Monday, January 14, 2019

Ashopton, Snake Pass, Hope Cross, and Hope

I travelled to Ashopton and took the classic shot of Ashopton Viaduct framed in the distance before walking up to Crookhill Farm.

I continued past the farm; the next two and a half miles was my favourite part of the walk with lovely views over to Kinder Scout, the Great Ridge, and the Snake Pass.


When I reached Rowlee Farm I came down onto the lower reaches of the Snake Pass and immediately crossed the road and headed up the hill towards Hope Cross. The path going up this way has been named 'Potato Alley' by mountainbikers who regularly use the route - it's an appropriate choice, there are thousands of loose pebbles the size and shape of potatoes which have been placed there to supposedly improve the surface, and maybe reduce erosion...however it's now much more difficult for both tyres and boots.

Hope Cross is a prominent local landmark.

I took a steep path down towards the Edale road, one I'd not used before. Just past Edale End at the bottom of the valley I used a concessionary footpath going along the bank of the River Noe, new to me as well, and then the definitive path that still keeps close to the river until it reaches the road at the Townhead Bridge area of Hope. 

Today was the first time I was there when a train going to the cement works passed over the viaduct as I approached the main part of Hope - quite a rare event I think...I didn't get a good photo though.

The bus had just left for Sheffield when I arrived down on the main road in the village and so I had nearly an hour to kill. I went to the Old Hall Tearooms  and ordered a pot of tea and a slice of coconut sponge cake. the cake was very crumbly and I couldn't manage only using the knife which had been brought to my table so I asked for a fork as well...and then still struggled. I was pleased to notice that the knife had been made in Sheffield though. I had a good chat with a couple of the customers; when I left I told them I needed to get back to Doncaster before I turned into a pumpkin.

At one of the bus stops in Sheffield city centre the driver switched off the engine, left his cab, held up a bus ticket and explained that people who pay for their fare by swiping their mobile phone need to take the ticket they are issued and securely dispose of it because criminals are boarding buses and picking up the appropriate tickets off the floor and using them to steal money from people's bank accounts.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Old Edlington, Clifton, Firsby, Ravenfield, and Thrybergh

Another local walk today because of a late start; I had to make a phone call and needed my dairy at hand - I can't be coping with making important arrangements out of doors on the go using my mobile phone.

I caught the Dinnington bus and got off at Old Edlington and took some photographs of the air crash memorial and the church before heading off down the lane and across the fields to Clifton.

Just as I was setting off from the churchyard though I did my good deed for the day by helping one of the local residents clear up some hedge trimmings which might possibly cause punctures when using his drive. He did actually ask me, so it wasn't just a random act of kindness on my part...and it only took me a few seconds.

After exploring Clifton I continued along the ridge up on Clifton Hill - there were some good views from there today.

Much of the path over to Firsby was across fields of sugar beet. I reached Firsby and went down into the bottom of the valley and then climbed up to Ravenfield church using the narrow country lane.

I walked through a large part of the village until I found the path that took me towards Thrybergh.

This section was high up and there were extensive views; I particularly enjoyed it because I'd not been here before. I didn't enjoy the last part of the walk though, through a suburban housing estate until I reached the bus stop.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Elton, Aldwark, Grangemill, Upper Town, and Bonsall

I've started 2019 by exploring some new territory in the Peak District. I caught a bus from Sheffield to Bakewell, and from there another bus to Elton. The bus arrived in Elton twenty minutes late because of the large number of cyclists on the roads delaying traffic. I got off and walked down the main street towards the church.

I then headed off in a southwesterly direction across the fields towards Pikehall.  Interestingly, looking at the map and trying to confirm this by using my compass [which isn't very accurate though], after only a short distance the footpath is shown on the OS map as being dead straight for over a mile going across Elton Moor, AND heading on a bearing of 225 degrees - exactly south west, without any deviation. I wonder what the significance of this is? There are no features at all on the ground though, the moor is just several large grassy fields. 

I then found myself walking along the main Buxton road, the route along here is also dead straight, but on a slightly different alignment. I took a minor road and then a wide track surfaced with limestone aggregate, which I don't like walking on at all, it hurts my feet; unusually for me, I was glad to reach the surfaced road. Yet again this track was dead straight for most of its is questioning their sexuality in this part of the world.

It was then a combination of road and footpath until I reached Aldwark, a working village with not much going in its favour, certainly there's nothing interesting to see there...and the people seem to be unfriendly. Approaching from the west the map clearly shows the footpath passing through a farmyard, and everything seemed fine until I reached a firmly secured gate leading out towards the road, and I couldn't open it. I stopped, checked my map, re-traced my steps a few yards...but I was right, this was definitely the right way, every other option was boldly and confidently, actually hoping the residents might see me and come over and confront me, I strode back towards the gate and  climbed over it. As I suspected, half a dozen seconds later I spotted the sign pointing in the other direction, precisely from where I'd just come. It was very prominently sited at the side of the road.

Most of the way to Grangemill was right next to a well screened off working quarry. There's on old pub in the village, and a furniture restoring business.

As I walked over to Upper Town, and then Bonsall, I experienced my only steep and prolonged climb of the was nothing too challenging though.

I only visited the southern part of Bonsall; as I passed the bus shelter at the Fountain I noticed there was a bus due to Matlock...I'd already seen it go up the hill to the other end of the village, where it turns round to start the return journey. I decided to catch it; this knocked about a mile and a half of my planned route, but saved me quite a bit of time, so I could do a bit of shopping when I got back to Doncaster.