As part of our Talking About My Generation, mental health series: Mind Yer ‘Ed, our Tameside reporter Bob Alston has shared many a walk he and his wife has enjoyed. And like many of us, the Manchester weather does not always make you want to leave the comfort of your sofa. But instead of settling for a day in front of the telly, his advice is to get up and get out – as it does wonders for your mood. Here he shares a great walk at Werneth Low – shared with a new four-legged companion too!
“After sitting in all day yesterday, because the rain was relentless, and Dawn and I felt totally fed-up, we weren’t looking forward to doing anything today other than sitting and watching catch-up tv! Also, we had our daughter’s family dog, Freddie, for a couple of nights while they stayed in Manchester – the only place away from home they could visit in Tier 3 Lockdown that would remotely entertain the children!
“I looked at the weather forecast and the prediction of rain didn’t fill us with any more enthusiasm either, but I know how ‘getting out there’ works wonders for your mental and physical health, so we pushed ourselves to make up some dinner and a flask of coffee, packed the rucksack with these survival essentials together with our walking boots, and loaded the car.
“Before leaving we gave Freddie the option to tag along, and without hesitation, he jumped in the car like an Olympic hurdler. So off we went to explore a local spot with far-reaching views across Ashton, Manchester, and Stockport – Werneth Low.
“The biggest hurdle Freddie and we faced though was finding our way out of the car park at Lower Higham Visitor Centre! The first instruction on the sheet said; “From Lower Higham Visitor Centre, turn left down the steps and left again, through the wooden gate and continue a short way uphill to the wooden stile on the right.” – What steps? We couldn’t see any, and after circling the car park twice, I stopped to ask a fellow walker for help – not a great start! After following the perfect directions received, we were on our way.
“This walk; “Werneth Low and Gee Cross Circular” can be downloaded from here: www.tameside.gov.uk/countryside/walksandtrails/wernethgeecross.pdf
“It is described as a hilly walk on mainly surfaced paths, two and a half miles long, around Werneth Low and through the historic village of Gee Cross, and it didn’t disappoint except it forgot to mention that, after a few days of torrential rain, it’s very muddy too!
“Being from Tameside, we were familiar with Werneth Low and Gee Cross but had never walked around the area before, so we were looking forward to what it had to offer.
“The walk takes you past Hyde Cricket Club and the historic Hare & Hounds public house – which we have visited before – and then down into the valley towards Gee Cross.
“There are at least three spots where you can sit for a break or have lunch, including two designated picnic areas. We passed these though and decided to sit on a solitary bench in a field about two-thirds around the walk after Gee Cross, surrounded by autumnal-coloured trees slowly shedding their leaves, where we had dinner.
“Freddie was flagging by this point and he was glad of the rest! But with the promise of a treat when we got back, Freddie was off, eager to see the car again.
“One thing we did miss at the start of the walk was a plaque at the entrance to the car park that explains where the pillars originated from, which makes interesting reading.
“After not having much enthusiasm for the walk today we were very glad we made the effort, and I would urge anyone who experiences the feelings we did this morning, DON’T look at the weather forecast and settle for a day watching catch-up tv. It didn’t rain once all the time we were out, we took in beautiful views and fresh air for a couple of hours, just on our doorstep, and we feel all the better for it. So go on, just do it!”