Tuesday, November 20, 2018

'Fifteen Experiences You Need To Tick Off Your Peak District Bucket List' - taken from the 'Experience Peak District and Derbyshire' website

1...Go paragliding at Mam Tor: I've climbed up Mam Tor plenty of times and seen the paragliders but there's no way I'm trying it myself...I haven't even flown in an aeroplane.

2...Take a dip in the Slippery Stones Plunge Pool: I don't like water so I won't be doing this. It's a lovely area to go walking though.

3...Climb on Stanage Edge: I've actually climbed up to the top of Stanage Edge, there are plenty of easy routes up - of course the experience in the article is referring to climbing using ropes, carabiners, and whatever other climbing equipment is required.

4...Watch the sunrise or sunset over Ladybower Reservoir: I use public transport to get to the Peak District, so this is going to be difficult to arrange...and anyhow I don't want to be high up on the moors when it's dark.

5...Go paddleboarding at Carsington Water: I'm not even sure what paddleboarding is but if it's on water I'm not going to be trying it.

6...Cycle up Winnats Pass: I enjoy watching the cyclist struggling going up as I'm walking down. 

7...Go abseiling at Burbage Quarry: I went abseiling once and really loved it, nearly thirty years ago on an outward bound course staying at Bollington in Cheshire - I think it might have been Burbage Quarry where we went. I've seen people abseiling from one of the railway bridges in Chee Dale; there's a dedicated area set aside.

8...Find a Highland cow on Baslow Edge: I've done this plenty of times. they are very photogenic and love to pose for the camera.

9...Swing through the trees at GoApe in Buxton: No thank you.

10..Reach the top of the Crooked Spire in Chesterfield: I'd like to do this. I've taken photographs of the outside of the church but I don't think I've been inside the building yet.

11..Go to a gig at Peak Cavern: Interestingly the cavern has now reverted to its old, pre-Victorian name of the Devil's Arse.

12..Take part in a local sporting event: several are listed in the article but I haven't been to any of them.

13..Get a bird's eye view on a helicopter flight or hot air balloon ride: unless I can use my free travel pass I won't be able to afford either of these activities. I've seen the sightseeing helicopter land at Owler Bar a couple of times.

14..Walk part of the Pennine Way: I've done the first couple of miles, starting in Edale.

15: Make your own Bakewell Pudding: I can't bake and struggle to even manage the most basic cooking tasks so I won't be doing this...and  I'm ashamed to admit that I prefer Bakewell Tarts.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Fairholmes, Exploring the Ruins of Derwent Village, and Hathersage

Today I went on a mission, to visit and photograph the ruins of Derwent village down in Ladybower Reservoir. The water level is now very low and extensive structures can be seen, being high and dry and easily accessible. I certainly wasn't the only person there exploring and taking photographs this morning; apart from hikers, there were family groups, dog walkers, keen photographers with some very expensive equipment, and even someone operating a drone. Unfortunately my photos aren't that good; the weather was still overcast and my camera struggles with the zoomed in shots.

Here are my best efforts though:

I caught the bus to the information centre at Fairholmes and walked along the road which after a while becomes a track going round the eastern shore of the reservoir and then made my way down to the water's edge and the ruins of the village at a location where a well-used temporary footpath has been established.

When I reached the busy A57 road I turned and walked towards the Ladybower Inn and then took the path leading uphill onto the moors, walking for about two miles until I reached Cutthroat Bridge. I crossed the road here and headed up towards Bamford Moor and made my way to the foot of Stanage Edge using a footpath I hadn't found before. I stayed below the edge, and at quite a distance from it before gradually dropping down to the high level road that goes from Bamford to Hathersage. I'd not previously walked along a stretch of this road, but I'm glad I did so today because it offered me some nice views of Stanage Edge well illuminated by the sun...a bit hazy though unfortunately.

As I made my way slowly down towards Hathersage there were still plenty of views to enjoy, usually when I stopped and turned round though.

As I approached Hathersage this was the view of the church in the distance, over to my left.

I visited the new public toilets in the village and didn't like them: two unisex toilets with a marble seat that couldn't be lifted up. The toilet I used was flooded with a mixture of water and urine, all over the toilet seat and about half an inch deep on the floor. I only needed a pee, and I hit the target with my aim...so don't be blaming me. 

There were fifty minutes until the next bus was due and so I popped into Cintra's Tearooms, one of my favourite establishments in the Peak District, and ordered a pot of tea and a homemade raspberry scone.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Fox House, Upper Padley, Nether Padley, Baslow, Chatsworth House, and Edensor

At this time of year with there being so little daylight I can't afford to be sitting at the bus station in Sheffield letting buses that are going to the Peak District depart whilst I'm waiting for a specific service to take me somewhere to start a pre-planned walk. So this morning I immediately got ready as soon as I woke up and headed for the railway station, arriving there just before seven o'clock. I had thirty minutes to wait for a train, which got me to Sheffield for eight o'clock. I hurried up the hill to the nearest bus stop and caught the first suitable bus that showed up...the 272 service to Castleton. I then planned my walk as the bus set off on its journey; I decided to get off at Fox House and head down into Padley Gorge to try to capture some of the remaining colours in the late autumn foliage.

I was too late though, most of the leaves had already fallen, and anyhow it was a murky start to the day this early in the morning...so I concentrated on photographing the moss covered boulders and the gnarled and twisted trees.

During the descent I enjoyed the constant sound of the water in Burbage Brook tumbling and splashing over the rocks as it rushed down the gorge. I arrived at Upper Padley, where Grindleford Railway Station is located; the former waiting room is now a quirky cafe.

Confusingly, I then had to climb uphill to reach Nether Padley. I then continued climbing further uphill through some woods until I reached the main road and the footpath which goes along the top of Froggatt Edge and Curbar Edge.

Ironically, someone has tried to scratch out the symbol for cyclists on this sign.

By now the sun was starting to break through the mist and clouds.

I dropped down into Baslow and popped in to The Cafe on the Green for a slice of my favourite Bakewell Pudding anywhere in the Peak District.

My time in the cafe was ruined though by an obnoxious man with an overwrought sense of entitlement who got up twice to change his order and then was arguing with the waitress about the bill because she'd got confused and might have overcharged him.

I continued south into Chatsworth Park and discovered that the Christmas Market was being held.

The Christmas Market is a lot bigger than it was when I last visited a couple of years ago, at least twice as many stalls. It was also very busy, even though it was only the second day; it was so busy that there were two areas I couldn't reach at all because of the crowds. There was some lovely food on sale; pies, fresh and prepared game, cheese, hot food, and all sorts of delicious cakes and pastries. I could very easily have spent a lot of money, but didn't buy anything.

There were about a dozen people in the queue at Edensor Gates waiting for the bus back to Sheffield - when there's a major event at Chatsworth the buses don't go all the way right up to the house...they drop people off here, about half a mile away.

I didn't have very long to wait for the bus to arrive, but it took quite a long time for the passengers to get off due to the confusion about how to get to the Christmas Market and Chatsworth House, and then the time it took for the bus driver to do a three point turn to turn the bus around, a six-wheeled double-decker...she was a very petite woman and her arms didn't seem to be long enough.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Moscar, Fairholmes, Yorkshire Bridge, and Bamford

A bit of confusion this morning on the platform at Doncaster Station - a young woman from Eastern Europe asked me which platform the train to Hull, or maybe she said Goole, went from. She spoke with a very guttural accent and I couldn't understand her; fortunately for her Hull and Goole are on the same line and so she should easily have got on the right train...I couldn't help her though because I was just getting on my train going to Sheffield.

After arriving at Sheffield I then travelled on the bus to Moscar, high up on the moors and headed north along Mortimer Road until I reached the first footpath, leading to Derwent Edge.

The sign gave very precise directions.

I found the turn-off to the left, but the next few hundred yards were quite difficult, being boggy and overgrown.

It was an early start for me and still overcast and misty...it was gloriously sunny  for a couple of hours just  after lunchtime though when I took a lot of photos.

I walked north along the Edge for a couple of miles and soon got my first glimpse of Ladybower Reservoir and was shocked to see how low the water level is now. It was too misty to take any photographs of anything in the distance so I just concentrated on the rocks. 

I gradually made my way down to the visitor centre at Fairholmes, the path staying just below the Edge for a while and then looping back to the south. I passed some grouse butts done on the cheap, propped up against an old dry stone wall.

It's all Access Land up here and there are paths everywhere...so I just kept taking the one leading downhill until I arrived on the road not too far from the dam wall of Derwent Reservoir.

I ate the last of my sandwiches at the visitor centre and then walked along the western shoreline of Ladybower Reservoir...and quite often actually stepping right down into the reservoir: The water is so low that it's easy to do. It meant that I got some rare and unusual angles to photograph from.

The ruins of Derwent village were clearly visible and several people were exploring them.

Further down the valley some water was now visible in the reservoir.

I continued along the road, crossing over Ashopton Viaduct and walking past Yorkshire Bridge and through Bamford to reach the bus stop near to the railway station just in time to catch the bus back to Sheffield.

Although I was in a hurry for the final few minutes I still briefly stopped to take a picture of the church from the roadside...the lighting conditions were perfect.