Cat and Fiddle
Macclesfield Travel Blog› entry 45 of 129 › view all entries
Today, in defiance of the weather report, I went walking on the Peaks. Specifically, we went for a walk in a large circle starting and finishing at the Cat and Fiddle. For the puzzled, the Cat and Fiddle is as much a landmark as a pub. You quite often hear local weather reports talking about “severe conditions at the Cat and Fiddle,” because people know what that means, where “severe weather conditions on the A-whatever road half way between Buxton and Macclesfield” takes far longer to explain. It’s been there for centuries, and is the only building on that part of the moor – you can see it for miles.
The weather was not terrible, but not great either, and I instantly regretted wearing my pink walking trousers, which stop half way between my knees and my boots.
The first half of the walk was great, apart from some flurries of hail. The path took us down past a mysterious ancient chimney and some disused quarries, and along the Dane stream to Three Shires Head. At Three Shires Head, the counties of Cheshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire meet at a really pretty stream, crossed by two pack horse bridges from when there were quarries in the hills. It was gorgeous. Unfortunately, there were far too many people there to take good photos, and for some reason Iain didn’t want to linger at the stream, but I took a couple of pictures and I’ll post them soon.
We stopped in a sheep pen for a break, and when we got going again, we rejoined the main path across the moors. They are particularly bleak and brooding at the Cat and Fiddle, without even the weird rocks you get elsewhere to break up the sky, but there was a strange, stark beauty anyway. As we came to the top of a rise, we could see the Cat and Fiddle up on one horizon and the chimney we had passed far away to our left, and we knew that we were probably at least three quarters of the way through.
Most of the rest of the path was paved, and my ankle was almost OK again until I turned sharply to glare at Iain for being cheeky. This was a bad plan. Unfortunately, we had a half hour at least to go and I was far too proud to let Iain run on ahead to bring the car. Also, I would have been frozen by the time he came back! So on I limped. I was very relieved to get to the pub itself.
The Cat and Fiddle was a beacon of warmth and niceness. We had a wonderful roast dinner there, and listened to everyone else discuss the election – there is a real buzz about this particular election, because almost no one expects to be happy with the outcome. I would love to come back here some time, although it is far far away from almost anywhere I would normally be.
On the way home, we drove through Buxton, which is firmly on my list of places to come back to sometime, and then through Stockport.