After purchasing my outdoor clothing shop bargains over the last few weeks, they got there first big outing last weekend, as I took advantage of the sunshine that appeared. So having packed the new rucksack with life’s essentials, fleece sweatshirt, rain jacket (well it is a British summer), and wearing the boots I treated myself to a couple of months back, it was best foot forward.

Living in Macclesfield, I have the luxury of having the Peak District to one side and the Cheshire Plain to the other. But with the sun shining and looking for any breeze to keep me going it was the hills that won out. Heading out from Lyme Green I headed for Sutton and then onwards out on Hollins Lane heading for the boundary of the National Park. Having set out early I had already passed two public houses (both closed, shame), but had already taken some great pictures. Having climbed the lane to the top of the ridge the aim was to take on the Cheshire Matterhorn or Shutlingsloe and there it was in the distance across the valley.

Having tested my map reading skills out (only had one very small mis-reading, almost ending up in  farmer’s garden) and following the directions of gates and stiles I worked my way across the common and down into bottom of the valley and reaching Clough Brook. Having a little rest it was great to think I was just a few miles out of town and the only sounds I could hear was the water, birds and the occasional sound of a sheep. I hadn’t seen or heard any kind of motor vehicle for the best part of two hours, bliss!

Following the brook upstream I headed up Wildboarclough, and with the sun shining I thought to myself, well I don’t see the fleece or rain jacket getting used as I had decided to walk the length of the Clough rather than heading up the Matterhorn. Saving that assault for another day and a literary walk (watch this space). Passing The Crag pub (closed it was still that early, must plan this walk better next time) I pushed on with the destination of the Stanley Arms in my mind for lunch. Walking on the scenery changed from woodland on either side on me with small disused quarries to more open farmland.  The Clough itself winding from one side of the road to the other. I began to pass people walking the other way and realised today was “The Langley 11” (see earlier blog), so I knew the next pub was going to be very busy. However lunch beckoned and with no aches or pains from my feet after a morning of walking I knew that my boots had been the best bargain I had obtained from the outdoor clothing shop of choice - Outdoor Look.