Three Shires 2023 drive report

Three Shires, day out drive.

The weather was set fair for the 3 pairs setting out onto this varied run out. After briefly perusing camper vans and chatting we set of and were quickly into small leafy lanes with bird calls, perfect conditions for a hood down drive. On through quaint Goostry and suddenly ET was phoning home!

The large disc of Jodrell Bank radio telescope emerged from the tree cover, very impressive. Back into the low rolling countryside with constantly changing views and into the tranquil setting of Redesmere Lake with its white sailed craft gently sailing and a band of cute goslings with their parents drifting by and keeping us entertained. Perfect spot for a chat about relaxing past times.

Onto the bustling Market Town of Macclesfield which became noted for its silk production form the mid 18th to 19th century which reflected in the in the varied buildings on route.

The long climb out of Macc is a classic and produced stunning views back over the Cheshire plains and to the east the impressive Shining Tor the first of many impressive hill forms. We pulled in and took in the varied landscape and with stark moorland one way and vistas of towns and field the other.

Onto the Cat and Fiddle which I in fact remember visiting many years ago with my parents. It is now a Distillery of excellent produce of which a few of us partook of a small sample. A brief overview of the surroundings due to the very freshening breeze. And away again on a winding descent into the Spa Town of Buxton with its impressive buildings but little parking on such a busy day. The drive through showed us the key points of interest for a later return and it was off south up Axe Edge.

The extensive views along this edge along a line of a ridge line of rising hills with craggy overhangs looking like something out of Tolkien. A quick side trip took us to the highest village in England, Flash.

Along the ridge to a pull in to take in the views whilst radio hams with their modified cars and trucks listened to the airwaves. Just below we had a view of the mermaid pools, but the mer-people were well and truly wrapped up and we took the hint and left the breeze behind. The ridge falls away on its sides to many long valleys into plains and moorland (no wallabies seen!).

Now cutting back North-West we drove beneath the impressive outcrops of the Roaches, a popular climbing and picnic spot, where we pulled over for a bask in the sun and car discussions. Very busy with lots of walkers and picnickers and climbers upon the walls. From there downhill along narrow tree lined winding small roads perfect for the cars and onto our next water stop of Tittsworth reservoir. Lots of facilities for walks and water sports or just relaxing. Time for a coffee and chat. This is another place to go back to and explore at leisure.

Over the hills again through this rolling countryside and pleasant lanes brought us to Rudyard Lake on our tour of rolling landscape and water. This is a narrower body of water closely surrounded by trees which was used to supply water to the canal system. Again much evidence of water sports and visitor facilities at a tucked away venue. Off again through small villages and lanes and over our next hill and close to Biddulph onto our next edge with extensive views. This one hosts the Staffordshire Gritstone trail and the impressive folly of Mow Cop. A short steep walking climb gave us 360 degree views over 5 counties. Away NW to Liverpool with Jodrell Bank winking back to us. Swinging west to the distant hills of Wales. On down to the bulk of the Wrekin then round to the multiple valleys we had crossed an the more distant moorlands. Special place to take in the days adventure which ended after a short downhill to a canal side pub with excellent food and great conversation.

A fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable day perfectly suited to our vehicles and pace of life showing so many hidden gems worth going back to.

Many thanks for organising such a good outing.

Martin Eason