Monday, April 30, 2012

Matlock, Bonsall, Upper Town, Winster, Brightgate...and back to Matlock.

I recently read on an online forum that barriers and turnstiles have now been installed at the toilets at Sheffield Interchange and so remembered to have a pee first in the railway station toilets on platform 4 which are still free to use, unlike the ones in the concourse.

You'd think that the last places which needed turnstiles installing would be railway and bus stations. It's nothing to do with the money..have someone holding a bucket for us to throw our loose change into if you must, but it's the delay and the inconvenience that's the problem; some people will be in a hurry and the extra time required to fish for the current amount out of your pocket or purse and then feed it into the slot...well, it's not helping, is it?

Rant over: now on to today's walk.

I got off the bus in Matlock outside the park, it saves a few minutes by not going into the bus station, and I  was able to use the toilets. It's then only a short walk to the railway station where the Limestone Way begins, leading up an adjacent street. After not much more than a hundred yards I suppose, I passed through a squeeze hole and was in open countryside; a lovely grassy meadow covered in a carpet of dandelions. Apart from the dandelions, which seemed to be almost everywhere I spotted many more varieties of wildflowers during today. I'm in no way an expert, but, in addition to the dandelions, I could identify daisies, bluebells, speedwell, lesser celandine and wood anemones.

As a climbed higher the views behind me of Matlock just kept getting better, so I stopped to eat my sandwiches: a couple of pork pies and chocolate-covered coconut macaroons actually.

I followed the Limestone Way until I reached Bonsall; arriving at the former Market Place, which looks as though at one time there might have been maybe half a dozen or so shops there: only one remains now, some sort of fashion or craft shop...and the pub. Of course, the old Market Cross is still there, and I managed to get a decent photograph of it today, by cropping out most of the parked cars.

The village of Upper Town is less than a mile away across fields and Winster is about another two miles, across more fields and meadows. I popped into the Post Office and bought a can of dandelion and burdock to drink - somehow it seemed appropriate.

I then walked along the road towards Wensley for about a mile, then took a path leading uphill across the grassy hillocks which are tailings of some old mine workings.

I soon reached the hamlet of Brightgate where I noticed that a spectacular flower, which might be a wildflower, or possibly a garden escapee because I didn't see it anywhere else, was growing all over the place. I took a couple of photographs hoping someone might be able to identify it for me, but both were out of focus.

The final couple of miles down into Matlock are quite pleasant, apart from the final stretch along the by-pass. I had to wait fifty minutes for the bus back to had some fish and chips. Very nice.