Sunday, October 2, 2011

Ashopton, Crook Hill and Eventually to Hope.

Well...this hasn't happened before - I had to stand all the way on the bus to today's destination. Ashopton doesn't really exist anymore, most of the village was abandoned when the valley was flooded by the waters of Ladybower Reservoir in the 1940s; only a few scattered farmsteads remain.

I got off the bus on the main A57 road and walked across the viaduct to try and get some good photos; the lighting conditions were poor though - it was dark and murky and didn't really brighten up until lunchtime.

However; this picture turned out alright I suppose; the water was very still and reflected the shapes of the hillsides like a mirror.


Not long after crossing the viaduct, which takes the road over the northern arm of the reservoir, I turned in to the road which leads all the way up the Upper Derwent Valley, but soon found the first footpath that leads up towards Crook Hill. I was hoping to get good views of both arms of the reservoir from here, but unfortunately the summit isn't high enough. There are good views looking back down towards the viaduct though.

There was a bit of a climb up to Crookhill Farm and then a long section across grassland; including a brief diversion to the summit of the higher peak of Crook Hill.

I  walked alongside a pine plantation, then reached open country with stunning views, and soon descended to reach the Snake Pass road.



Next I had to climb up the other side of the valley, through another pine plantation to reach Hope Cross and then follow the Roman Road down to Hope; arriving with plenty of time to pop in the shop and enjoy a soothing pot of tea at one of the tearooms.

The journey on the bus into Sheffield was uneventful, however the journey on the train to Doncaster was very uncomfortable. There were only two carriages and we were packed in like sardines, having to stand in the aisles and gangways; so much so that the guard announced that the first class compartment had been declassified to allow a few extra people to sit down. The system for first class passengers to claim a refund seemed rather complicated and unfair though.