The Vault Regulars

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Topo Hydraventure 2 Trail shoes first review.

"Topo", if you didn't know, is the name of the guy who owns the company. Tony Post. The company, Topo Athletic is a young company from the US and was founded in 2013.



I bought these for £125 from Castleberg Outdoors in Settle. 
First thoughts, very very light. very smart.
Weight size UK8 mens. (My scales) 644 grams per pair. Company bumf says 564 grams so there is a big discrepancy there. They are still very light but the info provided should be correct.

Waterproof with eVent lining, The eVent is bonded to the outer fabric so there is only one seam on the shoe and that runs up the heel. I would suggest that the use of insoles such as "Superfeet"would cause the event to cut. So not recommended to change to that type of insole. The supplied footbed is really comfy anyway.

The tongue is gusseted to stop water and soil ingress and to reduce pressure on top of the foot.

Sole is Vibram Megagrip with 4mm lugs.

Upper, is single piece laminated with breathable mesh panels. No stitching to come undone.

The mid sole is the usual EVA type but this has a built in rock guard which protects the sole of the foot when walking or running on hard ground. If you have ever used a deep lugged shoe then you will know how painful it can become.
Sole wraps up the front of the toe box.

The drop from front to back is 3mm. The front measures 20mm and the rear 23mm. The heel is stiffly supported to prevent the foot rocking and maintaining stablility.

Good quality laces. Stay tight.

Very roomy toe box. I would suggest that folk who have a narrow foot buy with care. I consider i have a wide foot and there is still plenty of room. In fact i might start wearing Injinji socks.

My first 20km in them haven't thrown up any issues to the negative in fact the main things, comfort, waterproofness and grip have proved excellent. But, just like wearing a waterproof jacket all day you will find that the sweat your feet generate can make your socks damp although you don't feel it during use. I don't mean wet, just damp.

There are lugs on the back of the heel which are there to take the Topo short gaiter, made especially for this shoe and cost around £14-£15.

The material is very easy to clean and the company also supply a spare pair of laces in the box.

Thats my first impression after 20km. I will report back after 200km.























Friday, November 22, 2019

Settle outing. (circular)

I didn't have a particular good night, so I wasn't in a great frame of mind. I more or less skipped breakfast, having just a few cornflakes and a small fruit salad. Although there was a full English Breakfast on offer I gave it a miss. Not like me at all.

Yesterday I bought a pair of Topo Hydroventure 2 trail shoes from Castleberg Outdoors in Settle Village, a specialist outdoor retailer of some 32 years. They have a terrific range of shoes and boots as well as much more and leaves the "bigger" shops of Manchester standing and I was pleased with the service and expertise given by Catherine.

Armed with my new shoes on, we set off on a walk which would give me a good first impression of their performance. It was a cold windy day but dry if a little dull and overcast.

The first 500 metres or so was on public highway, hard underfoot. Sometimes with deep lugs on trail shoes you can feel every step but these were fine with good grip as well.

We passed underneath the railway bridge and turned towards the river when we reached Runley Mill. The mill is now converted into houses but you can still see signs of its previous life which goes back centuries. It was mentioned in the Doomsday Book. There was a lovely Border Collie sat astride a quad bike looking like it was riding it. Her name was Jess and very friendly.

Reaching the river a gate leads up to the main road, the A65, and crosses the river to a path along the opposite bank. It's a decent path which follows the river bank to just beyond Brigholme Barn where the path cuts diagonally across the field to a style at the B road. Across the road the route is along a narrow walkway leading through a small housing complex and exits again at the river bank.

For a little while a domed structure could be seen on the hillside and then just beyond the houses we had a really good view of this fine structure. We didn't know what it was so we spoke to a local dog walker who told us it was Giggleswick School. It was established in the town in 1499 but moved to its present location on the hill in 1867 when the dome was part of the building plans. It used to be a bright copper colour but today its colour is a dull grey.
 No Bull, Oh yes it is.

The Domed School on the horizon

Let me out.
Many signs of old Settle mills adorn the river bank and most have been turned into smart apartments, they look good. The sounds of Mallard followed us but we didn't see many more water birds except a Heron.

Just beyond a modern footbridge across the river and into the village was a natural weir ,which gave us a photo opportunity. The next bridge which has the B6480 running over it was where we left the river bank. We took a few photos from varying angles and whist doing this we spotted a large waterwheel at the rear of Bridge Mill. This was very interesting as was the weir and water race. A few guys were working to clean up the area and we were allowed to have a look inside the hydro electricity generating station. Its only small but it was immaculate and generated 240 kilowatts. It provided power to the apartments at Bridge Mill and the remainder is sold into the national grid.

 A "stylish" footpath bench
 The weir at Bridge Mill

The wheel at Bridge Mill, it must have generated lots of power.
The Hydro race.

After a short walk through the village we visited the local church with its large cemetery and then returned to the route past the Folley Museum of North Craven Life. We called in and had a very interesting hour. A bit pricey to go in we thought at £8, but if it goes towards the maintenance of the building then it was worth every penny.
 The Folley Museum


 I took many photos inside the museum but i like the two below best.



Onwards, down the road past some wonderful old cottages towards the Library. We took a left along Brockhole Lane. An old green lane which in parts is also a river bed. Some great views of Kirkby Fell, Rye Loaf hill and the rest of the ridge to the north and Hunter Bark to the east.



 Looking back to Settle
 How Much! Yar in Yokshur Lad.
Yorkshire Autumn
It was turning into a nice day with plenty of blue sky but still a biting cold wind. On reaching the lodge road at Hoyman Laithe, we turn right and head back to the main road which brought us easily back to the car. (Laithe means either granary or barn)



The shoes, yes, more later.


Sunday, November 17, 2019

Forest of Bowland walk from Browsholme.

We decided to have a couple of days away and try to make a start at going somewhere new with a walk included. A bit of a plan, if an easy one.
We didn't want to go far, so after a few days on the internet we decided to go clamping. A midway point between camping and a hotel room. We booked a pod at Browsholme Hall, pronounced "Brusum".
Browsholme Hall

The hall is a spectacular building open to the public during the summer but unfortunately its closed now for the winter. It's been in the Parker family for over 500 years and they still have it. Quite amazing when you consider the history that it has seen.

There are 10 pods and we were the only folk there. It was our first go at Glamping and though these were quite expensive pods in comparison to others we had read about, they were very comfortable.

The grounds of the hall are extensive and we asked about walking round them and were told we could go anywhere. We only had a couple of hours daylight left so we made the most of it.

In the evening, without a TV and internet we looked at the map and chose a route to walk. I was still a little anxious which is strange because I knew this was an easy plan but its all part of the re-training.

It was cold overnight but the morning was clear and windless. We set off straight from the pod, walking north from Browsholme Farm and up hill towards Spire Farm. Every now and then we would stop and look back, there are good views across to Blackburn and Preston. The tops of the hills were a bit misty and cloud inversions covered the valleys.

We were on a good path, well that was until we got to a small marshy pond, south of Spire when it all changed. All the way to Spire was a mud fest, knee deep in parts, boggy, tussocks of bog weed and it was hard work.
Spire is a strange building, I think it belongs to the Browsholme Estate, it has a castellated tower, a bell, and sun and moon symbols in the gable end. What it was built for I'm not sure. The local story is that it had something to do with hunting on the moor in bad weather, so you could find your way.
 Looking back towards where we started.  The aptly named Longridge in the distance.


 Spire Farm

Reaching solid ground of the farm access road we headed for the trig point. Unusual again, it had a Lancashire Rose on all sides. We had to retrace our steps back towards the farm to pick up the footpath going north and heading to the moorland road near Crimpton.

Trig Point and OS benchmark S4665, Grid Ref. SD 6801 4666

With hindsight we didn't need to retrace or steps really because there was no path, just more bog and mud. Entering a small coppice and following a stream to the road the ground was just like a black sponge, reminiscent of kinder scout. It was awful and on numerous occasions we went right down in the goo. Luckily we kept our footwear on.

At the road we met a couple of walkers heading onto the moor towards Crag Stones. They enquired about the path conditions we had been on, they said its always been bad and the path past Crimpton was no better. At that point I was in a laughing mood.

There is a path diversion around Crimpton Farm which also does B and B although it isn't advertised for some reason. The path was ok and the views were good on an improving day.
Beyond the farm a stile gives entry to woodland and it was here that the path deteriorated again to great swaths of downed trees and deep muddy holes. I was glad to get out of the woods and over another stile into an open field but just as squelchy.
 Looking North from Crimpton Farm
The footpath beyond Crimpton.

A large rambling group was encountered at the stile near Raven Scar plantation. We waited until they all cleared then made our own way through. The route crossed the road and headed down to the Inn at Whitewell, a fantastic old inn with wonderful food but not cheap, you get what you pay for though. We headed upward past an old quarry and what looked like a lime kiln. The views had improved so much and all the tops were now clear as was the whole of the Hodder Valley.

 Fast flowing River Hodder at Whitewell.
 Inn at Whitewell
Looking back down to Whitewell
Another muddy route brought us to Higher Top Barn with its expensive ornate gates and stiles. There were many pheasants here as there are all over this area. We found a place on the wall to sit down and have a coffee and took in the scenery for 10 minutes. This place must have been owned by a rich landowner years ago. Probably the barn belongs to the farm Radholme Laund which is steeped in history, hunting, forestry etc.
 Looking over to Totteridge.
 Burholme Bridge with Mellor Knoll beyond.
 Zoom shot of the bridge

 Fancy Gates at Higher Top Barn.

As we dropped down hill towards the farm I decided I had done enough and cut short our route. I checked the map and although the farm access road is not a public footpath we decided it was the quickest way back and so set off.
Just as we reached the end of the track the farmer stopped in his land rover, wound down his window and asked if we were lost as his road was not a public right of way. I apologised and said that we were not lost but knackered and took the quickest and easiest way back to Browsholme. He had a good laugh and chatted to us for about 5 minutes about the clamping pods and about access and camping in the area. (There's no camping around here).

Once back at the pod I think I slept most of the late afternoon. The walk was only about 10km but it was tiring walking in knee deep mud and heavy wet grass.
 It was good to be out all the same. Onwards and upwards.

Awful paths marked A to B and C to D on the map.



Friday, September 27, 2019

Anxiety - Progress to date.

My holiday to Greece has come and gone. Sheila made our friends who live in Greece aware of my ongoing problem and forewarned them that i may be quiet, a little vague at times and basically not to be offended if i just had to leave at any point.

When we met up, the greetings were same as usual and they understood what was happening with me and fortunately they had also experienced a similar situation with one of their relatives. He had to be taken to hospital.

Our flight went without any problems, in fact i was asleep before we took off and i only woke up when the coffee was being served about half an hour in.

My first week passed with just a couple of days where i wasn't feeling good. For one full day and night i was shaking and feeling sick. I don't know what set it off but i just went to bed.

I had been told not to set myself any goals which were possibly unachievable. I decided that I wanted to get to running 5km and walking 10km before we came home.

I still find it difficult to understand how I got into this situation and the general public, which I include myself, have absolutely no idea just how anxiety and panic attacks affects your daily functioning. How the brain almost stops, how your energy disappears, how the muscles change, how eating changes, how breathing changes, how thoughts change, how dreams change. And much more.

Recovering from this takes time and that time differs for each individual. I'm lucky to have had great support from friends, neighbours and family.

Anyway, back to Greece. My first run I managed just over 2km and was shattered. Luckily we had a pool at the villa and sun beds to relax on. It was 35 degrees.
I didn't run the next day but we walked everyday starting off with short walks and by the end of the holiday we walked almost 15km of undulating paths without any problems.

Running was hard but again just pushing a little bit every time I finally managed 6km before we came home. So I beat my goals.

As the time to come home was on the horizon I started to panic a bit. I didn't know why, I just didn't want to do the trip. I had been so relaxed for the last three weeks and I was feeling good I didn't want to go backwards or remember where I had been mentally. But, as I kept telling myself, at some point I would have to face it anyway so get it done.
We actually had a good trip home without any real issues apart from a 40 minute delay leaving Kefallonia. All the transport clicked into place like clockwork.

The holiday did do Sheila and I a world of good. Im feeling more like my old self but I know the medication still holds me in the middle ground, I don't get over excited and I don't get depressed. In October I have to go back to the doctors and hopefully I can reduce the meds and ween myself off it altogether.

Hopefully by Christmas I will be fully recovered and I will start hiking again. In my 1st post about anxiety I said I doubt that I would ever backpack again, well I'm not giving it up without a fight. Hopefully next spring I will do some weekends out. They don't need to be long hikes, just short ones will do with a couple of overnight camps in familiar territory.

This will be my last post on this subject and if I have helped just 1 person cope then I'm glad I put it in the blog. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Some improvement thankfully.

Sheila wisely suggested that we do a dry run to the airport. So a few days before leaving for Greece we got the train and did the journey. Although I was apprehensive things went ok.
Come the day we were leaving properly, the trains were cancelled. Northern Fail again.
Luckily a neighbour took us to the airport.

I felt ok going through passport control but once through I felt disoriented. Even though I had been through the airport dozens of times I wasn’t sure where I was. Only when we sat down did things start to appear familiar.

Apart from a slight delay with the flight everything went ok. I think I slept quite a bit.
Our arrival in Greece was without incident and we were through arrivals and into the taxi within minutes.

The first couple of days we just chilled out and then decided to do a ferry trip. On the way back I didn’t feel good and couldn’t stop shaking. My uncomfortable feeling lasted for a day and a night.

I was determined to start running on this holiday even though my energy levels are still low and my muscles ache. The first run was about 2km. My breathing was awful and I was shattered when I got back. The next run was only a little longer but I actually felt a bit better and my muscles not as sore.

10 days into the holiday and I haven’t had another bad day, but even better my running has improved to 5 km and with my breathing improving. Still my energy level is about 50% of where it was before all this anxiety started but it’s mentally helpful to know that I am improving faster than I ever thought.
The medication is still controlling my emotions but I am learning to live with it.

Let’s hope the next 10 days improve too.

Friday, August 23, 2019

My ongoing battle with anxiety and panic attacks.

It's been a while since i was on the Internet, writing or reading. Its not easy to know where to start but i will try and hope that my situation might help other sufferers. I am writing this still in recovery with many moments of dread but i am in a good frame of mind so here goes.

Myself i consider to be level head, adventurous, an outdoor person, a backpacker of many years, someone who has seen much of the world. I love challenges and problem solving and always take the hard route rather than the easy way. I have always pushed myself, so the following tale came as a shock to all my family and friends as well as myself.

I had a few minor panic attacks over the last 5 years or so, they didn't cause me any real problems and considering that i got shingles i put it down to this and almost forgot about them. Just occasionally an attack would come on but they were infrequent and short lived.

Over the last couple of years our lives and plans had more or less come to a stop because of the ongoing health problems with Dorothy, Sheila's mum. She had had heart and kidney problems which caused all sorts of other issues and meant that we supported her in every way on a 24/7 basis.
As you can imagine, this caused much stress and anguish and you don't realise how it affects you because it creeps up on you and becomes the norm.
Everyone says you need to look after yourselves, but what does that really mean?

Late last year i started to have uncomfortable sensations in the area of my solar plexus. I eventually went to the docs and had a scan and blood tests. All results came back clear.
The sensations became uncomfortable and more frequent so i went back and the doc sent me for a more comprehensive scan and more blood tests. All came back clear.

The panic attacks returned with a vengeance and i was having one or two per night. They were getting stronger and longer lasting and in some instances i wasn't sure where i was. I was in a right state.
Sheila helped me through them and i went back to the docs. She said it seems like anxiety and i pooh-poohed it, saying theres nothing mentally wrong with me. Anyway she stuck with it and convinced me to try some tablets called Sertraline, only a low dose of 20mg once per day.
She said that they are not good at first but after 2 weeks i should start to feel better. She said she would call me and that i had to see her again in 4 weeks.

The tablets were awful to live with, i thought i was going backwards. Those first 2 weeks must have worried Sheila to death. Again, i was in a right state. My energy levels were zero and the feeling of sea sickness was constant. At times i just lay in the reclining chair with my eyes closed and saying nothing. Sheila would convince me to eat but i could only manage a spoon full of soup and that was it.

During this period we decided that we couldn't get through this without professional help. I plucked up the courage and rang an organisation called Looking Ahead. I had an interview within a couple of days and the result was that i needed CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy). The interview lasted 45 minutes and at the end said that there was a waiting list of 5 months. I needed help right now. I couldn't wait 5 days never mind 5 months. This really deflated me.

We decided to go private, whatever it cost. I needed help.
I managed to get an appointment to see a therapist at the Pall Mall clinic on King Street, Manchester within 5 days.
I was scared to death getting into Manchester on my first visit, but it was the best thing i could have done. It's not easy when you feel so bad but you need to have an open mind and a willingness to help yourself. I had both.

After an hour and a quarter i came out with a smile on my face. The first smile in weeks and weeks. This was only the first of many steps i needed to take but i was happy that i had made a start. I had been told that you do need to like the therapist and be able to talk openly. I was quickly put at ease and i found the therapist easy to talk too.

I was given homework and a training regime to retrain my brain which had gone back to the days when all we did was fight or run. I saw the therapist every week and gradually started to make progress.

My energy levels were still poor but i had to go for a walk on my own 3 times a day, just short distances and about 15 minutes. I had breathing exercises to do and muscle work. The short walks were a means of convincing the brain that i could do this and there wasnt a lion waiting around every corner. This will probably sound odd to readers but the brain rules everything and mine wasn't sending messages out normally, retraining the brain takes time.

After a few weeks of therapy and self training i felt that i could go out for longer walks with Sheila as well as doing the short walks on my own. The longer walks were only 30 minutes but they encountered friends and neighbours. I was dreading that and having to tell people. As it happens everyone has been so supportive even though they couldn't understand how i had succumbed to Anxiety.

We had been invited to a friends 70th birthday party but because we were going to Scotland for a month i had said we wouldn't be at home. Now that Scotland had been cancelled i felt we should go and show our face. It was the wrong decision.
I stood at the bar with a non alcoholic drink and friends were coming over for a chat, i could see their lips moving but the words were a few seconds delayed and i found that i was looking at them vaguely. I started to panic and told Sheila i had to get out, which we did. That night i had a panic attack and the following day was awful. I just crashed out.

Over the following weeks there were numerous similar experiences and taking on new challenges like going shopping or a quick trip to the pub was quite daunting. We met our local landlord one day when out on a walk and we told him what was happening. He couldn't believe it. I said to him that i needed to come into the pub and just have a coke. So that night i gritted my teeth and nervously entered. Straight away the landlord said "a coke Alan" and with some shacking i managed it.

The second time i went into the pub we met a person who told us his mum had just died and he was suffering anxiety. Well i just burst into tears and left immediately. That put me back a bit and i couldn't wait for the next therapy session.

A few weeks later and the tablets were controlling my emotions better i decided to go for a walk in Moses Gate Country Park, a place that i had never been before. When we got there i found that i had left the map at home and was so annoyed with myself i let it spoil the day. Usually this wouldn't have bothered me, an email to the therapist calmed me down.

Everyones anxiety is different and so i can only explain my experience. Anxiety is like waking up in a dark tunnel which is sloping upwards. I woke up somewhere near the bottom of the tunnel the route out is upwards but there are many obstacles to get out. I couldn't see the obstacles but the therapist and Sheila helped me overcome them. You cannot get through the obstacles alone you need help.
If you try and do this alone it's easier to slip out at the bottom of the tunnel and that's where you find the horror. The motorway bridge, the river, the cliff, your worst nightmare. The trouble is you don't know you are there or why.

At this minute i am not quite out of the tunnel but i can now see the hurdles i have to overcome. Its still not easy and i still need help. My therapy sessions are over but i can contact the therapist at any time. Sheila and I are going to Greece very soon and 3 months ago i couldn't see us going.

Hiking is a no no at the moment, i'm not allowed to plan anything that i might fail at. I had to stop reading blogs because of the frustration they caused. Backpacking is something i might never get to do again, i will just have to wait and see how i progress. Hopefully the change of scenery in Greece will assist me to get better.

Thanks to everyone who has been supportive of me at this time. You know who you are.
Without Sheila and the therapist i dread to think where i would be. But i am making good progress.

Never stop believing, never give up hope, this is only temporary.
Thanks for reading.







Thursday, May 2, 2019

Testing post

I have found blogging on the go an absolute pain in the backside. All my devices are Apple and I have found that there is lots of things I cannot do with the blogger platform.
It became so bad that I gave up. I did find ways to fudge the program but it's tiresome and annoying.
I know some people find the same as me and others who seem to cope well. A mystery.

I decided to see how it went with an android device and so I bought a second hand Samsung T4 235 model with a 4000MAH battery and 4G sim. I didn't pay too much for it just in case it was a failure.

So today we set of in the rain to do a test post on the run.
I decided that I would use my OS mapping to create the route as we went.
I had a problem with this because I found it quite easy to accidently switch off the tablet whilst it was in my pocket and therefore it scrubbed the route recording. The tablet was not in a case and therefore it was my fault and after all, this is what the test outing is all about. Finding out the issues.
I took a few photos with the tablet and even though the camera is only 3mp I was pleased with the results.




Well I can tell you it's better than blogging on an Apple device. Text wise it's far better.  Adding photos is only just passable and there are limits to size of image. I suppose this will improve as I get more used to it.





Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Salford Trail Part 2, in part, plus..

Friday 19th April, Good Friday, and it tuned out that way too.

Strange title, That's because the Salford Trail is a collection of linear walks that in total creates a circular walk. We did something like one and a bit sections and then plotted a loop circuit to get us back to the car.

The Salford Trail Homepage is here.

The bits we did was Clifton to Roe Green and then Roe Green to Linnyshaw Moss where the trail joins with the Rotary Way. We left the trail here and headed back to the start point at Clifton.

Today's route 10.35km.

We did this route in a clockwise direction starting from Clifton just as you leave the country park and cross the A666. We did want to park at the community centre but it had parking notices everywhere which we thought was a bit bizarre. Wheres the community spirit. 
So we parked down one of the side streets.

Across the road and to the right we found Moss Colliery Road within a short distance and turned into it. Then an almighty noise greeted us, it was a Peacock screaming from one of the houses. Who would want that as a neighbour i cannot imagine.

At the end of the lane a Rottweiler ran to us and that's a pretty scary thing to happen. As it turned out it was very friendly and just wanted to say hello. It would frighten some walkers though. (Including me).
It was just as we turned left to head through a small wood which leads to a footbridge over the motorway that i remembered that on this walk, which i did in February 2011, i met fellow blogger Martin Banfield for the first time. I must admit I don't remember too much of the walk. Maybe I was talking too much.
A couple of Roe Deer were spotted here but they were gone before we could get a photo.


Over the rather bouncy M60 footbridge, the path turns west and handrails the motorway on the right and open fields to the left, all the way to Wardley Grange Farm which is now a storage facility for caravans and cars and stables. One van which i thought apt for a photo below.

 Wardley Hall farm.
Once through the caravan site, the access road leads directly to the A6 where a right turn brings you to the motorway bridge. Here, cross over and walk down the lovely Wardley Hall Road which passes Wardley Hall (obviously), which is the residence of the Bishop of Salford. This is private but has lots of history, for instance it has the skull of Ambrose Barlow in a glass case. He was hung drawn and quartered and then boiled in oil on 10th September 1641in Lancaster. His guilt was that he was a Benedictine monk and was told to leave the country, which obviously he didn't.


A lovely tree lined avenue leads to the cemetery where just inside the gates can be found the grave of Joe Gladwin who's voice was used on the old Hovis adverts as well as many appearances in The Last of the Summer Wine tv series.

The trail goes around the left perimeter fence and is a pleasant walk along tree lined paths until the A580 East Lancashire road is reached. This is a very busy road and can be fast and dangerous to cross. We headed right up to the road junction where there are pedestrian lights and also on the other side of the road you will find the footpath signs and a stile. The text of the original trail is a little different here because the path through the woods is not a PROW (public right of way) but a permitted path. We chose this route which meanders over a couple of small stone bridges and eventually leads to Hawthorn Drive.


You pass some lovely houses and leave the road on the bend taking to a footpath which leads to Greenleach lane as it passes under the motorway. In a few hundred yards is the delightful Roe Green.
We stopped here for an early lunch break as the weather was wonderful. The Methodist church to the right of the green has a blue plaque on the wall commemorating Michael Vaughan the cricketer and his baptism.


A pleasant walk across the green, passed more lovely houses brought us to a busy junction of the East Lancashire road. Again we safely crossed at the pedestrian lights. On the other side is Ellesmere golf course where the path is shown to bisect the course and the main road. For what ever reason we couldn't find the "obvious " path. We jumped a steep stream and headed up through thick woodland and exited onto the golf course. We kept right and followed the perimeter of the course and picked up a path of sorts.
After a quick look at the map and getting strange looks from the golfers we headed through woodland again and stubbled across the right path which we couldn't work out where it started from and how we get to the start without encroaching onto the motorway slip road. A few ST signs around this area would help I'm sure.

We crossed a railway bridge and the path goes left or straight on. We guessed left and it was correct. We were soon passing quite a busy reservoir. Lots of anglers here, maybe because it was a bank holiday. At the A6 road we crossed over onto a gated road surface which leads onto some lovely green belt with expansive views. We all thought it was wonderful and so different to perceptions of Salford.



With a woods on our right we came to a crossroads where a quick look at the map showed we needed to go left, then over a style into open country. A kind of dyke gave us the obvious path to a signpost near a bungalow with probably horse stables. (guess). Here we took a 90 degree right to a very long footbridge over the motorway. We had now left the Salford Trail and joined part of the Rotary Way.
Traffic had backed up quite a way, we thought it was just holiday traffic but alas there was a 5 or 6 car  bump just under the bridge.
The view from the bridge was solar panels, thousands of them, I've never seen so many panels in one place before in the UK.





At the foot of the bridge we turned east and followed a good path, past a very nice property with a small lake or a big pond, until we came to what I think was old tennis courts. Attention is needed here as the well used path passes the left side of the courts but the path we needed to take goes to the right before the courts, across a small stream and into the grounds of Ryders Farm.

We found a nice grassy spot and stopped for a sandwich, the sun was hot and a pair of Buzzards were enjoying the thermals.

Ryders Farm provided a photo opportunity for me of 2 David Brown tractors, 2 friendly geese.
This was my first visit to Ryders Farm and it was a pleasant surprise to find out that it had a cafe which did breakfasts etc etc. We made a mental note for the future.





An easy road walk, brought us back to the car. 10.35km in total and a delight to walk this circular alternative.








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