Unable to bear the crowds in the Trafford Centre last weekend, Dogs Dad and Dog took the opportunity of a wander round Alderley Edge whilst Dogs Mum and nephew shopped to their hearts content.
Alderley Edge has always held special memories. When visiting as a child I was told of the legend of the wizard and the sleeping knights. On subsequent visits there was a magical feel about it, almost like an unseen energy, so I was looking forward to short walk with the dog followed by some tea and cake from the cafe.
We parked at the National Trust car park at the Wizard and walked through the adjacent field to a bridleway which led to the gate to the woodlands around Pillar Mine. Passing through the gate we followed the good but muddy path along the top of the sandstone edge, with impressive views over the Cheshire Plain. Reaching the large clearing at Pillar Mine we paused for a while, slightly disappointed by the massive erosion caused by the thousands of visitors who, like us, visit the site. No unseen mystical energy was apparent so we continued through the woodlands and followed a muddy path to the foot of the edge before passing below the mines and back to the gate and returning to the car park via Old Alderley Quarry. Given the mining history of the area, the dog was under fairly close control throughout the walk so the highlight of the trip (for the dog)was a return to the field adjacent to the car park for a game of Frisbee!
Overall, a better way to spend an afternoon than braving the crowds in the Trafford Centre, but I'd have preferred to have had my fond memories of Alderley Edge rather than the reality of a site which appears not to be bearing up well to the huge numbers of visitors. It is though clear that lots of work is taking place to try to control the erosion. A number of areas are fenced off to prevent further damage, and new paths are being created. Nature is a great healer and no doubt she'll work her magic before the sleeping knights are woken by the sound of feet above their resting place.
Doggy rating 6/10
Click here for the National Trust pages for Alderley Edge