The start and end of the walk.
"Only eight of you? I've almost got as many mates as you!"
Time for hot drink and a use of the facilities at Haddon Station.
Pre-meals drinks and a warm by the fires.
Walk stats: Distance: 6.3 miles. Climb: 93'.
Time: 2 ours 40 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.7 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.3 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, Annie, Ian and Wendy, Tim and Carol. It's always good see a good number joining us for the meal, even though they can't make the walk. Joining us today were: David and Anne, Celia, Paul, Roger and Margaret, Dave and Sylvia.
Eight of us set off for the short walk around Raby an Willaston, knowing that some sections on the route had great potential for being muddy. Thankfully it wasn't too bad and my boots only took about ten minutes to clean when I got home.
If anything, in our Winter gear, it felt a little on the warm side, more that the 6 Celsius on the forecast, but there was no wind to give any significant wind chill.
This wasn't an exactly an inspirational route, but sections of the Wirral Way were pleasant enough and being able to stop at the picturesque Haddon Station with all of its facilities was a bonus.
As we were having lunch at the Wheatsheaf Inn in just over an our, most of us just had a drink, although it was noted, some in the group indulged in chocolate biscuits too.
After our drinks break, we passed through the delightful village of Willaston.at thi point mud free as we had pavements to walk on! I did try to up the pace a little at this stage a I thought we may not get back in time for the planned start of the walk.
Birds seen or heard today included: Common blackbird, Chaffinch, European robin, Comon kestrel, Great tit, Common starling, Eurasian jay, Grey heron.Common pheasant, Woodpigeon, Black-billed magpie, Redwing, House sparrow, Common crow and Jackdaw.
We arrived back at the Wheatsheaf Inn at 12-25, five minutes before the time I had hoped we would be back from the walk.
Most of the none walkers were already "cooking" by the fire opposite that bar and fifteen minutes before the meal was due to start we were able to go into the Cowshed Restaurant.
They had put tables together, so that all sixteen of us were all together. This room as a delightful setting and it wasn't long before we are starters and our meal was on its way. The food and service was excellent throughout and the Brimstage "Trappers Hat" went down well.
I do some times wonder why other people's choices always seem better than the ones that you have made!
Thanks to everyone that contributed to money gift, that should keep me going in printer ink and paper for the rest of the year!
Apologies to those in the group that didn't feature on the pictures, My fireside photos didn't come out good enough.