Tegg’s Nose

Hello people and pooches. Joe the Cocker here again. The day was to be a very special day. Because of the combination of lockdown restrictions and my human’s iffy knee, we haven’t been in the hills for over six months. The restrictions have been reduced so that we can travel a bit further than the borough that we live in. The big feller’s knee has not improved but, he said that he wanted to see what his capabilities are now. So, he decided to take his trekking poles and his knee brace. I have seen scaffolding on the side of New York skyscrapers that look like providing less support than his knee brace. At least he said that he would cover it up by wearing long hiking trousers so that he wouldn’t embarrass me. The plan for the day was to do a short hilly walk in the Cheshire Peak District and then to return to the car for a coffee and a snack. Then, after a short rest, if he could man-up, we would drive for five minutes and do another short hilly walk. We would play it all by ear!

Tegg’s Nose Cafe and car park

It was a chilly April morning when we set off towards Macclesfield and Tegg’s Nose. On reaching Macclesfield we took the Buxton Road before turning up the narrow roads to Tegg’s Nose. We parked in the Visitor Centre carpark, which was surprisingly, less than a quarter full. Tegg’s Nose is a hill within a Country Park that is popular with walkers, horse riders and cyclists. Quarrying of sandstone or more specifically, gritstone has been carried out on the hill from the 16th century and right up to 1955.

Princess Diana stone bench

The route we were to take was an unplanned one. There is a series of waymarked trails but, as I had Hopalong in tow, we had to see how he could cope with the ups and downs. As we left the carpark, we turned left to follow the footpath towards Tegg’s Nose summit. We passed the Princess Diana memorial bench and an old milestone before reaching a gate into the country park area. The view behind us looked over Macclesfield and with a squint, as far as Frodsham and Helsby Hills.

Looking back as we walked along the flat path

Immediately, we came across the first obstacle for the big feller which also happened to be my first item of a dog’s playground. A small flight of sandstone steps was in front of us. My human took his time and gingerly ascended his mini Mt. Everest. I, on the other hand, turned ‘full-on puppy’ as I realised that we were doing our first hill walk in over six months. I ran up and down the steps, bounced about like a spring lamb and turned around to bark to my dad. It was a sort of ‘get-in’ moment of celebration.

The big feller’s first obstacle

Twenty steps to the flatter section and my dad had made it without too much complaining. He didn’t exactly sprint to the top but, he managed it OK. At the top of the incline we stopped for a few seconds while my dad took in the scenery. He said that it was amazing to be back out in the hills, baby hills, but hills nevertheless! We could see Shutlingsloe in the distance, a place that we visited last year, poking above the Peak District’s rolling hills.

Shutlingsloe on the horizon

On our right we could see the track to the disused quarry as we pondered on how much rock must have been transported along the narrow valley floor.

The track into the quarry

It was a gentle stroll along the summit ridge as we admired the views over the farmland and to Macclesfield Forest.

Looking towards Macclesfield Forest

The path followed part of the route of the Gritstone Trail, a 35 mile hiking trail from Disley to Kidsgrove. The trail is on our to-do list.

Part of the Gritstone Trail

We soon came across evidence of the quarrying industry as we passed by the large quarry face on our right. I had to be on-lead for a while due to the unfenced cliff edges. The chance of me falling off a cliff edge is quite remote. It would more likely be the dozy one on the other end of the lead that would fall. Perhaps it is our humans that they want to be on-lead and not us surefooted and aware pooches!

The quarry face
Gritstone quarrying

There is an area with a few restored quarrying machines for humans to investigate. My human only took one photograph of a stone crusher because the other machines had human puppies climbing on them.

A rock crusher

As we walked the scenery opened up in front of us. Ridgegate Reservoir was below us in the foreground with Cheshire’s Matterhorn, Shutilngsloe on the horizon.

Ridgegate Reservoir

When we reached the centre of the quarry we noticed that climbing and abseiling training was being carried out on the vertical walls of the quarry. This is definitely not a passtime for us pooches. I enjoy climbing and walking up steep hills but, this activity is not for me. We will leave it to the crazy humans. There is a perfectly good path from the bottom to the top of the quarry that I could sprint around in twenty seconds so, what is the point?

‘Base Camp’ for the climbing school

There are plenty of benches for tired humans to rest on but, the best one that I found for my human overlooked Tegg’s Nose Reservoir and Bottom’s Reservoir with the communications tower at Sutton Common rising from the hills ahead. The two reservoirs appear to form the two wings of a butterfly.

Tegg’s Nose Reservoir and Bottom’s Reservoir

Another resting place, with a memorial plaque, and with awesome views, appeared a few yards away from our last viewpoint. It was time for a short run off-lead for yours truly while I had a good sniff around in the gorse. It was a bit prickly but it made some good sniffing. I peed on the hillside at this point thus claiming it for myself for the rest of time!

A memorial bench with a view

As we headed back towards the entrance to Tegg’s Nose Country Park, we came across an unusual obstacle in our path. A small shelter with two narrow entrances had to be negotiated. This was not a problem for me but, after the big feller’s considerable weight gain through lockdown, I wasn’t sure if he could squeeze through it. I jumped through the narrow gap and looked back at my human dad. He said that he knew what I was thinking ans called me a cheeky monkey!

I can’t see the big feller getting through here!

He managed to squeeze through! I still think that he needs to get rid of some of that blubber that has been keeping him warm through the winter.

Shutlingsloe from the shelter

This day was on the up and up. I found a tennis ball that I decided to guard with my life all the way back to the car. I knew that my spoil sport human would not allow me to keep it so, I kept it hidden from him as best I could.

I found a ball!

We continued downhill on a rather precarious path above some of the old quarrying site. Then we rejoined the path back to the carpark. My human insisted on making me pose in front of the milestone that we had passed earlier. I quickly dropped the ball and he called me a good boy. As soon as the snaps were taken I grabbed the ball again, hiding it from the big feller.

A few minutes later and we were back at the car. I jumped onto the back seat with the ball still in my mouth. My human spotted it but, this time he said that I could keep it. The walk had been a success. He said that his knee was hurting but, manageable. He is such a brave little soldier! It was decision time after a few snacks and a drink. Should we drive home or take a chance on another walk. He decided to attempt another walk. So, we would drive the short distance to Trentabank Reservoir to tackle a few more gentle hills. Lookout for our blog about the second walk. Till next time!

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