So the walking shoes I had bought from the outdoor clothing shops leader (no bias in that comment at all) had got me to The Stanley Arms and lunch.

Well, after queuing from the door to get to the bar to purchase my first pint of muscle relaxant, I found a seat and once the bar had cleared went back to the bar for my second pint and ordered lunch. Checking the map after a lovely snack (definitely going back again) and it was time to make a move again. Moving back into the Clough for a short walk then at ‘The Bottom of the Oven’ it was the second uphill trek of the day and then the sharp right to come on to the top and quite a stiff breeze, mmm do I stop and get the fleece out of my rucksack? No I, let’s keep going to the Forest Chapel and see how it is then.

Taking the obligatory picture of the chapel, well it did feature in a seasonal episode of that great comedy series ‘The League of Gentlemen’ so had to be done. Then of down the lane and a sharp left took me into Macclesfield Forrest. A mixture of birdsong and sunshine through the trees soon warmed me up again. The rucksack still felt comfortable on my back, no aches and strains from the feet, something is bound to go wrong.

Following the paths I come out at the head of Trentabank reservoir and looking out to the Heron sanctuary I can hear nesting birds, are they herons? Sorry absolutely no idea on that one. Dropping down to the car park I stop for a well deserved hot chocolate and a piece of homemade parkin, just the job to set me up for the last slog back into town from Langley and home.

The walk back is along the country lanes of Cheshire until I hit Macclesfield itself, a fifteen minute walk and walk completed, I’m home. It’s time for the scores on the door, and when worked out a great effort of just under 16 miles, quite a surprise actually. All the bargains I had obtained from the outdoor clothing shops had performed admirably, the shoes had caused no blisters and the rucksack had caused no rubbing on the shoulders. Next time The Matterhorn will be conquered.