Starting from Wetton, the idea was to walk two loops in the Manifold valley area crossing the actual valley and not really walking in it! Nine of us set off on the first loop which took us south and steeply down to Beeston Farm and the amazing climbing there at Beeston Tor. We then went up to the Old Throwley Hall ruins with great views which were enjoyed during a quick tea break and explore of the site. From there we went down to the river and up to Castern Hall and then contoured along the top edge of the woods and nature reserve. Unfortunately the bench for a planned stop was ‘taken’ so we sat in the next field and admired fanatatic sunny views up and down the Manifold. The sun reflected off Beeston Tor and we almost wished we were climbing – we would have had the crag to ourselves. From here we walked past disused lead mines and so back to Wetton.
Picking up Mike, the second loop started with a visit to the dramatic Thor’s Cave for a lunch lunch stop with time to explore. Saying goodbye to Steve and Sue, we then descended steeply to the valley intending to go up to Grindon and the ‘cathedral of Staffordshire.’ However, given the time, the vote was to walk along the valley to Wetton Mill, cutting out a steep hill and subsequent descent back to the valley. From here we finishined up Wetton Hill, enabling us to savour the views before getting back to Wetton in the light.