Sunday, March 18, 2012

Blackwell, Flagg, Sheldon, and Bakewell.


Unusually, for a day I had planned to go walking, it was raining when I woke up this morning. The weather forecast was for plenty of warm sunshine later; and I wasn't disappointed.

I got off the bus at Blackwell: the bus doesn't actually go into the hamlet, but the houses are only a field away from the bus-stop. I took the road which leads towards the settlement of Priestcliffe Ditch, following a path across the fields though before I sighted the buildings.

I soon arrived at the main Buxton road, crossed over it and continued across more fields, this time climbing rather steeply uphill though, until I joined the Limestone Way.

I quickly walked along this section of the Limestone Way, mainly along country lanes, until I reached Flagg. What a strange village Flagg is, it must be nearly a mile from one end to the other, but there are actually very few houses. Very little must ever have happened there...well that's my assumption after reading the inscription on this memorial stone...there may be other reasons I suppose.

There were a couple of other strange things I noticed in the village. At the site of the former pub called The Plough there is now a private property inexplicably called 'Plough Station' which consists of a chalet-style bungalow set back from the road and something which I would describe as an art installation; consisting of a small forest of unused flagpoles, a ship's wheel, and random pieces of old agricultural implements and machinery. A few yards further on there's a concrete dog half-buried in the grass verge.

After taking what seemed like a very long time to walk through the village I took the road which forked to the right, and then quickly located the path leading eastwards across grassy fields. I then had a very short length of road to walk along before taking the track the leads down into Deep Dale. I didn't go down into the valley, although it looked very tempting, being perfectly illuminated with the sun being at just the right angle.

I took the path to the right and soon arrived at Sheldon - there were good views of Magpie Pine all along this section. I'd barely entered the village last year on a walk which incorporated a visit to see the substantial ruins of the mine, and so today I got the chance to see all of Sheldon; the one thing I noticed was that the occupants of several farms and smallholdings were offering eggs for sale at the roadside...the eggs were stacked up in cartons and  jam jars or saucers were left to put your money in.

After passing through Sheldon the road led down into Kirk Dale and I took the footpath leading up the other side of the valley. There was a final couple of miles to be covered before reaching Bakewell, arriving in the town just by the church.