This month’s walk took place on Wednesday 5th July. Nine of us left the heights of Kidsgrove at 9:30 to travel to the village of Oakamoor. We arrived somewhat later than estimated, due to one of our navigators taking a rather circuitous route through the potteries (he shall be nameless), still, despite the diversion we were booted up and on our way by 10:30.
In spite of the car park being almost full, the walk, which follows the old Churnet Valley railway track, was very quiet with only the odd dog walker met along the way. That is until we were ambushed by 20 or so child cyclists, who in fairness split into smaller groups before passing us. Soon we arrived at the old Alton Station where we had a stop for coffee and medical attention to Joan’s legs, which were suffering from numerous insect bites. It was at the station where we encountered a horse and rider galloping through the valley closely followed by a panting dog. This turned out to be the first of such encounters as it transpired he was exercising 12 horses!
Leaving the track to cross adjacent fields and the River Churnet we encountered yet another group of children, fortunately they soon took another path and we were back to our solitude again.
Arriving back in Alton Village we were pleasantly surprised to find that the Alton Bridge Hotel had been refurbished since the last walk here and it was open, despite a sign saying closed.
Yet another surprise, the group unanimously chose to stop for lunch. The food was excellent to which nine clean plates testified.
Suitably replete we continued along Red Road passing the Ramblers Retreat and heading off into the woods to retrace our steps back towards Oakamoor.