Walk report Wildboarclough & Gradbach 25th November

At Three Shire Heads – our stopping point for lunch on this rather cold day. A passing rambler kindly offered to take a group photograph.

It’s amazing how the weather can change within a few miles. Whilst Macclesfield bathed in some late autumn sunshine a few miles east the hills were clad in low cloud with just a hint of drizzle in the air but this didn’t deter seventeen East Cheshire Ramblers setting off on an eight mile Sunday walk from Clough House Car Park at Wildboarclough.
Kathryn Carty led the party east on the stony track which ascended Cumberland Clough before heading northeast to gain the misty moorland at Danebower Hollow. Turning right, the party headed along the high level path towards the Danebower Quarries where shelter was found for the morning break. The quarries have been long abandoned but spoil heaps and remains of old buildings are still very much visible on the ground in this bleak landscape. Stone from the quarries was used locally mostly for building walls.
Crossing the River Dane and staying on a high level path, the party next headed towards Orchard Farm before heading down to a sheltered valley which descended to Three Shire Heads – the meeting points of the counties of Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire. This was our lunch stop and is a popular spot for picnics on a warm summer’s day but today there was a chill in the air that the group were soon ready to move on but not before a group photograph.
The packhorse bridge here over the infant River Dane is said to date from the eighteenth century and is grade two listed. Heading south, the party now followed a section of the Dane Valley Way, a forty eight mile long way-marked trail which follows the course of the River Dane between Buxton and Northwich. Reaching Gradbach, the group re-crossed the River Dane from Staffordshire in to Cheshire before taking the delightful hill path via Bichenough Hill and finally descending via quiet lanes back via Wildboarclough to the end of the walk.

A brief interval of sunshine as the group head back towards Clough House Car Park.