The clocks went back today. Good job I got my new lights ready for the dark evenings. Lovely autumn weather meant I headed out for a very gentle loop on lanes to Winterley, with an off-road section near the start.
Heading out of Alsager on Dunnocksfold Road I carried straight on at this point:
This becomes a rough farm track, still called Dunnocksfold Rd, which crosses the motorway (always a good opportunity to count ones blessings)
The track here is quite rough and muddy and you probably don’t want to ride it with a fussy road bike:
Soon I passed Hassall Hall, where the walled garden has a rather large and grand gate leading out to a cow field:
I couldn’t help wondering whether there is some local tradition – let’s call it Cow Day – whereby the cattle are led in through the opened gates with a fanfare and invited to scoff the remaining cabbages in the vegetable garden, and then allowed to turn the plot into a theatre of prestigious manure. No? Well there should be, and I’m sure that somewhere there is.
Winterley pond is pretty when the sun shines.
Heading towards Haslington turn left into Park Road. This leads to a traffic-free track into Haslington Hall, winding through a recently harvested maize field. This is a nice open section where the absence of hedges or fences makes you feel that you could be in France. Until you arrive at the rude sign:
Now if you can find anything at all polite about that notice, please let me know, because I can only see the rude bits: Too big. Too red and white. Too capitalised. Too underlined. Too bullying. Too carcentric. Too out of character. What on earth do they think is going to happen? That bikes may ruthlessly run down somebody’s Jaguar?
General indignation at this sign led me to go and look up Haslington Hall, with hilarious results. It is now a wedding venue where you can even enjoy a glass of Pimms while you talk through your big day with one of our Dedicated Wedding Coordinators.
If that isn’t enough to make you puke into your Pimms, how about this: It is rumoured that Robbie Williams was looking to purchase the Hall for a private retreat… Well it is rumoured (by me) that the person who wrote the blurb also wrote the rude sign. Unfortunately I am already married; if not I would like to be able to not book this place for my wedding.
Funnily enough, Haslington Hall is a rather lovely building:
Leaving the Hall I got back onto Holmshaw Lane and headed back to Alsager, via Oakhanger, Nursery Lane, and Close Lane. The route can be seen on this map.
This ride was an easy 10 miles with plenty of interesting things along the way. The nasty sign can be avoided by taking Holmshaw Lane home from Winterley. Enjoy!