The inaugural 4 mile leisurely walk introduced in this summer’s programme took place on Wednesday in a window of good weather within a week of torrential rains and dropping temperatures. The original route for the walk had had to be changed due to the closure of the canal towpath but Anne, our leader, had devised an imaginative way around this. We embarked on a route which included urban, rural and woodland walking. We began at the ancient historical site of Hulton Abbey which was founded in 1219. Many members of the group were very knowledgeable about its history and significance. Anne had done a lot of research and one of the most interesting facts was about the origin of the ‘Monks Way’. Monks were forced to pay tithes to Leek church and any who did not comply had to travel on foot to the gates of the rival abbey to be punished. The historical theme continued – albeit a bit more recent - with us walking past 3 of the walkers’ primary schools with much fond or not so fond reminiscing!
Our coffee stop was overlooking the valley of the Trent and Cauldon canal and we mused about how the hard industrial scenery of coal mines and pot banks has now been softened by the gentle greening of the landscape. A lunch stop at the end, amongst the ruins of the abbey, concluded this enjoyable and interesting walk.
Photos by Anne