Cartledge and Cowley (6th January 2018)

Words and pics: Graham Gill

Our first walk of the New Year was a 10am start from the Pentland Road Shops car park, led by Graham Gill and was a circular route down to the fishing ponds at Barlow and back.  Billed as an opportunity for lunch afterwards, Graham did a quick head count for those who wanted lunch and informed the Jolly Farmer of the numbers, before leading the group of 16 off across Sindelfingen Park.
The outward route was via Kitchen Wood, Cartledge and Brindwoodgate, and at Cartledge, Graham gave a little historical information on the two 15th century buildings that we passed – namely Cartledge Hall and Cartledge Grange,  and the Norse/old English origin of the name Cartledge. 
 After a week of persistent rain, the route was carefully chosen as to miss the muddiest of the paths (where possible) and we reached the fishing ponds at around 11.30am where the coffee stop was taken. This is a lovely spot for a break, by the top pond, where there are several benches to sit and take in the view.
After the break, we continued past the other ponds where a Grey Heron few off as we approached.            At Lea Bridge  we turned left and took the more direct return route which took in Galloping Chase, Barlow Lees Lane and Cowley Lane. There were a couple of (unavoidable) quite muddy sections on the way back, but we ploughed on undeterred (excuse the pun)and were able to wash our boots off in a huge puddle on Cowley Lane.
Back past “Teletubby Hill” and around Sindelfingen Park on the newly resurfaced paths, we arrived back a few minutes before 1.00pm and enjoyed the great food and drink at the Jolly Farmer. A lovely walk despite a few muddy patches – but as good as you get up North in January!