Saturday, December 13, 2014

Baslow and Chatsworth Park

It was quite cold and frosty today; I didn't feel it at all though. I was well wrapped up: two tee-shirts, a lumberjack shirt, a thick woollen fleece, and a ski jacket that would keep me warm at a temperature of minus thirty degrees Centigrade - and I didn't need the 'fur' lined gloves or the trapper's hat.

As I was sitting on the bus at Sheffield Bus Station a woman got on and asked the driver which departures throughout the day from her destination would have a doubledecker, like this one. She mentioned being stranded once when there was no room on a small single-decker bus...and didn't want to be in that situation again. On several occasions I have written about problems with overcrowding on the 218 service, and so I wasn't surprised; both Chatsworth House and Bakewell are very popular destinations from Sheffield.

It was an excellent day for photography; these are the best photos I took.

I got back to Baslow Nether End and went over to the bus stop to confirm that I'd got fifty minutes until the next bus; plenty of time for a pot of tea and a bun in the café. I had no time at all though; the 13:40 bus immediately turned off the main road to the area where the bus stops are - it was ten minutes late.

I had a decision to make; was it going to be the bus, or tea and a bun? I chose the bus.

I finished the walk early today; I had intended to walk over to the estate village of Edensor and photograph the church and some of the pretty cottages, but after struggling climbing down the steep and uneven steps from the Hunting Tower my left knee was hurting me...and it was feeling a bit weak. It was a type of throbbing pain right at the back of my knee; it's nothing new, I've had it before, and it's fine now - three hours later.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Bus Services Update

I've just found out on the South Yorkshire Transport Forum that there will be significant changes to bus services into the Peak District that I use, coming up in January and February.

To summarise the situation; there will be a better service to Bakewell, but one of the Matlock routes is being curtailed, only going as far as Chatsworth House.

So, it looks like the area between Chatsworth House and Matlock will be out of bounds.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Matlock Victorian Christmas Market With Justin.

Here are some photographs I took.

I didn't buy anything more exotic than a game pie from the Medieval Pye Stall.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Fox House, Longshaw Estate, Grindleford, Froggatt, Calver, and Baslow

An interesting and unusual start to the day this morning: I think I got caught up in some sort of public/performance art installation.

I entered the gents' at Sheffield Railway Station and everything seemed to be as I'd expect it to be; however, a few minutes later, when I came out of the cubicle, sheets of paper had been placed in two of the sinks.

(The hand-written message reads, 'In the name of love before you break my heart.' - the main chorus from a famous Diana Ross and the Supremes song.)

I lingered at the railway station, reading a newspaper and eating some of my sandwiches, so when I arrived at the bus station it was only a few minutes until the bus was scheduled to depart. It was already nearly full and just about the only empty seat was one of the fold-down sidewards-facing seats at the front...they're not very wide. There was a vacant seat next to me...although several inches of it were actually being used by me.

I was expecting this to be a problem; and I wasn't wrong. A few stops into the journey as the bus was travelling along Eccleshall Road someone boarded and was determined to sit next to me; I squeezed up as much as I could, making myself as small as possible, crossing my legs and balancing my rucksack on the top of my shoulders. There still really wasn't enough room; I briefly considered standing up, but all of a sudden the other passenger reached over and slammed down the seat. It took him several attempts to get it fully down, each time removing a layer of my skin and sending pain searing all the way down my leg....not a good start to the walk.

Feeling quite sore and lame I got off the bus at Fox House and walked down through the woods to Longshaw Estate. The mist swirling around the trees was quite pretty.

Today I deliberately visited parts of the estate I don't remember seeing before; I certainly didn't realise that boggarts live there - I didn't see any though.

There was plenty of interesting fungi to photograph too.

I explored some more of the estate and then reached the road above Grindleford. I continued down the hill and took the path which leads off just before the bridge over the River Derwent. Like the majority of the rest of the walk I was walking on level ground at the bottom of the valley all the way to Baslow. The only section which involved me gaining, and then losing altitude was near Calver when I climbed up and over a hill that I think might be called Hare Knoll. On a clear day there are lovely views of Froggatt Edge here, but not today; I could barely see it in the distance. What I could see though, and it certainly caught my attention, was a ruined barn; from the angle I was approaching it, part of the timbers looked like a guillotine that might have been used during the French Revolution. The photograph is black and white to heighten some of the detail.

When I reached Baslow I noticed that my trousers were especially muddy. I feared I might not be allowed on the bus and so stopped at one of the seats in front of the church to put my over-trousers on; this was difficult without taking off my boots. It won't be difficult the next time though because I've already cut some slits into the bottom of the legs to make it a lot easier. 

The bus journey back to Sheffield from Baslow was totally uneventful.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Baslow, Pilsley, Hassop, and Bakewell

I had planned two alternative walks this morning, one starting at Great Hucklow, and one at Baslow. I waited until the last minute to make my choice. The Buxton bus and the Matlock bus depart within a few minutes of each other; the Matlock bus came to the stand first and was a double decker - there would be plenty of legroom for me on this bus and the journey time to Baslow is significantly less...and so I opted for the Baslow walk.

It was very misty on the highest parts of the moors and so I was glad that I would be doing a low level walk today, sometimes the fog and mist can set me off coughing and ruin my entire day.

I got off the bus at Baslow Nether End and went to the toilets to tend to a delicate area which needed a bit of attention. The cubicle was very small, and what with the actions I was doing, I kept bumping my elbows and knees against the sides. I considered taking a photo to illustrate how little space I had but someone arrived and went inside the other cubicle; as I was washing my hands I noticed a camera flash go off in the other cubicle - maybe he'd had a similar idea.

Anyhow, my nether end was sorted at Baslow Nether End and I was ready to set off on the walk.

I walked through the village to just past the church, crossed over the old humpback bridge and took a path which soon reaches the fields. It was a gentle climb away from the village followed by quite a steep descent down to the Bakewell road, then a similarly steep climb back out of the valley to reach more fields, and then a short stretch along the road into Pilsley.

I sat and ate my sandwiches on a rather old and decrepit lichen-covered bench just across the road from the village pub. At one point a car stopped and the driver asked me for directions to 'Chatsworth Hall', a hybrid combination of Chatsworth House and Haddon Hall; I gave him directions to the former, since it's much closer. 

Just beyond the village I took a well-used footpath through a wood which isn't signposted or marked on the map, and then continued down the lane to reach the Bakewell road again, about a mile further on. I needed to walk along a very short stretch of the road, no more than a few dozen strides; yet even in this brief period a car came uncomfortably close to me, forcing me to take a step away and put my foot on the raised white line which marks the edge of the road. This surface was very slippery and I lost my grip, slipping and nearly doing the splits. Many thanks to the driver of the white car for that (have you noticed how most cars are white these days though?)

At this time it was raining; the rain only lasted for about twenty minutes though and then the weather slowly brightened up...being really quite sunny and excellent conditions for photography when I was travelling home on the bus and the train.

I had to dodge two groups of cyclists as I walked along the path to Hassop. I reached the main road right at the southern end of the village and then walked along this road until I reached the Hassop Station Café on the Monsal Trail, using the strobe setting on my torch to let car drivers know of my presence this's very effective; they can see it from several hundred yards away.

I had a pot of tea and a scone at the café and then continued along the Trail to Bakewell, passing Bakewell Station on the way. By this time in the afternoon the conditions were a lot brighter and more colourful; I took a picture of the old station buildings. I like this photograph; it reminds me of a looming, snorting steam engine, one of the earliest on the railways - I can see the chimney, the massive wheels that the early locomotives had...and a snowplough on the front.

From here I soon reached Bakewell. I had a few minutes to spare as I was waiting for the bus and so popped into Bath Gardens to take this photograph.