Sunday, August 14, 2011

Castleton, Hope, Aston, Thornhill, Bamford and Hathersage.

Today I walked the entire length of the Hope Valley; it's not far, only being just over seven miles by the route I chose - but it's something I hadn't done before.

I got off the bus and immediately popped into the toilets next to the bus station, and then walked down the road, away from the village centre, passing Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Inn.

Somewhere in the photo, partially hidden by a hanging basket is a sign that states that 'Dirty Boots Are Welcome.' This is a positive development, and not all that unusual  in the Peak District these days.

It wasn't long until I reached the footpath that leads back to Hope. This is an easy, pleasant walk across meadows where I sat awhile and ate my sandwiches. At this point I was passed by three organised walking/hiking groups - a large one, and two smaller groups. At Hope I had to walk along the main road for a few hundred yards but then took a country lane which leads to Aston. My route to the village soon took me across more fields though.

A bit more walking on the road but then back to a path which went all the way to Thornhill, and then Bamford. At Bamford I crossed the River Derwent at the mill using a rickety wooden bridge and recently-repaired stepping stones. Bamford Mill closed many years ago and has now been converted into expensive flats.

I was soon crossing Sickleholme Golf Course by a new route to me and then a few more fields and a country lane and I was at Hathersage.