Autumn is a good time of the year for a trip to the Delamere Forest and is high on the list of places to go and so with a fine sunny day in Macclesfield we head off west for a family walk. As so often with an autumn morning, what starts out with a fine sunny day in Macclesfield, the Cheshire Plain is engulfed in thick fog. It becomes a bit of a disappointment as we head west through Knutsford and into the gloom of a very grey day hving left the sunshine behind but despite the fog you can make the day into an advantage givien the right conditions as so happened on this walk.
We set off in poor visibility from the village of Norley. It’s a real disappointment and if anything the fog is at its thickest here with visibility down to forty yards. Well, we are here now and so we better get on with it. My route is open ended so I can vary it throughout the walk. Paths are initially followed before joining a lane towards Flaxmere. It is then into the woodland to reach the lake at Hatchmere. It is so foggy here that you could only see a few yards out into the lake. We take a waterlogged path on the north side before cutting up to higher and drier ground with pine trees but here it is obvious that something is on, as everyone is running with maps in their hands. It appears to be some sort of massive orienteering exercise. We follow tracks around to Barns Bridge Gates and then continue south towards Eddisbury Lodge and passing crowds of people on the way. At Eddisbury Lodge I decide on a detour, not only to get away from the crowds but to find somewhere to have lunch. With the cloud overhead looking thinner, there is just that chance that the weather on Pale Heights might just about to be in sunshine. Following the Sandstone Trail southwards and ascending we are rewarded with excellent photographic opportunities in that the sun is filtering through the top layer of mist. Walking along a tree lined track there are so many opportunities and we stop time and time again to take pictures. Pale Heights come into view and indeed it is in sunshine. A short ascent to the top of the hill reveals a fine sunny day. This will be our lunch stop and once more it is pleasantly warm. Over a leisurely lunch stop we watch the mist below drift by, with the landscape disappearing into the mist then out again. It is time to set off but not before a quick visit to the trig point which stands at 176 metres above sea level. Setting off eastwards then north east on a winding woodland path, we descend into the afternoon gloom once more but by now the mist is beginning to lift. We make our way through to Delamere Station then towards the small lake named Dead Lake on some old maps. With the mist almost gone, it makes a lovely peaceful spot for more photographs with the low sunlight. Heading north east again we meet several people but we still have time to pause for some pictures of the autumn colours. Finally, we turn north and cross some fields, then east to a minor road before entering Norley. It is then just a short walk in fading light along the village street back to the car after a most rewarding walk.