Tom Read - click to email meBDXC ISWL WAB SOTA RSGB IOTA - see my radio page for more detailsLiam & Jimmy

Wincle Minn to Rushton Spencer


Sign at Dollards Farm    Start of the road up to Wincle Minn    Conduit in the Dave Valley

We briefly walked beyond a turning onto a public footpath while descending the metalled track from Sutton Common.  Realising our mistake, we returned and took the steep descent down the grassy field.  The track through Dollards Farm was being used to bring hundreds of sheep in for shearing, so we had to step up to keep ahead of them!  At the entrance to the farm, we were surprised to discover a closure sign.  The closure was to start that day, and covered the area just traversed over Croker Hill.  We thought that the area considered to be in need of repair was probably the climb up Croker Hill from the Sutton side.  We were relieved that we had already completed the 'closed' bit, and had not been diverted from it upon entry.  Perhaps with this being the first day of the closure, the signs had been posted actually while we were walking over Croker Hill.

Summit of Wincle Minn    Dumkins

I enjoyed the next section of the walk.  Wincle Minn is crossed by a public tarmac road, although it must be one of the very few local lanes I had never driven over.  The walk up to its highest point was easy going, and the crest offered pleasant airy walking.  The Minn is not a long ridge though, and we were soon dropping down its southern end.  This brought us down to the murky pools at Dumkins, a very boggy field with the occasional boardwalk bridge over the worst bits, and then walking by an even murkier, stiller and stagnant conduit in the Dane Valley.  The aches and pains started to kick in with a vengance as I progressed along the narrow overgrown and insect infested path by the conduit.  The backs of my knees were very sore, and a stitch in my left side was causing me to yelp out in pain periodically, much to Jimmy's great annoyance.

Barleigh Ford Bridge      Leaving the Gritstone Trail at the end of Day 2      Gritstone Trail - Staffordshire Way junction

Emerging onto a dry farm access track, I felt the need for another rest.  These were becoming increasingly frequent, and I had found the day quite tough going by the end of it.  However, after crossing the River Dane at Barleigh Ford Bridge, we were soon out into another field with the A523 Leek to Macclesfield road visible ahead.  This was a cue for the day's finishing post, although we would have to walk a little further on to our accommodation.  Rather than turn left and walk alongside the busy A523 without pavement to reach the accommodation, we had already agreed to continue along the Gritstone Trail to a bridge under a disused railway, now the Staffordshire Way footpath.  This led us about a kilometre south to the Rushton Inn.

Bridges over bog in the Dave Valley    The Rushton Inn

Our accommodation at the Rushton Inn was impressive.  A suite, containing a large twin bedroom with armchairs and television, and a large luxurious bathroom across the hallway.  We were met again by Richard G3CWI for an evening meal and a couple of pints.  Unfortunately, Liam had badly twisted his ankle in a fall at a birthday party he was at, so he and Marianne did not join us, having to spend some time in A&E instead.

    Click to return to summit index

Rushton Spencer to Timbersbrook