|OS Route Map →||GPX Route file →|
Date: 16 Apr 2020
Start: / Finish: Altrincham.
Maps: Explorer 268 Wilmslow, Macclesfield & Congleton + 276 Bolton, Wigan & Warrington.
|Day 1||Transpennine Trail, Bridgewater Way & Dunham Massey||12.2miles (19.6km)|
CV (CoronaVirus) lockdown walk from the door #2.
The CV lockdown wears on with a further three weeks announced this morning. This week has seen excellent clear sunny weather and we did a 5-mile walk on nearly deserted local leafy roads a couple of days ago. Today was our first chance for a longer walk worth a report.
This local circuit follows the Transpennine Trail west from Seamon's Bridge skirting Heatley and Oughtrington to Lymm, returning on the Bridgewater Way along the canal to Little Bollington and through the National Trust (NT) park of Dunham Massey.
The buildings and gated gardens of NT properties are closed for the lockdown along with their car parks, meaning a very quiet and peaceful experience in the Dunham Massey parkland, but everywhere else, people were out in large numbers in the very warm sunshine, more than we have ever seen before on these tracks even at the height of a normal summer. Some deft manoeuvres were required at times to maintain distance on the canal towpath.
Note that at Little Bollington we saw a notice prohibiting cycling on this narrow western section of the towpath due to CV lockdown restrictions.
From Seamon's Bridge the TPT follows a former railway bed in a dead straight line for 3.6m (5.8km) to Oughtrington, unchanging but pleasant walking with the pastoral plains of Cheshire on either side and plenty of people and cyclists out today.
At Lymm we turned off to join the Bridgewater Way alongside the canal where the many walkers and families were hurriedly passing each other trying to maximize distance on the fairly narrow towpath.
Leaving the canal via the steps at Little Bollington, we saw the CV notice prohibiting cycling, presumably for the duration of the lockdown. It always was a bit dicey on this western stretch where the path is a lot narrower than the very well used section east of Altrincham.
The track between Bollin Mill and Dunham Mill was almost impassable a few weeks ago in the floods, today it was dust dry. The NT car park at Dunham was closed and we enjoyed an unnaturally quiet wander around the woodland and Island Pool, just a very few walkers out who could reach the park on foot.
We returned to Altrincham via Dunham Forest golf course and Devisdale Common, passing through Denzell Gardens en route where many more walkers and families were out. The sunken garden is a highlight, carefully planted by volunteers with a wide variety of species named on the adjacent information board, but nigh on impossible to capture as such in full foliage as a photograph.