Monday, March 5, 2012

Bolsterstone, High Bradfield, Holdworth and Hillsborough



For a change today, I caught the bus to Barnsley instead of the train to Sheffield. By making this choice it opens up new areas of the northern Peak District for me to walk.

I got off the bus at Bolsterstone, a village at one time famous for its male voice choir; I had to check online though to confirm that it's still in existence. The village would make an excellent location for a meal break during a walk starting elsewhere; it has a pub and there are plenty of benches situated in the centre of the village, near the church.

I left the village and took the road that leads downhill towards Broomhead Reservoir, soon locating the path that continues down through woodland, to arrive at the dam wall. After struggling to find the gate that would allow me access to the path across the dam wall, I walked a few yards and then realised that if I sat down on the concrete I would be sheltered from the wind, and so took a while to eat my sandwiches there.

I then continued across the rest of the dam wall, turned right along the track running along the southern shore of the reservoir, and after a few yards, rather fewer than I had expected after studying the map, took a steep path uphill through more woodland.

Next, I crossed a lane and continued walking in a southerly direction, still climbing, though not as steep now, and across more open country, until I reached a minor road, which I had previously walked along in the opposite direction. After a few hundred yards I took the footpath leading to White Lee Moor: there were good views westwards as far as Win Hill; and the geologically interesting Canyards Hills could be studied from high ground.

I soon reached another road, but just crossed it and continued across grassy moorland, then struggled down a steep path to reach Rocher Head. The next section was through woodland again, and later along the base of a quite impressive cliff, which seemed natural to me, but isn't named on the Ordnance Survey map...this usually being a clue that it might actually be an old quarry face - but there's no hint at that being the case though.

I then tried to locate a waterfall which is marked on the map; I'm sure I could hear it in the distance at the bottom of a ravine, but somehow seemed to circumnavigate it. Just before reaching the church at High Bradfield I crossed an area where some trees had been felled; although it was a bit of a blot on the landscape, it has at least temporarily opened up new vistas; and new saplings have been planted.

The village is pretty, with some excellent floral displays, even this early in the season.



After leaving the village, I climbed over the highest ladder stile I have ever come across and started walking along a section of  the Sheffield Country Walk. At a farm I was joined by another puzzled walker as we looked for the route of the path through the farm yard. For the next two miles or so we chatted about everything and nothing until we parted ways as soon as we reached the houses at Hillsborough.

The next settlement reached was Holdworth, located just outside the borders of the National Park and thus subject to less vigorous planning regulations...and you could tell.

It wasn't long and then we were walking along the periphery of Hillsborough Golf Club and then Loxley Common and Wadsley Common, areas of what looked like mainly woodland and heathland to me.

After saying goodbye to the other hiker I walked down steep streets on housing estates to reach the main road near to the Leppings Lane tram stop.