Sunday, July 1, 2012

Ashopton, Hope Cross, Edale End, and Hope.

I got off the bus and walked over Ashopton Viaduct; the cold wind was very noticeable, and my two shirts and thick fleece were barely adequate...later on, it was even colder on higher, more exposed ground; and then it started raining.

The day started well though; I was soon climbing up to higher ground to get good views of the viaduct and reservoir; it became much murkier later on though.

It's several months since I've made this quite steep, if not too challenging climb, and certainly noticed a significant improvement in my level of fitness: if it wasn't for my stopping to take photographs I possibly could have managed the entire climb of about 450 foot without a break.

The path skirts to the north of Crook Hill and then I took another footpath looping back to the south and heading down to the Snake Pass road through woodland. As I was leaving the area of access land I noticed this sign which doesn't make it very clear that this is where for the rest of the way you need to stick to the footpath - I had to pause and check my map to make sure I was in the right place. I think the wording needs re-phrasing a bit though - it's not obvious that this is actually a right of way.



I then needed to walk along the major trunk road for a few minutes; something I would have preferred not to do, but there was no other way. I soon reached the footpath though, and walked down to the River Ashop and then up the other side of the valley through a dense pine forest to reach Hope Cross. If it wasn't for the low cloud and drizzle, the views from here would be impressive.

I then continued towards the ford at Jaggers Clough and then took the concessionary footpath through Backside Wood. To my left, looking up towards Hope Brink, in places I could see that large areas of the hillside were covered in purple foxgloves.



I popped into the information barn and emergency shelter at Edale End. This resource is always well-maintained, with plenty of up-to-date leaflets and information.




By this time I was wary of the time, knowing when the bus departs from Hope. I'd had enough of the miserable weather and so just wanted to get home. It didn't take too long to reach the Edale road and then I walked across fields next to the River Noe, along the road for a few yards and then along footpaths back to the village, walking over a footbridge which crosses over the railway line which goes to Hope Cement Works.



Travelling eastwards on the bus it was obvious that the day had been much drier in Hathersage, and it might not have even rained at all in Sheffield. When I got off the train in Doncaster it was actually sunny; my timing was perfect though, as I walked past the butcher's shop just outside the Frenchgate Centre they were selling off produce at reduced prices - I bought four whole cooked chickens for a fiver - they should last me a few days.