With Helen and Gavin. We followed the track that goes east from the Wizard car park by Alderley Edge. (Pay and display but free if you’re a NT member.) Soon a very narrow, rather overgron path branches off leading to Edge House Farm. From here there are paths to follow pleasantly over fields and by little woods to the village of Mottram St Andrew. At <Mottram we turned right down the quiet Priest Lane. Passing the Bull’s Head we kept straight on down Cross Lane as far as Woodside Farm where we took a path that goes off to the left. This goes over a golf course to Mottram Hall Hotel . The footpath here goes to the right of the clubhouse, crosses some more golf course, passes a very manicured football pitch then turns into a pleasant riverside path as far as Mill Farm most of which is presently a construction site. We crossed the road by Mottram Bridge and turned right to find the footpath leading over fields towards Dean Farm. This path if evidently not much frequented. The stile was horribly overgrown so we used the nearby gate and headed for the footbridge on the map. We went a bit astray here. I slightly misestimated the direction of the right of way and we headed west by northwest instead of east by northeast as we should and ended up at the wrong field corner looking in a vain for the bridge until we got puzzled enough to resort to a compass despite the perfect visibility and soon got back on track.
As we entered the next field a sign advised us there was a bull in it. Today there was not but he watched us from the neighbouring field with a mean look which made us glad not to have found him in our path. At the farm an unfriendly dog running loose barked at us but it wasn’t a very big dog and did no more than bark. Our next path leads towards Alderley Edge down a field alongside Faulkner’s Farm. Four friendly horses trotted over looking for attention. Now the path follows a fence for about a kilometre. At one point a stile crosses the fence and a sign instructed us bto switch side on pain of prosecution. So we did. After a place where there is a crossing of paths the route gets a little unclear for a bit and we went briefly astray again but were soon righted. Our walk ended with a bit of an explore round Alderley Edge, a lovely atmospheric place which Alan Garner in his childen books peopled with witches and goblins. On this this beautiful Sunday afternoon it was peopled instead with hundreds of dogwalkers and families. Soon enough we were back at the Wizard. The café was busy but we found ourselves some seats and rounded off a satisfying short walk with coffee and snacks.
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