Sunday, July 15, 2012

Miller's Dale, Chelmorton, Taddington, Sheldon, and Bakewell.

The bus was re-routed round Sheffield City Centre again today; this time the cause was hundreds of jogging women all wearing pink. I was only ten minutes late arriving at Miller's Dale though.

I walked down the lane, over the bridge and climbed up through the woods to soon reach the Monsal Trail. I turned right, headed over the viaduct and quickly arrived at the old railway station where I went to the toilet, bought a cup of tea and ate my sandwiches.

Just a few hundred yards beyond the station there are some very impressive ruins of limekilns. I climbed the path up to the top and took a photograph, and then explored the bottom, where you can actually go right inside. The pictures I took inside didn't come out very well; but the view you get from the Trail is spectacular...somehow reminiscent of something the Aztecs might have built.






The Trail then passes over a bridge which is very popular with abseilers; I don't know far down the drop is, but there were at least a couple of dozen people there in organised groups today.

I then saw a notice stating that the Monsal Trail will be closed to all users on August 1st and 2nd due to the Park & Ride scheme which will be operation for the Bakewell Show - I think they run buses along the route.

Next up was Chee Tor Tunnel, and then two much shorter tunnels, Chee Tor Number 2 Tunnel and Rusher Cutting Tunnel; both short enough so as to not require any lighting.

I got off the Monsal Trail at Blackwell Mill Cottages and walked down the track to the carpark at Topley Pike; the furthest west point of the walk, and the furthest west I've been on my walks since I started writing the blog. Through the trees to my right I could first hear, and then glimpse, one of the long quarry trains...it was rattling a lot, so I assume it was empty.

I crossed the main trunk road and then took the footpath which skirts Topley Pike Quarry. The quarry is well screened and there is some nice countryside here. Along one section the path climbs steeply out of the valley and I had to be careful because there were a lot of limestone rocks: limestone is always slippery, even when dry.

I then walked across meadows, fields and tracks until I reached Chelmorton, a village I have never visited before; and hadn't even heard of until planning the walk a few days earlier. The last few hundred yards into Chelmorton are part of the Midshires Way; a long distance footpath I didn't think I'd be walking along today. Along this section I also noticed that the word ENGLAND had been placed on the hillside. The lettering was large and had probably been formed by removing the topsoil to expose the limestone underneath. It wouldn't be that prominent from a distance though...maybe it's not finished yet.

I didn't go right into the village; I turned left and walked uphill, stopping briefly for a glass of Diet Coke/Pepsi at the pub across from the church.

The house next to the pub had what I would consider to be a linguistically interesting name.



'High Low' is a fairly common topographical name in Derbyshire though.

I then had a steady climb up a lane and then walked across open grassy fields to reach Taddington. I didn't walk along the main road, but turned right, along a minor road and then a path heading in an easterly direction towards Deep Dale.

I descended into Deep Dale and then climbed up the other side; fortunately it isn't its deepest at this point. A level path alongside grassy fields comes out just before Sheldon. I barely entered the village, taking the first path on my right; signposted towards Magpie Mine. I didn't visit the mine; I've been there before and it was getting quite late.

In the vicinity of Magpie Mine there's a dense network of criss-crossing footpaths. I managed to navigate myself across this section and ended up on a lovely stretch of unchallenging footpath across gently rolling pastoral countryside until I reached the road which goes down into Bakewell, where I arrived with enough time to visit the toilets and buy some refreshments.

In conclusion, it was a lovely day; the weather was mainly sunny, and certainly not too hot; the walk was at least twelve miles long, probably one the longest walks featured on the blog...and I certainly ventured the furthest west since I started writing about my walking in the Peak District.