Rode Hall–The Long Walk In

Leaving Kidsgrove fairly early (for us) we were soon back on the Trent and Mersey at the top of the Cheshire Locks (aka Heartbreak Hill), and shortly thereafter were attending to Song & Dance’s needs at the CaRT depot at Red Bull. It was by now blisteringly hot, and after another five locks or so we moored up for lunch at a favourite spot (given there’s not a lot of choice down the flight) by Church Lawton.

The head gardener had long expressed a desire to visit Rode Hall – it’s within “walking distance” of both the Macclesfield Canal and the Trent and Mersey, but fortunately only open to the public on Wednesdays, and we’d always managed to safely avoid it. However, close inspection of the map showed that it was not only a mile or so from the Trent & Mersey, but by some planning error cock-up it was not only far too hot to work down the locks, but it was also a Wednesday.

Sadly, the back of the estate might only be about a mile from the canal, but the visitor entrance is right at the other end – about three-quarters of a mile along the fields, then half a mile up the road, before another three-quarters of a mile down the front drive. But hey, nothing ventured…

Heartbreak Hill - Lock 19Mow Cop

The initial approach, following the canal down a couple of locks, is most pleasant, with fine views of Mow Cop in the distance. Then it was across the fields and along the edge of the estate…

CottageRode Hall Lodge

Madam was rather taken by the farm cottage we passed with the strange front door; myself I preferred the lodge house at the Rode Hall main entrance, once we got there.

Rode Hall

By now, suffering from the hour-long trek in, in Arabian summer heat, I was assured by SWMBO that there would be an oasis (i.e. tea room)  at the end of the everlasting drive, and that it would still be open. And so it proved, once we found it. And splendid it was too.

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