Monday, November 30, 2015

Recollections Of My Earlier Walking Days.

I was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome in July 2009 and received my free travel pass a few weeks later, meaning that I'm now able to regularly go walking in the Peak District, or elsewhere. I didn't start writing this blog about my walks and days out until nearly a year later and during that earlier period I was doing pretty much what I'm doing now when it comes to walking. 

The only other time I went walking during the previous few years was when a small group of my schoolfriends, who I'd not seen for many years, was doing some quite long training walks in preparation for a challenge walk on the North York Moors; the White Rose Walk from the White Horse at Kilburn to Roseberry Topping. I can recall doing a walk in Nidderdale, based at Pateley Bridge and visiting the villages of Ramsgill, Lofthouse, and Middlesmoor. We also did a section of the Cleveland Way from Robin Hood's Bay to Whitby, and back, and a walk along the first section of the planned challenge walk in the North York 
Moors, from Kilburn to Osmotherley...obviously, with this being a linear walk we took two cars. I went along for the actual challenge walk but only did a couple of the sections; I don't like walking in the dark, or against the clock either.

Many years ago, over twenty in fact, I did complete a couple of challenge walks, the Lyke Wake Walk and the Shepherd's Round, both on the North York Moors as well. I can't remember doing any training for these at all; we were a lot younger and fitter then though.

I can't recall the exact details, but I also went to Bolton Abbey with some friends and we walked up onto the moors.

Apart from the last six years my most intense period of walking was in the years after I'd left school. There was a regular group of three or four of us who would go walking nearly every Saturday in the Peak District, taking two buses to get there from the pit village where we lived...we also took a dog with us. 

After a couple of years one of the lads got a car, a rather cramped Mini. This opened up new opportunities for us though, new areas of the Peak District...and the Yorkshire Wolds. In the Peak District I can remember walking in Dovedale and the Manifold Valley, and in the Wolds, Huggate and Millington [I think] seem to be familiar names.

I'm not sure if I'm remembering this correctly, but I'm convinced I was at Monsal Head at the time of both the Hillsborough Disaster and the Bradford City fire, and I always get a little melancholic when I'm there, associating such a beautiful place with so much death and tragedy. 

The only other period of regular walking I did was when an inexpensive rover ticket for travelling on the trains in West Yorkshire was introduced and myself and my brother would go walking on Ilkley Moor and areas of the Pennines beyond Halifax and Huddersfield.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sebaceous Cysts

I had hoped to go walking this weekend but I've got two large sebaceous cysts in my groin area which are quite sore when I walk, due to rubbing and chafing.

It was a lovely day yesterday in the Peak District, sunny and dry, yet the first snow of the winter had fallen overnight. The weather forecast for today is decent as well, but I'm having to stay at home. I read online that sitting for prolonged periods in a hot bath helps to accelerate the healing process, so that's what I'll be doing today.

Friday, November 20, 2015

From The Archives: Buxton

I don't use Buxton as a base for walking, the bus journey from Sheffield takes a hundred minutes and that's too long - I'm shattered when I get off, and it's already quite late in the day. It's also a limited service, only four or five journeys a day, and so if I don't time my return to Buxton right I've then got to worry about alternative ways back to Sheffield, changing buses at either Bakewell or Baslow.

So...I just go to Buxton for a day out and take some photographs. The photograph I've included isn't immediately recognisable as a location in Buxton; it's a church at the back of the Opera House.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Chesterfield and Chatsworth Garden Centre

A day out with my support worker that didn't go exactly to plan...but still ended up being a pleasant visit to the Peak District.

I'd not had a really good look round Chesterfield for a long time and so enjoyed spending some time there, visiting the museum and going inside the church, famous for its 'crooked spire.'

After a stay of about three hours in Chesterfield we moved on to the Peak District, first calling at the Chatsworth Farm Shop at Pilsley. The car park was full, so we didn't stay and decided to drive down the road to the Tea Cottage at Edensor - yet again the car park was full [I don't have this problem to contend with when I'm on a walk]. There was room at the garden centre though where we lingered over tea and cake - large slices of Bakewell pudding.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Bradfield Area Walk

There's a new bus service from Sheffield City Centre out to Bradfield so I thought I'd catch it today; it only took thirty minutes to arrive at High Bradfield.

As soon as I got off the bus I crossed the road to take my first photograph; I'm not sure if the Tour de France actually came to Bradfield though, I thought it went further north.

I walked through the churchyard and then on past Bailey Hill.

There were quite a few different types of landscape for me to enjoy before I reached the road that leads to the gated access to the moors. This seat would have been a lovely spot to eat my sandwiches, but I'd already eaten them.

I made use of 'Duke Road' to cross the moors; it's quite easy walking conditions and doesn't really require any navigation skills. For part of the way it's a track used by four-wheel-drive vehicles to reach the grouse butts, and further on there's a paved section across the  boggy stretches. Because of the strong wind I found it  quite difficult at times though; I struggled to breathe and was coughing a lot.

I arrived at Back Tor unscathed, but decided not to climb up to reach the trig point.

After a few hundred yards I turned left, starting my return to Bradfield, taking the track that leads down to the road, then continued along a path high above Dale Dike reservoir.

I finished the walk at Low Bradfield after walking along the road for about a mile.

All of today's walk was in just the one parish, Bradfield Parish; it's a large parish, possibly the largest in England - I'm not certain though.