The long path to recovery – Pilsbury to Milldale

Pilsbury to Milldale

8 miles with no moving averages – just moving

Petes view -

A peaceful day after last weeks storms, and very welcome sunshine to start the day. As ever Kerry considered my knees and offered to take the easy route along the gated road to Hartington, but I knew she’d already set her heart on climbing the hill opposite and taking the high way to the village. Going up isn’t a problem for me, it’s the going down that brings discomfort. We headed back across the River Dove and diagonally up across the slope to the road below Sheen Hill. Scrambling bikes broke the peaceful setting, and at least I had some delight to know that one of these cretins churning up the countryside came off his bike several times. By contrast we walked through a farm that had been renovated in a superb way, complete with a fabulous garden room. The owner was happy to keep the ROW through his grounds and he loves to chat with passers by. So much so that it took an intervention by his wife for us to escape and carry on with the walk along to Hartington. We came across a superb bench by a lone tree a little further on but unfortunately it was already occupied, and we agreed it would have been a fine lunch spot. Descending into Hartington we spotted a friends van parked up and speculated where she was out walking today. Around the village duck pond we sat and had lunch and people watched as cars and bikes came and went. Lunch over and it was virtually all downhill to the end of the day. The dales took over and being a Sunday they were as busy as ever. It was a gentle walk down Beresford Dale, in its woods and its weirs, quite peaceful. Out into Wolfscote Dale, the valley sides are steeper and less wooded, with plenty of cattle and sheep grazing the pastures. Kerry always speculates how they don’t fall down the steep ground to the river. I always speculate that they probably always use their four legs. From Coldeaton Bridge the dale winds around corners until turning into Mill Dale and a short walk along the road to the tiny tea shop, where just in the nick of time we ordered a warming drink, and wandered up the road to the car.

Kerrys view -

After the dramatic weather of the last walk, todays was much more settled. Straight from the car, we headed uphill in sunshine reaching High Close Farm perched proudly over a magnificent view on the hill top. We stood admiring the view and the farm, now converted into a stunning home with a bunch of random animals, when the very friendly owner came over and introduced his goats and donkeys. After a lengthy natter we continued south to Hartington. The inviting typical village centre complete with duck pond offered plenty of benches to eat our sarnies on. The route south became a flat plod, taking in the magical Beresford Dale, where we lost the sun, down the impressively steep sided Wolfescote Dale and turning into Milldale. By this point, even on the flat, Pete’s knees were slowing him down so we stopped for a welcome cuppa in the little hamlet of Milldale, served by the lady in the cottage through the stable door and sat by the river Dove admiring the unchanged landscape.

“Nor far to the car now” I encouraged

But even 1/4 mile at the end of a walk was a task with disagreeing knees.

 

Walk seventeen

Posted by pete on July 9th, 2016 under UncategorizedTags: , ,  • No Comments

The long path to recovery – Earl Sterndale to Pilsbury

Earl Sterndale to Pilsbury

6 miles at a moving average of 2.3 mph

Petes view -

I started today moaning -  ‘rubbish weather for pictures, I won’t get any’, but by the end of the day the complete opposite was true. It absolutely belted down on the way to the start, but by the time we started to walk it was brightening up a touch. The storm clouds were spectacular, and the beauty of the hailstorms was that they were so swift and sharp and brutal, that we didn’t really get wet. From Earl Sterndale we climbed up over Hitter Hill and down into the River Dove valley, with grey ominous clouds all around and the odd shaft of sunlight to brighten the way. At our backs was the dragons back of Parkhouse Hill and Chrome Hill, still prominent against the skyline, until they were obliterated by a fast approaching hailstorm. A brief downpour and it was gone as quickly as it had arrived. The route took us across the valley and up into Longnor for a very welcome tea break. There used to be three or four pubs in the village but I think it’s down to one now and a couple of cafes. Back out into the grey we crossed pasture, passing through narrow fields by means of squeeze stiles – only wide enough for one leg. The sun came and went and we could see another fast approaching storm, just as we were passing an old barn. No entry so we found the sheltered side and waited, with me poking the camera out as it passed. Annoyingly I ended up with a rain smudge on the lens which ruined a fair few shots, but the passing storm did give some great skyscapes. The route took us back down into the valley once more near Crowdecote, across the river by some stepping stones and a straightforward walk to Pilsbury Castle – motte and baileys – led us back to the car. A spectacular storm sky indeed.

Kerrys view -

The drive to the start of this walk was an adventure in itself. We left the dry and drove into a storm down a pencil thin lane to nowhere. It cursed and threatened and we looked at the skies from inside a rain battered car.

“Rubbish day for photography” moaned Pete

On that day, he probably took the best photographs of his life! The grey clouds scampered away to reveal sunshine and blue skies so we got kitted up and were off down past Hitter Hill and along a green lane to Underhill when we were chased by a brief hail storm.

“Wow, where there was no chance of avoiding that”

At another green lane, called Green Lane, we crossed over the River Dove into Staffordshire at Beggars Bridge. The sun appeared but by the time we’d reached the next field, hoods were up as it vanished and another hail storm scolded our backs. At the hill top the sun once again pushed the clouds away. In Longnor we found a tea rooms for a cuppa then off across a series of narrow enclosures beside the River Manifold.

“Don’t look round but there’s another hail storm coming”

By the time we reached an idle barn it hit us. No chance of breaking in so we were exposed to the elements until the sun appeared yet again. The route turned uphill just as a further storm blew over.

“Blimey some stunning clouds today” beamed Pete as click click he took picture after picture. By the time we’d returned to the Upper Dove Valley sunshine was restored only to retire on the approach to Pilsbury Castle. Just beyond the motte and bailey the path descended to the car and we finished in sunshine. Very odd weather day!

Walk sixteen

 

Posted by pete on July 9th, 2016 under UncategorizedTags: , ,  • No Comments

The long path to recovery – Brierlow Bar to Earl Sterndale

Brierlow Bar to Earl Sterndale

6 miles at an average moving speed of 2.2 mph

Petes view -

Back to a snails pace again, and a biting wind to contend with today to visit my two favourite hills in Derbyshire – the dragons back – Parkhouse Hill and Chrome Hill. There are lots of limestone quarries over on this side of the county, concealed from the roads below but stretching for over three miles end to end. A staggering amount of material removed from the ground over the years. The lorries departing from these quarries leave a milky wake along the A515, but I guess the limestone dust saves the farmers a job. From Brierlow Bar we walked across pasture and under the quarry railtrack, to join up with an old railway bed that led us up and over the hills towards the High Edge raceway – all quiet up here today except for the wind. That buffeted us and we sought shelter on the lee side of High Edge for some lunch. A very quiet lane took us down towards the dragons back and a permissive footpath led us around to the base of the hill. Of the two hills Chrome Hill is the easier to ascend and we decided to go for the top despite the strong buffeting winds. I love it up there with its far reaching views down the Dove valley. A few snacks later and it was the start of a slow steep, and painful descent, but it was worth it. At the bottom my knees were so sore that any thought of going up Parkhouse Hill was out of the window, and it really was too windy by now. So we by-passed the hill around to Glutton Grange farm and up and over Hitter Hill to end in Earl Sterndale beside the ‘Quiet Woman’ Inn. Exactly 100 miles into the walk now and heading in a southerly direction now.

Kerrys view -

By now, I knew that Pete was quietly suffering with his knees. It wasn’t just the slowness of pace, the wincing of face, it was the gradual withdrawing of enthusiasm that so wasn’t Pete. This is a man that adores the outdoors and a good long walk, so for him to ask ‘its not too far is it?’ is very much out of character. It wasn’t too far,but it did have a couple of steep ascents and descents. We took a route skirting Buxton Quarry onto a new cycle track, under construction, and then flapped around in some decent strong winds over high ground leading up and over High Edge. Lunch was perched, out of the wind, on the sheltered east side. As we munched warning sirens sounded in the nearby quarry and we waited for the blast. I was expecting something resembling a volcanic eruption and shaking ground but it was just a little puff of dust. Looming ahead was Chrome and Parkhouse hills, both deceptively sheer and in the cold wind a bit dicey. At the approach to Chrome Hill a sudden blast of icy sleet cut into us whipping a wind so strong we questioned climbing Chrome Hill. But hell we did it anyway bending our backs to the wind. It was so fierce we chickened out of climbing Parkhouse and found our way back to the car and escape to a cuppa.
Walk Fifteen

Posted by pete on July 9th, 2016 under UncategorizedTags: , ,  • No Comments

The long path to recovery – Buxton to Brierlow Bar

Buxton to Brierlow Bar

6.1 miles at an average of 2.2 mph – slow slow, quick quick, slow

Petes view -

A Blackadder walk today including Cunning Dale and the worse dressed transvestite I’ve ever seen – he/she could have at least had a shave. I was speechless and so was Kerry, but we carried on uphill to the edge of Buxton at the High Peak golf course, passed by some plump chickens and along a lane past the Mycock farm – there’s a lot of them in Derbyshire. The route took us through several Dales today, the first of them being Cunning Dale. An unremarkable place in the greyness of winter, which wound down to the busy A6 where a not too friendly looking Rottweiler greeted us with a snarl. Fortunately his owner called him back and I was quite relieved as I’m the slowest walker by far. After dodging the traffic it was an uphill walk through Kidstor Dale, and it spat us out onto the Mid Shires Way, where we found a small estate chapel with a handy bench in the porch for some more warming soup. After lunch we walked across pasture to meet the mid point of Deep Dale and had a steep path down to the valley floor – just what I needed – thanks Kerry. It was a nice dale though with a small cave to explore, and some very delicate small ferns growing between boulders. A steady ascent took us to the top end of Deep Dale, where it split to Horeshoe Dale on the left and Back Dale on the right. The right fork was taken as that was where the car was parked leaving Horseshoe Dale for later on in the year. Back Dale led to Brierlow Dale, both grassy dales and now the clouds were gathering and spits became drops, which eventually joined up and  turned to heavy rain just before reaching the car.

Kerrys view -

Walk 14 and back to using two cars. It was an odd twisty walk, two reasons for that. Firstly I had never walked down Cunning Dale (what a great name) and secondly, I was eager to show Pete the quietly stunning Deep Dale, so the route was tailored to accommodate both. From the station in Buxton we navigated the back streets encountering a hefty man in a dress. I wanted to give him some tips on posture in heels and a frock but decided I wasn’t the best example of womanhood in my scruffy mish mash hiking clobber. At Waterswallows road on the edge of Buxton yet another golf course. Pete spotted a ‘greying’ of mature male golfers …. what is the collective noun for golfers? … and I switched off as he warbled on about holes in one etc. Shortly after we found the track down into Cunning Dale. We followed its length eventually reaching the busy A6, which we, unfortunately had to walk along a short stretch to Kidtor Dale. The path through merged with the Midshires Way and brought us to a lane where sat a squat Chapel perfect for our lunch stop. The walk got a little juicier from there as it zig zagged steeply into Deep Dale. Not good for knees. I knew Pete would be cursing by the bottom. Still, the geologist in him wanted to climb up into an ample cave and back down. The southern end of Deep Dale splits into Horsehoe Dale and Brierlow Dale. We took the latter, just as rain began, and crossed over the A515 back to the car.
Walk Fourteen

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The long path to recovery – Whaley Bridge to Buxton

Whaley Bridge to Buxton

8.8 miles at an avberage moving speed of 2.3 mph – that’s about average for this walk

Petes view -

Felt sore in my off fore today, with my non operated leg giving me more gip. It’s not looking good for the long term, and my surgeon did say to me ‘when do you want the other one doing?’ We left the station at Whaley Bridge and walked beneath the dam wall and along quiet lanes to the old church at Taxal for a spot of lunch. I’d wanted to walk up Taxal Edge but it was a step too far really so we took the lesser route of walking alongside the reservoirs of the Goyt Valley – Fernilee and Errwood which took us a good distance south before we headed south east on Wild Moor, passing by a Donald Trump wig factory. Before turning up Wildmoorstone Brook we sat and watched the birds flying in and out of a random tree hung with bird feeders. It was quite nice to rest the legs a while and watch the wildlife. Once we reached the top of the brook it was a short walk past Beet Woods and downhill over the golf course and into Buxton via the corporation gardens, the pavilion and the opera house back to the car at the station. Sore knees at the end of the day, but dry once more

Kerrys view -

There was quite some discussion about the route for this walk to Buxton. Having seen how Pete’s knees were not coping with the descents I suggested we follow the Midshires Way to the Goyt Valley, keeping to the flat of the valley beside Fernilee Reservoir. He didn’t argue too much, proof that the knees were not happy. From Fernilee we continued alongside Errwood Reservoir, a nice gradual ascent, then came the turn east onto Wild Moor and a tree decorated with possibly too many bird feeders. The moorland terrain made walking slow and difficult and must have been jarring Pete’s knees as by the time we reached Beet Wood above Buxton his pace had diminished. Even crossing the Cavendish golf course didn’t hasten his step. We finally plodded into Buxton following a stream into the lovely Buxton gardens and crossing over to the station where we’d left the car earlier after catching a train to Whaley Bridge.

 

 
walk thirteen

Posted by pete on July 8th, 2016 under UncategorizedTags: , ,  • No Comments

The long path to recovery – New Mills to Whaley Bridge

New Mills to Whaley Bridge

5.6 miles at an average moving speed of 2.6 mph – olympian effort

Petes view -

We are over half way around on the journey now, and a change of transport, a bus and I didn’t have a bus pass…..yet. Returning to New Mills we stepped onto the pavement and dropped down the side of the valley to the River Goyt. A short walk alongside the river and I swear I could smell sweets. All became clear as we walked past the Swizzels factory, machinery whirring inside as white coated workers added a billion tons of sugar and colourings to whatever was churning off the production lines. Peace returned as we walked along and onto the Peak Forest canal and found a handy bench for an early lunch beside bridge 27. A pleasant day with a bit of sunshine and distant views over to the Kinder Plateau, showing remnants of last weeks snowfall. It was all uphill from the canal, over the A6, passing a horse with a fine moustache, then up a cobbled lane to Seven Springs Camp, and out onto another lane to Brines. Once out onto pasture we had fine views all round, with the cage at Lyme Park close by and Manchester in the distance. We reached the high point of the day on Whaley Moor at Black Hill before dropping down to walk through some school grounds at Cock Knoll. A little further south we turned to the east and had a delightful wander down a valley below the moor, two miles down track and green lane with lovely late sunshine. The route took us through someones back garden, treading carefully around a newly laid lawn, and along a road beside Toddbrook reservoir to return us into Whaley Bridge. Another dry day on the long path to recovery.

Kerrys view -

When I first started my passion for hiking a hundred years ago one of the first walks i remember came into Whaley Bridge, but it was closed. Nothing open and a drabness hung over it, so it was lovely to find it bustling and bright and the roads painted with white emulsion!!! Actually, that was an accident. Some vehicle having driven through a pool of paint and created some additional white lines. We parked up and caught the bus to New Mills, disembarking at the bus stop above the Torrs. Swinging back down into the Torrs, it wasn’t long before we crossed the river and came upon the Swizzels Matlow sweet factory. Walking right alongside on the Peak Forest canal tow path you could smell drumstick lollies and Parma Violets and peer inside to spy rolls of colourful sweets bobbling through machines.

“Its just like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but without the Humper Lumpers!”

Further along the canal we found an empty seat and settled down to our sarnies. We could have sat a while in the sunshine but we had a walk to complete so followed an old cobbled track climbing uphill from Disley. The path eventually came out onto a ridge of exposed rock being part of Whaley Moor. Having passed through a school for naughty children, the route turned into a valley I’d not walked before. It took us along a lovely green lane, easy on the feet and easy on the eye, below the seductive swell of Black Hill. A path sneaked down to Toddbrook Reservoir and a quiet lane beside it took us back to the car.
Walk Twelve

Posted by pete on July 8th, 2016 under UncategorizedTags: , ,  • No Comments

The long path to recovery- Chinley to New Mills

Chinley to New Mills

5.2 miles at an average moving speed of 2.2 mph

Petes view -

A new route for me and finally getting up on Chinley Churn, a hill I’d always admired as I drove along the A6, and a chance to see the real New Mills instead of the small portion passed through on the road. It was all uphill to start the day, and all of the snow from last week had disappeared in another grey winters day. A lane took us up to the Chinley Churn quarry works, where some slabs of gritstone provided a handy seat. Not as handy as the ones we passed after we’d finished soup and rolls not more than 20m further on. That’s the problem with picnic spots, as there’s always a slightly better spot after you’ve finished yours. Over the top of the quarry we turned west along the flat ground and dropped down to Laneside Road. At Brownhill Farm we turned off onto a track and continued to slowly descend towards New Mills. Across muddy fields and slopes the route took us down to the River Goyt, which was followed under a viaduct into a gorge which was a lovely surprise for me. I’d no idea that this area of industrial heritage was so atmospheric to walk through. It is the site of the old Rock and Torr Mills which were built in the late 1700′s, and didn’t close until 2000, which makes it the longest continuous mill manufacturing site in England. There’s a hydro scheme there now, and a new Millenium Bridge, which shines as it swoops around a curve in the River Goyt. A short walk up to the station, where we just missed a train back to Edale. So we shuffled off into New Mills for a cuppa, served up by an Egyptian with a northern accent. A short day but a lot to see.

Kerrys view -

I was really looking forward to this section of the walk as it was new territory for me. I had discovered the delights of New Mills before but not the paths leading from the east. The car was parked at Chinley and it was straight uphill onto the quiet austere Chinley Churn. We enjoyed our sarnies tucked into a sheltered disused quarry. Gazing across the valley idle drifts of snow still lay on the Kinder plateau, reminding us of the previous snowy walk. A path took us across the flat of the hilltop and down the western flank onto Laneside Road. It wasn’t long before we reached the River Goyt and followed it into New Mills via the most dramatic of paths . Here the confluence of the Rivers Sett and Goyt meet lacerating an impressive gorge, known as the Torrs, into the landscape, right in the centre of town. I’d been before but it was a surprise for Pete. Further along the ‘Millennium Walkway’ hugs a huge retaining wall allowing passage right alongside the River Goyt to the train station.

“Look Pete, the walkway was officially opened on your birthday”

Having just missed a train we found a cafe for a cuppa and a shop selling massive fruit and veg. With tomatoes, peppers and strawberries squashed into my rucksack we caught the train back to Chinley.
walk eleven

Posted by pete on July 4th, 2016 under UncategorizedTags: , ,  • No Comments

The long path to recovery – Edale to Chinley

Edale to Chinley

9.5 miles at a moving average of 2 mph – not bad for snow and a dicky leg

Petes view -

Ooh what a day. A long day and finished in the dark, but very satisfying and a good job we left the car at the end and not the start. We got the train back to Edale for the start of the walk, which is also the start of the Pennine Way. Once past the Old Nags Head there is a lovely gate to pass through, off the roads and onto the fields. The  higher slopes were covered with a decent layer of the white stuff so I knew it would be slow going as we gained higher ground. The ascent was steady along a flagged path for a while, and ahead of us hints of blue sky appeared to brighten our approach to Lea House and it’s very welcome barn for a spot of warming soup before the steady climb up Jacobs Ladder – an old route, not an actual ladder – just in case you wondered.

The afternoon sun was out now and the long shadows reminded me that it doesn’t take long for the light to fade at this time of year. As the snow became thicker and the paths  icier, I donned my microspikes as I didn’t want any jarring of my good knee and the bad knee. We continued up to Edale Cross and along the hillside by Oaken Clough under big grey clouds that were getting darker as the day wore on. We turned south off the main track to cross deep snow, where I fell over once or twice due to not being able to get my operated knee high enough out of the snow. I lay there trying to get up looking like a beached turtle, and was grateful my efforts were unseen. The route took us down and over the River Sett and up the other side of the valley and into the setting sun. It lit up the hills behind us and it was lovely to stand and admire the scene, and rest the legs a touch. We turned onto the Pennine bridleway for half a mile before descending slowly, ever so slowly in the twilight onto Beat Lane and into Chinley, along the main road to the station in the dark. A great day out and a little longer than planned.

Kerrys view -

We’d reached the highest point of the ‘Long Walk To Recovery’, the Kinder Plateau. Excited, there’s just something about the big hills that stirs the soul and the feet, we set off. Leaving the car at Chinley, it was a short train ride to Edale. Thank goodness we did it that way, as we finished in darkness, slowed down by deep snow that sapped energy and forced you to walk in a certain way that meant your groin muscles had a workout. It was all rather slushy and muddy along the Pennine Way to Upper Booth. Towards Lee Farm the sun magnificently appeared and hues of blue painted the crystal white snow on the hills. Taking advantage of the welcome shelter we stopped for lunch then persevered onwards to Jacobs Ladder. The higher we climbed the deeper the snow. By Edale Cross the legs were being lifted high through waist deep drifts. Dramatic skies burdened with threatening dark clouds created excellent photographic opportunities for Pete but as we battled on down Oaken and Dimpuss Cloughs I was calculating mileage and time against light left. I’m sure Pete was to. The answer was we would be finishing in the dark. Light rapidly vanished and without head torches (must remember to pack them for all Winter walks) we changed the route to follow a lane back to Chinley rather than cut across open country. In the dark, the station seemed endless miles away. It was a relief when it finally came into view, more so because my legs felt like they weren’t part of me having trudged uphill through deep snow for a mile. And if my legs felt that way I knew Pete would be suffering with his. Are we mad? Without doubt.
Walk Ten

Posted by pete on July 4th, 2016 under UncategorizedTags: , ,  • No Comments

The long path to recovery – Bamford to Edale

Bamford to Edale

8.8 miles at an average moving speed of 2.3mph – keep right on to the end of the road

Petes view -

A dull day and thankfully fairly gradual ascent and descent. We had to leave the car at the start because of train times, so that meant we had a timetable to get to Edale to catch a train back to Bamford in time. Today was a turning point to start heading west as we reached the northern limit of the walk, heading off into the sunset now. A lane took us along from the station to reach the base of Win Hill and a long muddy ascent to the summit.

Shatton.

No that’s the village to the south of the road, we headed up through Thornhill, but with all the mud around it looked like Shatton….the village

The steady climb up to the summit gave us misty views down over the Derwent valley and over to the cement works at Castleton, but it was a dull grey day mostly. Up through Win Hill plantation the summit came into view and provided a welcome lunch spot sheltered out of the cool wind. The next couple of miles were pleasant walking along a grassy well trodden sheep grazed moorland. The ‘Great Ridge’ came into view running from Lose Hill to Mam Tor, a place of homage to the masses who visit this part of the world. There’s nothing great about it in my opinion, as you’d have a job falling off it (apart from a couple of places). Nothing like the great ridges of Scotland or Snowdonia. However it was still nice to look at from afar.

Hope Cross marked another turning point and we turned west to walk down to Jaggers Clough – not many dales up in this part of Derbyshire. The route undulated and tried it’s best to interfere with my knees, so it was slow going once more. Once we were past the Edale YHA it was a steady drop of descent to the vale of Edale, through Ollerbrook Booth and onwards to the station at Edale where a bench groaned as I settled my weight down for a short wait for the next train to Bamford

Kerrys view -

The bigger Derbyshire hills were before us, lofty and magnificent, but also taxing on the knees. We had a train to catch having left the car at Bamford so timing suddenly became crucial. The gradual uphill path to Winhill satisfied the eye plus not too much mud on a hazy day. At the summit we put our backs to rocks out of the wind and had soup and butties. You soon cool down after a climb so it wasn’t long before we were back on our feet along the course of the old Roman road. Conscious of time, at Hope Cross we sneaked a short cut but got snagged up on a barb wire fence. The route ploughed on down into Jaggers Clough, a steep incline that forced Pete to slow up. I looked back at his wincing face aware that he was struggling with pain.

“Not far to the station now”

However what looks like two miles on a map is, in reality, much more due to the nature of the terrain. We kept to the lower flanks of Kinder, passing the Youth Hostel at Lady Booth Brook and onwards through Ollerbrook Booth then a short hop over to Edale comfortably in time for the train.
Walk Nine

Posted by pete on July 4th, 2016 under UncategorizedTags: , ,  • No Comments

The long path to recovery – Grindleford to Bamford

Grindleford to Bamford

5.2 miles at an average moving speed of 2.2mph – slowly does it

Petes view -

Time to take advantage of a train ride at the end of the day, assuming I made it that far. We planned the route with the train and bus in mind, so we used one car to ferry us to the start and caught the train back. On subsequent walks we changed it around to catch a train to the start and walk back to the car and do away with walking to a timetable…mostly. I really enjoyed todays walk as the weather was favourable again with some beautiful scenery and interesting sites. From Grindleford the route took us past the 15th century gatehouse and chapel of Padley Manor, with the ruins of the 14th century manor house. I could sense the history of the place walking around the ruins, but didn’t stay too long as we had a train to catch. A lovely dry track led us along, passing a carved face on a boulder, and maybe this was a face of one of the Padley Martyrs? We dropped down to the valley to walk along the Derwent Heritage Way, where we got onto muddy field paths and a brief snow shower. It was a tad chill and lunch was taken in the confines of a bus stop in Hathersage village. Suitably refreshed with hot soup and a roll we made our way north of the village along Baulk Lane to the allotments and then upwards through Cliff Wood. The light here was wonderful and lit up the trees against the darker landscape. Roads and track took us along to Nether Hurst and views along to the cement works at Castleton and the Great Ridge. We dropped down an old green lane, and out onto the golf course above the station at Bamford. A short walk took us to platform two, well in time for the next train and a free ride back to the car..

Kerrys view -

Now we had reached far enough north to take advantage of public transport to get us to and from the start/finish. Leaving the car at Grindleford we ambled off into sunshine, along a pleasant track below Padley Gorge and Bolehill Wood. A short distance along stood the ancient and naive Padley Chapel and a few hundred yards further we discovered a face engraved onto a rock. Just past this the route turned west along a path that rejoined us with the River Derwent. Over the B6001 and we were directed by a landowner with a passion for barb wire and fencing along a tight path bounded by miles of the stuff. It was so narrow and the mud underfoot a toil I’m surprised our hands weren’t slashed to spaghetti. By the time we exhaustedly reached its end the sun had vanished and a strange white mist was haunting the view ahead.

“Is that smoke?”

Within seconds, we realised it wasn’t smoke but snow!

Pete insisted on putting on waterproofs. I was adamant it’d stop as soon as it started. It didn’t. My hair was going all Wurzel Gummidge so reluctantly they went on. Then it stopped.

“I just knew that would happen!”

Five minutes later we were huddled in a shelter in Hathersage eating our sarnies and the sun came back out. I couldn’t persuade Pete to grab a cuppa, he was fretting about catching a train and his slowing knees. Pete doesn’t usually fret about anything, except the car boot looking like a jumble sale (somewhat like mine!) so I knew he was struggling with pain again. North from the village centre, Baulk Lane delivered us through allotments and across a lane to Brookfield Manor then a drudge up through Cliff Wood. At Birley Farm we followed a quiet lane from which we took a path weaving through succulent pastures to the sunken Hurstclough Lane. A shortcut across the golf course at Bamford had Pete wistfully swinging imaginary clubs again. I urged him along, we had a train to catch, which with time to spare, we caught.
Walk Eight

Posted by pete on June 28th, 2016 under UncategorizedTags: , ,  • No Comments