By David Abbott
Recently, a group from Olliers embarked on our latest walk in the firm’s wellness programme. Many of the events take place in office time, giving colleagues a break from the pressure of work, but we have some longer outings at weekends too, including friends and family.
We met up on a Saturday morning in Marple, Greater Manchester, and started by walking south out of the town along the Peak Forest Canal, past the impressive flight of locks there and into the countryside. After a couple of miles of easy, level walking we broke away from the canal towpath and dropped down a track into the hamlet of Strines, the former site of an extensive cotton calico printing works , nothing of which now remains save a collection of ponds which have now been turned over to wildlife. Beyond the railway station there, there was a steep climb up out of the valley along a rocky track, which ran through extensive woodland. This was likely an ancient packhorse trail – of which there are many in Derbyshire and Cheshire, the land having been hollowed by countless packhorse trains many centuries ago – until we reached the tiny hamlet of Brookbottom. There is a cosy old-fashioned pub there; the start time of our walk had been cunningly timed so that the pub would be open by the time we walked there.
After refreshment there we looped back towards our start point, in the increasing drizzle, via tracks through farm and woodland , and over a golf course, to where we had parked our cars, a little damp but with 5 miles walked and wellness increased.