Sunday, December 4, 2016

Calver, Curbar, Owler Bar, and Totley

When I was waiting on the platform at Doncaster Station this morning I noticed that new signage had been put up showing Platform 0, even though this additional platform at Doncaster isn't in operation yet.

Terminating services from Hull and Scunthorpe will be using the platform, which is completely separate to the rest of the station so that these trains won't be interfering with traffic on the busy East Coast Main Line. Unfortunately I can't use my free travel pass beyond Thorne in this direction: I like Hull and would be going there a lot if I could. I would be using the city as a base for exploring the Yorkshire Wolds.

My train to Sheffield ran on schedule and the bus out to the Peak District was on time too. I got off at Calver and walked up the track and then through the woods to Hare Knoll. There are some lovely panoramic views up here.

The path descended to the river at New Bridge, which I crossed over then walked on the other bank for a couple of hundred yards before finding the path which climbs up to the northern part of Curbar. I walked north along the road, then took the footpath which cuts through the woods and comes out quite high up on the climb to Curbar Gap on the road. Before reaching the road I stopped to talk to a fellow walker for about ten minutes about local accents; I didn't mention that he had a large globule of transparent snot precariously dangling from the tip of his looked quite striking as it glistened when the sunlight caught it.

Whilst still down by the river I spent a few seconds reading this notice and pondering what word has been erased; what activity can I now do which I wasn't allowed to previously?

When I reached the road I still had a bit more height to gain though before joining the path which runs along the top of Baslow Edge. I turned left just past the Eagle Stone and later spent a bit of time photographing the Highland cattle...I love the Highland cattle.

I found a path through the boggy parts of Big Moor which took me to the track leading to the cottage at Barbrook Reservoir. I then walked along the main Sheffield to Bakewell road, first to Owler Bar, and then the bus terminus at Totley.

As I approached the terminus I saw that a bus was waiting and so I started to jog. All this movement caused my pelvic muscles to do something that I don't understand causing my trousers to drop down to my knees; I grabbed them, and held onto them for the rest of the day. I've got a sufficiently long length of string in my ruscksack to hold up my trousers, but I didn't want to draw unwanted attention to myself.

I'm very happy to be losing so much weight, and I still need to lose more, but I'm starting to worry about possibly having problems when my weight has reached its optimum and I'm still needing to be on the maximum dose of metformin to keep my blood sugar levels low.

The mixed game pie which I bought at Matlock yesterday and I'm going to have for my supper should help me replace some calories.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Matlock Victorian Christmas Market 2016

A day out with my friend Justin today; as usual it took quite a bit of organising and planning.

The bus arrived on time at Matlock at 11:05. We got off at Hall Leys Park, went to the toilets and then crossed the road and had fish and chips before the restaurant got busy. We then returned to the park, where the Victorian Christmas Market was being held.

We didn't spend very long at the market though, I would have liked to linger but Justin was keen to visit all the charity shops and a couple of the antiques centres. There are, I think, eight charity shops and it least that number of antiques centres.

We did each buy a large mixed game pie at the market. As I was expecting there was some lovely and unusual food on display; the highlights which I'm able to remember were giant fruited scones infused with either apple or orange juice, penguin pie, and wild beaver pie. I was tempted...I really was tempted, but then looked down and saw how baggy my clothes are looking these days and thought the better of it - I've lost nearly three stones, hopefully with more weight loss to come. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Great Hucklow, Bretton, Highcliffe, Eyam, Stoney Middleton, Calver, Bubnell, and Baslow

The bus was ten minutes late leaving Sheffield Interchange this morning; this was the first time in a long while I can remember TM Travel letting me down. The driver managed to make up a few minutes though by the time I got off at Great Hucklow - there's plenty of slack in the timetable.

Several local residents were busily putting up the final few of the Christmas trees that will line the entire length of the main road through the village. I counted twenty three already in place, some of them decorated; when everything's finished it will be spectacular to look at. It will probably rival the lights at Castleton; Great Hucklow isn't a touristy village though, there's only the pub to visit.

I climbed up through Great Hucklow Wood to the road, which was closed to traffic because of a recent landslip, continued along the path that goes past the ruins of Silence Mine and then followed a different road to Bretton where I sat and ate my sandwiches on the grassed area across the road from The Barrel Inn. There's a rather difficult to read toposcope placed here to help you appreciate the wonderful view you're looking at. 

I followed the road round to Highcliffe, a hamlet high above Eyam, and then took a slightly different route than on previous occasions down to the village.

In Eyam there's always plenty of colour in the garden at Plague Cottage, not all of it is plastic.

It's a lovely walk over the hill to Stoney Middleton. As I was approaching the village I heard the noise of loud engines and looked up to catch sight of a large low flying military transport aeroplane and a twin rotor heavy lift helicopter.

I had time to take some photographs of the unusual octagonal church and some of the pretty cottages, but not the aircraft.

I continued down to the River Derwent south of Froggatt, there was the best view of the day looking north towards Stoke Hall.

There's a riverside nature reserve at New Bridge to the north of Calver; I stopped to read a couple of interesting display boards about brook lampreys and great crested newts.

The caravan site at Calver is still flooded, and the water frozen over, but everywhere I walked today was fine.

The final stretch of the walk was following the course of the river to Bubnell and finally to the bus stop at Cavendish Bridge. At Bubnell there was more military activity in the sky, this time two large black ops helicopter gunships; they looked, and sounded, very threatening...somewhat out of place in the Peak District.

I found myself walking into the sun for most of the time today; I really should have done the walk in the other direction, but this wasn't possible because of the timing of the buses.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Cutthroat Bridge, Bamford, Thornhill, and Brough

I caught the first available bus to the Peak District from Sheffield this morning, the 273 bus to Castleton. I got off at Cutthroat Bridge, walked along the verge for a few hundred yards and then took the track which leads across Acess Land to the grouse butts on Bamford Moor.

Throughout the day the weather was far better than yesterday; it was only sunny for about an hour though, fortunately when I had the best views as I was looking down to Ladybower Reservoir and Ashopton Viaduct from Bamford Edge, but it wasn't misty, even when it was quite overcast at times.

This first photograph was taken just as the sun was starting to break through the clouds; I'm pointing the camera at where I've just been.

I spent about five minutes waiting for the sun to come out again at the next location, my first proper sight of the reservoir. It remained cloudy, so I moved on.

Maybe only ten minutes later and I was bathed in lovely bright sunshine; the views were magnificent; I think I struggled with the camera a bit though; the photographs seem a bit flat. Although it can't be seen on the photographs, when I was standing here I was able to see my first snow of the winter, a few remaining patches in the deepest and highest up of the gullies near to the top of Kinder Scout on the horizon.

I arrived at the road which climbs up from Bamford and then walked down Bamford Clough, a steep track with a lot of loose stones and debris from a concrete path which was laid many years ago. At both the top and the bottom the route had been blocked at one time; I could easily get past the obstructions...but it means that mountainbikers and off-road motorcyclists are prevented from going this way - probably a good idea.

I popped into the community cafe in Bamford, which shares the building with The Angler's pub, also owned and managed by the local community. I was tempted by the cream tea, costing only £2.85.  I decided to let the metformin tablets do a bit of work for me today; I had hardly any sugar at all yesterday, I ate mainly roast vegetables. I've walked at least ten miles on my two walks this weekend and so the calories won't do too much harm either...I don't want to be losing weight too quickly anyhow.

I crossed over the River Derwent using the bridge and the stepping stones at Bamford Mill.

It was only a short walk across the fields to Thornhill; as I passed the Primitive Methodist Chapel I noticed how primitive indeed they are, or were then, the letter 'Z' on the inscription is written back-to-front.

It was a steady walk downhill to the main Hope Valley trunk road. Yet again my path was blocked, this time it was just probably someone being thoughtless...I just walked straight over it.

I decided to catch the bus back to Sheffield from the bus shelter at Brough and I didn't have long to wait.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Nostell Priory Parkland Walk

The title of today's post was originally meant to be lot longer and feature my visit to the Christmas Craft and Secondhand Book Fair but this was so disappointing that it only lasted for a few seconds. I literally just stepped inside the single room where it was being held, turned round and stepped out again a few seconds later. There were only about a dozen tables there, no stalls or events at all; to say that it was organised by the National Trust it was pathetic - I was expecting a lot more, a lot more to see and do. I did use the toilets though, after a journey of nearly ninety minutes on the bus from Doncaster I needed to go. 

The bus stop was just across the road from one of sets of wrought iron entrance gates into the park. Immediately on the right there's a church, the parish church of the nearby village of Wragby.

It then took my a few minutes to walk to the stable block where the fair was being held.

In one of the buildings there were a few equestrian exhibits to look at.

It's a short walk up to the house; yes, Nostell Priory is a large country house - there used to be a priory on this site in the Middle Ages.

Although it stayed dry and was mild it remained quite misty all the time I was walking in the parkland. I managed to stretch out my walk to about three miles, covering all the parts of the estate which were open. 

At the furthest point from the house there's a structure called The Obelisk, or The Needle's Eye; it used to be the main entrance used by coaches.

I'd returned to the main gates within a couple of hours, I'd seen everything there was to see. I crossed the road and caught a bus which was just about due. It only went as far as South Elmsall but I was able to catch a train back to Doncaster - the timing was convenient.

A rather disappointing day today, both the fair and the weather; I still had a few hours out of the house and got a bit of exercise though. I'm hoping for better weather tomorrow so that I can go walking in the Peak Distriict...I've already prepared my sandwiches.