Stockton Heath to Moore

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Fourteen walkers met at the London Bridge pub on the Bridgewater Canal at Stockton Heath. The weather was warm and sunny so coats were left in cars. The staff at the pub let us use their facilities and we chose our meals before setting off across the A49 and along Mitchell Street to the canal towpath at Thorne Marine. We walked along the canal for about two and a half miles, ducking under overhanging foliage at times. This section of the canal is flanked by attractive bushes and trees and we saw a couple of families of ducklings swimming by. There was a range of passing and moored canal boats, with “Kingfisher” flying the Red Ensign. After passing under the A56, we reached the village of Moore, with the canal alongside the road and the Moore Village Store and Post Office opposite. After a drinks break, we left the canal at Moore Bridge and walked along Hobbs Lane until we met the busy A56. A set of temporary traffic lights made crossing easier. The lights were there because some work was being done on overhead cables by two men up a telegraph pole and one in a cherry picker. They’d attached what looked like large jump leads to the wires. We then walked across open fields with good views towards Manchester and eventually through a small wood, before more fields with kissing gates, sheep and frolicking lambs. We had another drinks break and then walked a short way along Warrington Road before turning into a field via a stile. Some preferred climbing over the gate instead of using the stile. We skirted the edge of several fields with a number of stiles and gates. Various styles (pun intended) of stile and gate climbing were tried, with varying degrees of success. Nobody quite did a Western Roll though. Further on, we passed a Horse Riding School and some of the fences had been adapted as eventing jumps. We then came to another small wood, crossing some bridges with stiles and passing the Southern edge of Appleton Reservoir with great views across the water. Leaving the reservoir, we made our way across Walton Hall Golf Course. Following on from the golf course, we passed through some expensive looking modern housing (one with owls carved into tree trunks) and reached Birchdale Road which took us back to the pub across the A49. It had been beautiful walking weather and much welcome drinks were had before our well earned meals. Thanks to Anne for organising.

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