Marple Locks

On our way through Cheshire, we stayed overnight with my Uncle Jim who lived in the small town of Marple. We enjoyed an afternoon stroll along the Peak Forest Canal where a series of 16 locks raise the canal by 64 metres over the course of 1.6km. We began our walk at Marple Memorial Park where this fabulous chainsaw wood sculpture was commissioned after the demise of a large Copper Beech tree.

1.tree sculpture Memorial Prk

Local school children submitted ideas on the theme of nature and knowledge featuring animals and books. They also chose the name, Midnight, for the central owl character.

2.tree sculpture, Marple Memorial Park

Other animals carved in the wood include a fox, badger, mole, squirrel and hedgehog.

We started at Lock 9, by Oldknow’s Warehouse.

8.Oldknow's Warehouse

Samuel Oldknow was an English cotton manufacturer who promoted the construction of the canal, which opened in 1804. When commercial carrying ended, the locks became dilapidated and were impassable by the early 1960s. The Peak Forest Canal Society were instrumental in the restoration and re-opening of the Marple Locks in 1974.

9.Lock 9

Oldknow’s Warehouse has since been converted to offices. I can think of worse places to work.

10.Oldknow's Warehouse

We continued our walk past Lock 10

11.Lock 10

and Lock 11.

After Lock 12, we approached Posset Bridge, completed in 1804. The bridge has three arches, the left hand one has been filled in

14.Posset Bridge

and the right hand one is a narrow oval tunnel built to allow the horses to pass under the bridge after being untied from the boats.

15.Posset Bridge horse tunnel

The canal continues through the middle arch to Lock 13 and more beautiful buildings, now office space.

16.Lock 13

Between the locks, the canal is tranquil.

17.Peak Forest Canal

The Macclesfield Canal joins in just beyond Top Lock Bridge.

18.Top Lock Bridge19.Top Lock Bridge

This magnificent home has prime position

20.Macclesfield Canal

with the marina just around the corner.

21.Top Lock Marina

I think a canal boat holiday would be a great way to relax and see some stunning scenery. Maybe one day……

22.Macclesfield Canal

Lyme Park

Leaving the beautiful county of Yorkshire, we made our way south to the equally stunning county of Cheshire. We couldn’t resist a visit to Lyme Park estate. The largest house in the county, surrounded by 6 hectares of formal gardens, is set in a deer park of 550 hectares in the Peak District National Park. The entrance gate was impressive, I love the mysterious padlocked door.

1.entrance gate Lyme Park

The house dates from the late 16th century and has been gradually developed since then, with modifications made by Italian architect, Giacomo Leoni, in the 1720s. The sweeping circular drive approaches the north front of the house.

2.north facade

The west front dates from the 18th century

3.west facade

as does the magnificent south front.

4.south facade

You may recognise this as Pemberley from the TV production of Pride & Prejudice. Who can forget the scene where, after taking a bath (fully clothed) in the lake, Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy encounters Miss Bennet, attired in his soaking wet, white shirt?

5.Lyme Park

Sorry, where was I? Oh yes, the gardens. The formal gardens were created in the late 19th century,

6.Lyme Park

the intricate Dutch garden was initially laid out as an Italian garden and is usually bursting with colour. Unfortunately, the summer bedding plants had finished in late autumn. The four cherub statues represent the elements of Earth, Fire, Air and Water.

7.Dutch garden

The Huntress, Diana,

8.statue of Diana

overlooks the Orangery Terrace

9. Orangery terrace

and an aged stone eagle majestically stands guard.

10.stone eagle

The Timber Yard is a cluster of buildings where we found a cosy café and quaint shops. Created in 1904, the café was once the joiner’s workshop and the ice cream parlour was the boiler house. During the war years, it was used as living quarters for the RAF. Some of the buildings are now residential cottages.

11.The Timber Yard

I can think of worse places to live.