Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Calton Lees, Beeley Hilltop, Robin Hood and Baslow.

I glimpsed my first snow of the winter today: as I was sitting on the bus travelling across the moors towards Fox House the sunlight was illuminating the remnants of last week's snowfall on the higher ground of Kinder Scout and the Great Ridge. There was, however, no snow underfoot where I was walking today; it was just a bit frosty and icy.

I got off the bus just beyond Calton Lees and walked up the lane to Beeley Hilltop. The sun was at just the right angle to light up the countryside and cast dramatic shadows in the direction of Chatsworth Park. This photograph was taken looking towards Edensor Church.



Not far beyond Beeley Hilltop the lane deteriorates and becomes nothing more than a bridleway. After about a mile I reached the boundary of access land and walked across Beeley Moor towards Hob Hurst's House. The site is very disappointing, but the information board explains everything.


It was then a steady descent along the western fringe of Gibbet Moor. The Chesterfield road soon came into view and I noticed a footpath sign. When I was close enough to read it, it was going in the direction of Robin Hood. The footpath wasn't marked on the map, but it was well established and so I decided to follow it.

I was aware that there was quite a substantial beck at the bottom of the valley, just below and before the road. No footbridge or even stepping stones were indicated, but I wasn't concerned because these features quite often don't appear on Ordnance Survey maps.

When the path reached the beck it continued following the bank, becoming quite overgrown in places. It wasn't long until I could see the Robin Hood Inn, just a few yards away; but I couldn't reach it because a deep ditch, a fast flowing beck, a tall drystone wall with what looked to be barbed wire on top...and a road, were all in the way.

I had planned to continue beyond Robin Hood and visit Nelson's Monument and the Three Ships rocks on Birchen Edge and eventually finishing the walk at Calver. Obviously I needed to change my plan; the weather had become cloudy by now and a few degrees colder than when I set off, and so I decided to continue towards the northern perimeter of Chatsworth Park and then catch the bus at Baslow Nether End.