Exploring on the doorstep

After a gloriously warm sunny day on Saturday, which unfortunately I couldn’t take full advantage of, yesterday turned out to be dull and grey but it was fine so in the afternoon I took the dogs out for a local walk. I didn’t want to go too far as Michael and I were going out for a meal so I stayed fairly close to home, driving just a mile or so up the road to where I started my walk. Parking the van in a convenient place just off the main road I went a couple of hundred yards further on to where a path led up into the old Wilton quarry, a place I hadn’t been to since I was in my mid teens.
The path led up between two hillsides and was extremely narrow and ankle-twistingly rocky with water running down the middle, but eventually it took me to a large open area with a fallen tree and the rock face in front of me. Β This was Wilton 1, the first of four quarries which were originally used to provide sandstone for local buildings and street flagstones; the quarries were abandoned some time during the 1930s to 40s and got very overgrown, but because of their steep sides are now used by various climbing clubs.
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The view from the start of the walk
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The path into the quarry
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Wilton 1 quarry
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Missing an ‘s’ in a couple of places but it made me smile
The highest section of the quarry was The Prow, a 2-sided promontory with an outside face of 60ft. One section of the path took me towards the inside face of it but the ground was so boggy underfoot I didn’t go very far before turning back; I may have been wearing wellies but I had no wish to get stuck in something I could find it difficult to get out of. Back on the main path it led me out of the far end of the quarry and diagonally across the hillside above the main road I’d just come from to Scout Road, a ‘B’ road which skirted the lower slopes of the moorland.
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Scout Road is well known locally for having a really bad bend at the top of the hill; over the years several vehicles have come off the road there and landed somewhere down the hill or in the quarry, with people being seriously injured and even killed. As well as the crash barrier there’s now a speed sign but some people still take the bend at a rate of knots. Further along the road is a car park and on a clear day it’s possible to see beyond Manchester to the airport and even to the Jodrell Bank main telescope in Cheshire, which is the third largest steerable radio telescope in the world. I couldn’t see very far this time though as it was so grey and cloudy and it had also started to rain a bit by then. Close to the car park, and near to the start of the path which would eventually take me back to the van, a large area of daffodils was growing in one section of the field – a very colourful and welcome sight on such a grey day.
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Scout Road – approaching the bend
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Looking back
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Close to the car park
The path from the car park took me across fields and past an area of pine trees before heading towards a farm, and just before the farm gate I came across something which seemed to have no rhyme nor reason – a large pyramid-shaped stone surrounded by a circle of daffodils. It looked like a memorial stone but there was no plaque on it or near it to say what it was; I didn’t see anyone at the nearby farm who I could ask and an extensive internet search since then has produced nothing, so it will have to remain a mystery for now.
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The path ended in a track which took me through part of the farm yard and up ahead a splash of pink colour caught my eye – it turned out to be a clump of hyacinths growing on top of the grass bank near a barn wall and they were such a pretty colour I couldn’t resist taking a quick photo. Β The end of the track opened out into a tarmac lane and a small hamlet of houses which were once farm buildings – I had a choice of left or right but as they both ended up back at the van I took the right as that was the shorter one, and my last photo of the day was of a white-walled cottage set back in what will, in summer, be a very pretty garden.
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By the time I got back to the van it was raining properly so I was glad the walk hadn’t been any longer. It had been interesting going back to the old quarry after all this time and seeing it as it is now but the route through it had been very wet and sloppy underfoot, so if I do that one again it will definitely be on a dry sunny day.
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My walk, anti-clockwise from yellow spot
I’m linking up again with Jo’s Monday WalkΒ where this time she’s back in England and exploring the delights of Knaresborough – it looks like a very quirky and interesting place. Time to put the kettle on now and read about where all the other Monday walkers have been this week.
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18 thoughts on “Exploring on the doorstep

  1. We do need that splurge of colour at this time of year, don’t we Eunice? The fields are like swamps around here. Glad you managed to get out for a while. Impressive looking quarries. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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    1. The large area of daffodils near the car park certainly made a huge splash of colour, it could be seen from quite a distance away. The hyacinths were a gorgeous colour too and the single clump near the barn wall was a lovely surprise πŸ™‚

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  2. Yesterday’s weather was a little wet here too – started off gently sunny but then the driech skies returned. Here is to the promised good weather this week πŸ™‚ lovely photos – thanks for sharing

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    1. We’d had a touch of sunshine just before I went out so I hoped it would brighten up but no such luck, which was a shame as it had been a glorious day on Saturday. Hopefully it will be nicer during the week πŸ™‚

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  3. The ground is sodden after all the rain we’ve had lately. The sign made me smile too, sounds like it’s been translated from another language. The stone with it’s circle of daffodils may mark a burial site maybe. Always lovely to see colour on these grey days.

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    1. The boggy ground in the quarry was horrible, the grass growing over it looked dry until I stepped on it and realised it was full of water underneath. The colour of the daffodils and hyacinths was lovely to see on a grey day πŸ™‚

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  4. I’m not sure if we’re at cross purposes here but this was a walk close to my home in Lancashire, not Wales, although I was in North Wales just recently for my Easter break πŸ™‚

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  5. Its great to find somewhere so local. The rocks at the quarry are great colours too. Though it looks and sounds a bit scary up there. I was surprised there wasn’t a skull and crossbones etched into the rocks. 😐x

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  6. I must admit that the quarry did seem to have a bit of an oppressive atmosphere but I think that was more to do with it being such a grey day – on a sunny day it would look and feel completely different. The green colour is where the rocks get wet, it certainly makes a bright contrast to the red of the stone πŸ™‚

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  7. That first path looks more like a stream! It’s interesting how many nearby places we can go years without exploring – it happens to me too. Also nice to see some spring colour. And I would take that bend REALLY slowly.

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  8. The first path was very wet but it dried out when the land opened up – I presume a lot of the water was run-off from the hill on either side so maybe in drier weather it won’t be as bad. To drive round that bend going up isn’t too bad but coming down it’s very tight and definitely one to be taken slowly. Walking along the path diagonally across the hill I saw in the undergrowth several different bits of car from vehicles that have gone off the road at that point 😦

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  9. This was a walk of wonderful surprises. I always love coming across a hillside of flowers, whatever they may be. That pyramid-like rock surrounded by flowers does look like it’s a monument to someone. And, if not, another example of Mother Nature’s random design. πŸ™‚

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  10. I’ve spent several hours tying to find out what that pyramid rock is, I’ve used every terminology I can think of to search but come up with nothing, but the fact that the daffodils have all been planted in a large circle round it must mean that it has some significance. I hope that next time I go that way I see someone at the farm who I can ask πŸ™‚

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  11. Love that image of the riverbed/path leading up to the quarries. And the colors of the stones – wow!
    Thanks for visiting – The house with the pillars you are referring to is for Thurs. Doors. If you don’t know it, it’s fun. http://miscellaneousmusingsofamiddleagedmind.wordpress.com
    Oh, not to forget, I have a challenge tot, called All Seasons (about the experience in the season) from Sunday to Wed. 7pm, linking up with a photo in the linky list. If I think of it, I’ll give you a reminder later in the week:)

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  12. I assumed the rocks along that path had been put there deliberately for people to step on so as not to get wet feet but there’s been so much wet weather round here recently that it was unavoidable. The colours in the quarry were certainly very eye-catching πŸ™‚ I’ve seen the Thursday Door thing before as I read a couple of blogs whose writers take part, though your blue one is one of the nicest I’ve seen – I’d love to live in that house πŸ™‚

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