Sunday, March 30 – Wildboarclough

I was up early this morning, for I had to meet Tom at Kingsway End, Wilmslow road, at 10am, and at 8.20 I was on the road. Stretford and Chorlton were reached early, and well inside time I was at the trysting place.  I noticed that there was an unusual amount of lightweight cyclists on the road, perhaps the Manchester DA hill climb on Birtles Hill was attracting them.  Tom came and together we became part of the long stream of cyclists passing along Wilmslow road.  At Handforth we deserted the main road for a quiet bylane which led us to the fine, old world village of Prestbury, and across the Macclesfield –Stockport road, climbing steeply to Bollington, a little cotton town set on the edge of the hills.  Now we started climbing in earnest along a rough, steep road, such as grow in profusion in Derbyshire – although we are still inCheshire.  The views that we got from this road across the Cheshire plains were magnificent in the extreme.

For many miles we wandered along the narrow way, taking full toll of the glorious moorland scenery.  Up and down we went, plunging down to bleak little becks, where the water tumbled and splashed over its boulder strewn bed.  Dizzy drops and sharp, hair-raising turns occupied us, then we came to the Macclesfield – Buxton road.  Right away up the bleak hillsides this motorised highway wound, to where the little speck on the topmost summit proclaimed the Cat and Fiddle Inn (and summit).  That was not our way, we ran across the road, and then rushed down into Wildboarclough.  For three miles we ran through the pretty clough, accompanied by a turbulent little stream, then halted at the Crag Inn for lunch which was overdue.  Yet we were still in Cheshire!

We soon came to Algreave after lunch, and commenced the climb along the Congleton – Buxton road.  Although terribly hilly – one of the most severe of Derbyshire main roads – the wild scenery around us amply repaid all the walking we did.  At last we joined the Cat and Fiddle road, a mile nearer Buxton, and a short climb brought us to the famous Inn, 1,690 feet above sea level, then followed a seven mile run downhill to Macclesfield and Broken Cross.  The fine pine woods of Alderley Edge were traversed, and a byway from the Wizard led us to Mrs Powell’s for tea.  Several of the Bolton section CTC were in, having been to the hill climb, two of them capturing prizes.  We met a Mr Webb, who told us of a great many things in Derbyshire, and we promised to have a few runs with him in the near future.  We all started back together, 15 all told, soon reaching Cheadle, where Mr Webb left us, and later Tom departed.  I carried on with the club then, reaching home at 9.30.

94 miles