By Sue Thersby
Chinley was the start point for a recent walk by the East Cheshire Ramblers. Ten walkers set off under sunny skies with a promise of warm weather. Chinley is a large, busy village on the western edge of the Peak District National Park. Originally it was part of the Royal Forest of the Peak and consisted of little but a few isolated farms until the 17th century. The industrial revolution significantly altered the village with the construction of three mills along the Black Brook, which runs through the village, followed by the Peak Forest Tramway completed in 1806 (a crude railway which used horse-drawn wagons to carry stone). We descended to the tramway to begin our walk and went along it as far as Chapel Milton. Having crossed the Chapel en le Frith road, we made our way to Wash via field paths and then on to Bowden Hall. The history of the hall is obscure but there was a building there as early as 1477. Later in its history it was the home of a Wormhill quarry owner. It has lovely views to the west. From here we crossed the Sheffield Road before having a morning break. The route then continued to Bagshaw and from here we climbed quite steeply to Stonyford. Having struggled to find a route along field paths during the reconnoitre we opted to take the road to join a track which runs parallel to the aforementioned Sheffield Road before crossing it again and joining the Pennine Bridleway at the bottom of Rushup Edge. We followed this for about two and a half miles to the bottom of South Head (1621 feet), taking advantage of some excellent views to have our lunch break on the way. Because of the hot weather and further climbing to be done, we contoured round the base of South Head. A little further on, we left the Pennine Bridleway to cross the Hayfield Road and resume our walk in a westerly direction, passing Peep o’Day. Allegedly this interesting name comes from the position of the small window above the porch of the house. In the early morning sun shines through this window onto and down the stairs. From here, we climbed Chinley Churn and, after enjoying the views from our vantage point, we descended back to the village of Chinley, finding refreshments at a local café.