Thursday, February 11, 2016

Chatsworth House, Harewood House, or Haddon Hall?

I'm considering buying a season ticket for one of these three attractions. 

Although I regularly visit Chatsworth Park when I'm walking I've never actually been inside the house, or wandered around the extensive formal gardens. The price of a season ticket is £75, less than the price of four day tickets.  

A season ticket for Harewood House is only £30, but it's not as easy for me to get there, and I don't think it's likely to be as good as Chatsworth.

My third option is Haddon Hall, just down the road from Bakewell, but requiring two buses to reach from Sheffield. A season ticket here is even cheaper, only £28, but it's much smaller than the other two stately homes and I don't think it has the touring exhibitions that there are at Chatsworth.

One additional benefit that Chatsworth House offers is the ability to add a friend to my membership, either an extra £35 for a named person, or £60 for an un-named person. My brother will be visiting me later this morning and I'll ask him if he's interested; the other more expensive option might be useful if my friend wants to go a few times with me...and of course I could also go for a day out with my support worker - although I'm having problems with getting my care package renewed at the moment.

I've not even decided to even sign up for a season ticket yet...anywhere. Harewood House would be the logical choice, taking advantage of the fact that I can use my free travel pass to go on the train to Leeds, something that might not be available to me in the future. However, Chatsworth offer of an additional person adding to my membership at a discount is very attractive and tempting. I shall have to find out what my brother and my friend have to say.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

From The Archives; Bretton

Bretton is a hamlet at the top of Eyam Edge. The photograph shows the 'Barrel Inn' which is the highest pub in Derbyshire. It's not the highest pub in The Peak District though, that's 'The Cat And Fiddle Inn' in Cheshire.

To the north is 'Bretton Clough' a deep wooded valley. Many years ago I stumbled as I was descending into the clough and severely sprained and twisted my ankle.

One convenient thing about The Barrel Inn is that the toilets are just inside the doorway so it's easy to pop in without being noticed.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Baslow, Beeley, and Chatsworth House

I got off the bus at Baslow Nether End and walked along the lane to reach Chatsworth Park, where I immediately climbed up the hill towards the woods. After a few minutes I was treated to my closest view ever of the deer that live in the park. I didn't venture any closer though, this photograph was taken using the zoom lens.

As I gained altitude I knew that the view behind me would improve with every step, the shots I took made all the better by the glistening snow on the higher hills; there are still plenty of sheep in the photographs - they don't seem to mind the deer at all.

By eleven o'clock I had reached the Hunting Tower; there's a seat with a lovely view up here, so I decided to stay a while and eat my sandwiches. I was joined by several well-fed robins keen to feast on any crumbs I dropped.

I continued through the rest of the woodland and then across Beeley Moor, all familiar territory for me. When I reached Beeley Plantation I took the path that goes through it, a route I haven't taken before. After only a few dozen yards there's no definitive route, paths regularly lead off taking alternative routes either down to the stream at the bottom, or uphill to the main track which runs alongside the perimeter wall. I had to cope with a couple of difficult descents; part way down the first one my friend in Leeds phoned me and so I answered and sat down on a rock to get comfortable. There was a small group of hikers who were concerned that I might have fallen - it's good to know that people care. I would have liked to spend time talking to them but the conversation with my friend was quite intense and so I just acknowledged them and said I was okay.

The approach to Beeley from this direction affords lovely views of the large hill behind the village; it can be seen in the photographs I took later in the churchyard. I didn't waste the opportunity to enjoy a pot of tea and a warmed fruit scone with butter and marmalade at The Old Smithy Cafe and Gallery in the village. I think this is the first cafe or tearooms that I've seen which incorporates the word 'gallery' in its actual name, but most places where I eat that aren't pubs are also small galleries offering work for sale by local artists, sculptors,  and photographers. I wonder if this happens in other areas?

It's an easy, and delightful walk along the riverside pastures back to Chatsworth House, where I intended to end the walk. 

When I reached the House, both sets of public toilets were closed for renovation works...surely this is bad planning? I walked over to the bus stop and found out that a bus wasn't due back to Sheffield for twenty five minutes, enough time to walk back to Baslow...where there are toilets.

My walk back to Baslow was disturbed by two very low flying military helicopters that were jet black, large, and very noisy and intimidating; a few minutes later they were followed by another, smaller helicopter. This is the second time I've obsessed military helicopters doing this: I'm assuming the pilots use the Derwent Valley to practise their low level attack manoeuvres.  

Monday, February 1, 2016

240,000 Steps

According to my pedometer I walked 240,000 steps in January, that's about 20% above the UK average for men. I only managed to fit in two walks and so I expect that I'm more likely to reach a higher number in subsequent months.  

Friday, January 29, 2016

Walker's Show Gardens, Blaxton

It's been lovely weather this afternoon, so Marshall, my support worker, suggested a trip out to the airport, and then Walker's Show Gardens. We ate our sandwiches in the car, parked up with a good view of the runway and saw a private jet take off and a scheduled flight land. We then moved on to the gardens, one of my favourite places on a sunny afternoon.