Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Rowsley, Beeley, Calton Lees, Calton Houses, and Edensor.
Today didn't get off to a good start: as I was pulling up my trousers in the gents' toilets at Sheffield Railway Station my buckle broke off my belt, and so I had to do an emergency repair with the lanyard from my GPS...which I hoped would last me the day.
Unfortunately, as I stood up to get off the bus at Rowsley I was aware that my trousers were struggling to stay up. I popped into the shop, as I would have anyhow, and the owner cut me a length of string to tie my trousers up with - I also bought a carton of milk...as planned. Since the New Year I've been on an informal, unplanned diet, merely cutting back on chocolate, biscuits and cake, and have lost about half a stone; or two inches round my waistline...very noticeable, and yet inconvenient when there's nothing holding up your trousers which are now a size too large.
The footpath was right next to the shop and led up along a lane and then through woodland, quite steep in places; but with lovely views of the Derwent Valley along the lower, more open, section.
I then looped downhill into the village of Beeley. Like Edensor, Pilsley and Calton Lees it's one of the estate villages; situated on land belonging to Chatsworth House. There are many buildings in these villages where all the external paintwork is the same colour, a pleasant blue-green which blends in well with the landscape. I think these properties are owned by the estate, and are likely to be tied cottages for the estate workers...or holiday lets.
Just before reaching Beeley I noticed something quite strange; a 'dead' rodent - it looked like a bat to me - which had somehow been melted onto a gatepost...I'm assuming it was a plastic toy: but someone had spent a bit of time and effort putting it there.
The next section, to Calton Lees, was very flat; along the floodplain of the River Derwent. I stopped to take a photograph of what seemed to me, to be an interesting juxtaposition of a thistle and a dead tree.
The track up to Calton Houses is a gentle climb, followed by a steeper section up to what I judge to be the highest point on today's walk; one of the tumuli on Calton Pastures. I stopped here to eat my sandwiches and admire the view in front of me; without looking at the map I could identify the Hunting Tower at Chatsworth, and Beeley Moor...and most of the route I had already walked.
I continued to the road, just before Ballcross Farm, and turned right and then took the track down into Edensor; where I only had to wait a couple of minutes for the bus: I thought I would have had a bit of time to spare though.