14/07 – Shutlingsloe Forest Loop

Shutlingsloe, the ‘Matterhorn of Cheshire’. We’ll be following one of the recommended Macclesfield Forest walks, which is roughly a distance of 4.3 miles. Firstly we’ll exit the main car park through the picnic area and start heading up the hill. The forest track start to flatten out and we’ll take a right out of the forest, across a field to the summit of Shutlingsloe. We’ll return to the forest and find a nice tree trunk for lunch. We can then decide if we go over or around the hill before taking a left on the forest track. We’ll then weave through the forest alongside the road back to the car park.


11/11 – Spy Mission Castlefield

For our next Trail of the Unexpected we’ll be going on a Spy mission into the heart of Castlefield in Manchester. This Trail is designed and suitable for children and adults of all ages.

In the late 18th century Manchester mill owner Titus Hardgrind created a rain-making machine that would provide a constant supply of rain and the perfect conditions for spinning cotton in his mills. Great for the mill owners but not so good for the people of Manchester who have been under a cloud ever since. So we must solve the clues and unlock the code to switch off the machine and allow Manchester to bask under a cloudless sky again !!


08/07 – Llandudno and the Great Orme

For our next Trail of The Unexpected we will be heading to Llandudno and the Great Orme for a combination of rocks, crazy golf, slides, beach games… and of course ice creams and fish & chips by the sea 🙂


11/03 – Quarry Bank Mill

Quarry Bank Mill is one of the best preserved mills from the industrial revolution and a popular tourist attraction. Rather than walking from the mill we’ll be walking too it from a parking spot just off the A538, near the airport. The free parking spaces are limited, if you have any trouble finding room simply park at the Airport Inn next door for £3.50. Firstly we’ll take a quick look at the aeroplanes taking off from the viewing platform, get you’re spotters books out. Then we’ll head into the Quarry Bank Mill land, descending into the forest. The path follows the River Bollin all the way to the mill, crossing it several times. Once at the mill we’ll stop for lunch and the opportunity to check out our surroundings. Lastly we’ll head back to the cars via some muddy farmers fields.


14/01 – Lyme Park Walk

To kick start 2017’s Walks & Trails of the Unexpected, we’ll be going on a gentle family-friendly walk in amongst the grounds of Lyme Park this coming Saturday (14th Jan).

We intend to experiment with another idea of fusing Art with Nature – essentially we’ll be ‘Collecting’ (what we can carry in a large rucksack), ‘Sketching’ (sketchbooks will be provided) and ‘Capturing’ (bring your cameras) whatever we can on the walk and then creating a collaborative work of Art at a follow up gathering on Sat 28th Jan at The FUSE (more details will be provided nearer the time).


10/12 – Lymm Dickensian

We were trying to think of something christmassy to do around Christmas and then we remembered the Lymm Dickensian festival. This is a short walk but this will hopefully allow time for children and adults to enjoy Spud Wood, Lymm Dam and the festival itself. At the moment the provisional plans are as follows but we’re waiting for conformation of transport options closer to the time.

We’ll be using the park and ride from the school, this is because parking can be extremely limited on David Dickinson day. We’ll park, walk then ride back at the end for a cost of £2 each. The first part of the walk we’ll head away from Lymm to Spud Wood, a former potato field now managed by local residents. We’ll then head near the canal back towards Lymm and through the playing fields next to Lymm Hall. This will bring us out near Lymm Dam, where we’ll stop for lunch. After lunch we’ll continue around Lymm Dam and arrive into Lymm Centre where the festival is taking place. This will be in time to see the Santa Run come through the town, followed by the parade. To return to the cars we’ll jump on the vintage bus back to the school.


05/11 – Ashton Upon Mersey Bonfire Walk

Remember, remember the 5th of November because we’re going on a bonfire walk. We’ll start from Ashton Upon Mersey and walk to the river, and down the far embankment. We’ll branch off the river and head over the motorway, turning left along Stretford Meadows. At this point it should be getting dark so don’t forget your torches. We’ll pop out on the road near Urmston before heading back to the river and recrossing the bridge. After a few hundred yards we’ll circle the rugby club and arrive for a bonfire. A family ticket (2 Adults 2 Children) is £15, an adult ticket is £5. Bonfire lit at 18:00 and fireworks starting at 19:00.

Bonfire Poster

21/08 – Formby Nature Walk

First we’ll be taking in some dune heath land, according to one online source “The single largest lowland heath site in Lancashire”. Here we’ll find butterflies, moths, spiders, caterpillars and probably cows, or sheep + sand.

Next we’ll have to make it over a train track, assuming we all make it… we’ll have to dodge the golf balls as we make our way over Formby golf club.

The first squirrel spotting opportunities come up next, but to be honest, they’re sneaky buggers and we’ll be lucky to see one, but we may see a lizard and other dune welling critters, such as millipedes and beetles.

Next… to the beach! The only thing I can guarantee is sand, depending on the day there could be 1000s of birds, 1000s of scallies, or nothing and everything in-between so keep your fingers crossed. There maybe sea, there may not, those who have been to Formby before know what I mean, we may be adding a few miles onto the walk to guarantee salty water!

After a wonderful sunny stroll down the beach, after spotting seals (once in 33 years so far so might happen) and collecting/spotting what ever the sea lord (currently Sir Philip Jones) decides to offer up, we head back inland for another section of woodlands to hunt squirrels.

Once the disappointment of not finding squirrels settles in we’ll make our way back to the cars via Victoria road and we can marvel at Alan Shearer’s ex-balls and play spot the Liverpool player’s house / WAG.Finish with a drink in the Freshfield pub.