Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Derbyshire Lake District: Fairholmes, Yorkshire Bridge and Bamford.

For today's walk I went to an area which is informally and unofficially referred to as Derbyshire's 'Lake District' - due to the large amount of water in the three reservoirs of the Upper Derwent Valley.

I got off the bus and walked to the visitor centre, used the toilets and went to the east tower of the Derwent Dam to take some photographs. The dam is an impressive structure, but none of my photographs could adequately show this. I then doubled back for a couple of hundred yards and climbed up the path through the wood to the western tower.

Inside the western tower there is a small museum dedicated to the 'Dambusters Squadron' which used these dams to practise flying low and dropping 'bouncing bombs'  in preparation for their attack on the Ruhr Valley Dams in Germany during the Second World War.

Nearby there are two memorials; one to the airmen and one to a very loyal dog - the inscription tells the story of 'Tip.'

I then continued along the track which runs alongside the western shore of the reservoir and after about a mile took a steep footpath up through the conifer plantation; eventually leading to a point where four footpaths meet. I chose to take the one leading westwards, going parallel to the Snake Pass road, which I crossed about a mile later just beyond Rowlee Farm. There were some spectacular views ahead of me on this section of the walk.

I was now approaching the headwaters of one of the arms of Ladybower Reservoir. It's just about the best time of the year for heather, so I took some photos featuring it.

As you can see from the next photo, the water level in the reservoir is quite low.

I continued through woodland and then a track suitable for vehicles until I reached the Ladybower Dam, the furthest South of the Upper Derwent Valley Dams, the newest, and the least spectacular (it's only earthen).

Finally I walked down the road to Bamford, passing Yorkshire Bridge en route.