Sunday, November 12, 2017

Eyam, Foolow, Grindlow, Abney, and Hathersage

I arrived at Eyam fifteen minutes late because there was a road closure and so the bus had to go the long way round via Hathersage. This delay meant that I was greeted with the melodious sound of the bells being rung at St. Lawrence's Church; I think the bells at Eyam are the best I've heard anywhere. I spent quite a bit of time in the village taking photographs, looking for unusual angles and interesting subjects.

I left Eyam and headed westwards towards Foolow, first walking along a farm track and then across the fields; there were some lovely views illuminated by the bright sunshine.

The small, pretty church at Foolow was originally the village smithy.

By taking a wrong turn I ended up walking for longer along the road to reach Grindlow than I'd intended. Later on I could see that the gliding club was busy as a climbed up the hill.

Not too far beyond the gliding club, after having just walked  through a boggy area the sole on my left boot became detached. I was able to make an emergency repair though with one of the socks from my spare pair which I always carry...I just tightly pulled it over the toe cap.

Fortunately it wasn't far for me to walk to the road and I decided to stick with the road all the way back to Hathersage, passing through Abney. I didn't really mind though because I was rewarded with some lovely views.

I think I should be able to repair the boot with some superglue - but I won't be using this pair for walking or hiking any more.  I've got four more pairs, of varying quality and condition.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Fairholmes to Hope

I was stuck on the train just outside Sheffield Midland Station for twenty minutes waiting for a set of points to be repaired; I still managed to catch my bus to Fairholmes though...but only just.

I quickly climbed up through woodland to reach the pastures at Lockerbrook Farm.

The path down to the Snake Pass road was quite muddy in places, but it wasn't a problem - ahead of me there were some lovely views looking to the west.

After I'd descended down to the road, even though I took the lower of the two paths at the other side of the valley I still needed to climb up quite a bit from the river; the higher I climbed, the better the view was.

This next photographs show the Great Ridge which I could see once I'd climbed up through more woodland to reach the open countryside at the higher altitudes.

I sat in a lovely sheltered spot near to where the second photo was taken and ate my sandwiches. It was then a lovely walk down to the Edale road. A short stretch of walking along the road was required until I picked up a footpath again and headed off to Hope.

There are a couple of interesting, eclectic shops at Hope; I'm more interested in the cafes and tearooms though. The Adventure Cafe was closed today, the Old Hall Tearooms were very busy as was the small Grasshopper Cafe; I did manage to find somewhere to sit outside at the Courtyard Cafe though. I had plenty of time to entire my pot of tea and a large piece of lemon shortbread before I had to catch the bus back to Sheffield.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Norton, Little Smeaton, Kirk Smeaton, Womersley, Walden Stubbs, Balne, Fenwick, and Askern

I've not been able to get away to go walking this week because of a couple of routine medical appointments; it's all good news though - nothing for me to worry about. 

The weather today has been fine since mid-morning; initially not very good for photography...but things did improve - I was keen to try out my new [secondhand] camera for the first time. So far my assessment of the camera is that it isn't as good as the other one which I lost; it especially seems to struggle a bit under low light conditions.

Tomorrow's weather forecast is for bright sunshine all day, so I'm planning to go to the Peak District and take plenty of photos...there wasn't really a lot to point my camera at today.

I waited for the rain to just about stop and then walked to the bus station and caught the first bus heading in a northerly direction. It was the Pontefract bus, which I travelled on to Norton. I got off a stop too early for the walk I'd been planning as I was travelling on the bus, and so had to walk down the village street for a short distance until I reached the first footpath - a snicket between the gardens in a housing estate.

It was only a few minutes and then I was walking in the countryside, heading northwards towards the River Went, which marks the boundary between South Yorkshire and North Yorkshire.  It was still drizzling a bit but I could see the better weather approaching from the west.

I used the very narrow footbridge and followed the river upstream to Little Smeaton, and then along the road to Kirk Smeaton, the village that's the furthest south in North Yorkshire.

After visiting the churchyard and eating my sandwiches I retraced my footsteps back to the Pontefract road, which I then walked along for a few hundred yards until I took a footpath northwards again, to Womersley. 

I walked through the village, heading east, then south east as I joined the footpath that would eventually lead to Walden Stubbs. There was a wooden footbridge I needed to cross over which was old, broken, rotten, mouldy, rickety and rather unsafe - it creaked and moved as I slowly, and cautiously stepped on it.

I obviously arrived safely at Walden Stubbs, but got lost beyond the village; the path was at first very well marked, but then it wasn't - I had to jump over a deep and wide drainage ditch...and landed in some nettles.  

I wasn't sure how far north I was when I reached the main Doncaster to Selby road, but after studying the map decided that there was more likely to be a footpath heading where I wanted to go further north, than further south. I wanted to minimise the length of time I was walking along this busy and dangerous road with no causeway, and not much of a grass verge in places either.

The path was pretty much where I was hoping it would be: after about a mile I reached a couple of farms at Balne - Balne is nothing more than a collection of scattered farms and houses across a quite large area. I then walked along a narrow country lane until I reached my next footpath, but decided to chicken out because of three inquisitive horses, an electric fence, and a very muddy field - it wasn't really any further continuing along the lane.

There was a good view of the East Coast Main Line as I was walking towards Fenwick; six of the seven trains I saw were diesel - I don't know how unusual this was, if at all, but I would have thought that the majority of the trains using this stretch of track would be electric.

I didn't go into the main part of the village, instead I turned right and walked down the road to Askern, and then took a footpath that's a short cut across the fields. 

I had twenty minutes to wait for my bus back to town, but I arrived at the perfect time to pick up a couple of very cheap sandwiches from M&S and three large roasted chickens for a fiver from the butcher's...oh, and also to get a good view of a cat fight between two gangs of young women at the end of my street.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Hathersage Booths, Eyam, Stoney Middleton, Calver, Curbar, and Baslow

It's not been a good day for me - I lost my camera somewhere towards the end of the obviously there won't be any photographs featuring on today's update. Losing the camera isn't as bad news as it might have been though; I bought it secondhand a couple of years ago and recently have been having problems with it - I think damp has got into the electronics because several of the camera's functions haven't been working properly, or even at all. I'm disappointed that I've lost today's images and the memory card though. Things could have been a lot worse; I might have lost my wallet, or my keys, or my mobile phone.

What I'm thinking is that I must have lost the camera when I reached a particularly difficult stile and decided to put it in a pocket. I would usually put it in one of the chest pockets of my anorak, but because of their poor design I must have used one of my trouser that doesn't zip up, meaning that the camera will have fallen out when I lifted up my leg to climb over the stile.

My anorak is a good one; it would have been expensive to buy new, although I bought it for a couple of Pounds from a charity shop. It's made by Regatta, a reputable company. Having written that though, the design of the pockets is awful. The zips are in the wrong place and the pockets are facing the wrong direction. For me personally I need the zips to be in the centre and the pockets facing outwards, not the other way round. When I'm wearing practically anything else I'm easily able to zip and unzip the breast pockets and reach in with one hand and remove or put back in the only takes a few seconds...that's all. However, with this anorak  I needed two hands to perform this basic task, and my right shoulder is a bit stuff and sore and so when I had to reach, and stretch, over, up, across, and round whilst simultaneously tugging with the other hand to pull the material tight so that the zip would work I was suffering quite a bit of discomfort...and so stopped doing it.

I'm very disappointed with Regatta; I expected a lot better.

With the clocks going back to GMT in the early hours of this morning it meant that I had an extra hour to get ready. I didn't need it though; the only extra task I needed to do was to make sure I was wearing my watch which is set to the correct time zone; I can't cope with changing the time on a watch twice a year so I have two watches instead; one set to GMT for the winter season and the other set to BST for the summer months.

It was quite cloudy when I left home early this morning but by the time I'd stepped off the bus at the Millstone Inn the weather was glorious...and it stayed that way all day.

I walked down to the river, through woods and across meadows, stopping in several places to take photographs. I then reached the Grindleford road; something delicious was being cooked at the Leadmill Inn as I passed it before turning right and up the hill towards the hamlet of Leam. I was soon walking across Eyam Moor and after a few minutes stopped to eat my sandwiches at one of my favourite spots in the Peak District, with a wonderfully satisfying view of Hathersage, Stanage Edge, Millstone Edge, and the distant moors. Once I'd got up and started walking again I stopped a few times and turned to look behind me to continue enjoying the view and taking more photographs.

It wasn't long until I reached Eyam; both of the tearooms were busy and I wasn't prepared to queue so I headed straight for Mill Lane and then Stoney Middleton.

I didn't stay long at Stoney Middleton either; there isn't a cafe there. I located a footpath which was new to me and came out onto the road just north of Calver. The cafe at Calver seemed equally as busy as the tearooms in Eyam; in fact it's been quite a while since I've seen so many people walking in the Peak District.

Curbar is right next to Calver; I walked up through the village and found my next footpath merely by chance - I hadn't studied the map yet; I was planning to use a path further up the hill. Half of the route from Curbar to Baslow I hadn't walked along before, but this path eventually joined a more familiar alignment. On the approach to Baslow two large horses were standing and blocking the way at a gate - fortunately their owner was in the field and was able to help.

Everything went according to plan on my journey home until I was walking down my street and reached into my pocket for the house keys and then realised that I couldn't find my camera.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Autumn Colours At Sprotbrough

Marshall, my regular support worker who I usually see on a Thursday, hurt his back earlier this week whilst watching TV and so I was allocated a different person...and she could only see me today. It's been a lovely day and so we spent a couple of hours at Sprotbrough, one of my favourite local spots. Of course I would have preferred to have gone walking in the Peak District, but I'm required to see a support worker every week and it would have been difficult for me to cancel...especially since I need someone to go to the hospital with me next week for my routine bowel cancer screening test; a rather unpleasant procedure.