday, February 3 – The Peovers

Now Tom is restarting his riding career, and therefore I have a fixture with him today, at Barton Bridge, 10am.  Starting at 9.15, I soon reached Walkden, arriving to find him waiting, at 9.45.  Together we proceeded on to Stretford, Didsbury, Cheadle and Handforth, turning for Dean Row, then Prestbury.

We were in Prestbury far too early for lunch, so we took the road to Vardentown, turning here, along the Alderley Edge – Macclesfield road towards Alderley.  This road, densely wooded, makes a glorious run.  Again we turned, this time for Birtles, for I intended showing Tom to the excellent CTC house there, but somehow we wandered off the beaten track.  Last year, we could not have a run unless we got on some unknown track, and now our first run together this year had to include another such.  And in such a well-known district, too!  Neither of us are completely satisfied until we have seen where that sunken lane leads us, or that muddy, moorland track, and many are the awkward predicaments that we have landed ourselves in – but also, how many scenes of wondrous beauty or wild desolation, or rural charm, have these unknown ways led us to?  I think they are worthwhile!

After scouting about for a while, first on a cobbled, then on a muddied road – if it can be called a road – we alighted on the Chelford – Macclesfield road near Henbury.  A short run brought us to Monk’s Heath, then we were soon at Mrs Powell’s at Alderley Cross for lunch.  An hour later we were off again, wandering over the bylanes to Chelford, and taking the Holmes Chapel road for three miles, we left it in favour of a byway that, after running through a valley, led us to Over Peover.  The Northwich road brought us to Peover Superior.  We now traversed a cinder path that led us to the entrance of the grounds of Peover Hall.  For a while we stood debating the possibilities of going through the grounds to Parkgate, but decided that it was not worth the risk, so we trundled along to Lower Peover.

Soon we were in Knutsford, and taking theWarrington road reached Tabley.  Near ‘The Smoker Inn’ we sat on a wall watching the traffic fly past, and when we began to get chilly we moved off, through a selection of bylanes to Millington, where after a walk we had tea.  Leaving at 6pm, we soon reached Altrincham and Stretford, where we separated, each on our own way home.  This ended a delightful opening run through East Cheshire, and I got home at 9.15pm.

76 miles