Sunday, September 16, 2012

Castleton, Little Hucklow, Coplow Dale, and Bradwell.



After having walked through Castleton from the bus station I climbed up the steep grassy slope at the far side of the wooded area next to the castle, to reach the path which goes parallel with, and high above, Cave Dale. Although not signposted, and a challenging climb, this short section is a footpath, the approximate route being depicted on the Ordnance Survey map: certainly, I've come down here before, and seen other people also use the route.

This path merges with the Limestone Way at the top of Cave Dale. I continued for a few minutes before I reached a junction of five footpaths or bridleways and took a route across Old Moor I hadn't previously walked. I was heading in a south-south easterly direction for about two and a half miles, the route at first being a footpath across grasslands, then a track, then a brief section of country road, and finally a green lane; or 'bridleway open to all traffic' - otherwise known as a 'BOAT'.

I then turned left and took the road that leads to Little Hucklow, a village I haven't really explored before. I noticed something that briefly interested me; a garden gate with a very high step leading up to it. You can see from the photograph that the step is nearly as high as the gate, and the gate looked to be a normal size to me.



It was a short walk along an overgrown footpath to Coplow Dale and then a pleasant walk across fields towards Bradwell, with some lovely views of Bradwell Edge, the Hope Valley...and beyond. I did get a splinter in my thumb though when climbing over a stile; we call a splinter a 'spell' in Yorkshire dialect...I wonder if they use the same word in Derbyshire?



I knew that the route down into Bradwell Dale is steep and difficult because I've previously climbed up it; so I walked along the top lane, passing by what I assume to be the entrance to Bagshawe Cavern - there was a group of people struggling to get into caving gear.

I took one of the paths which leads down into the centre of Bradwell, arriving there at 1:40, hoping for either some fish and chips or an ice cream from the ice cream shop...yes; that's all it sells, and as I discovered, it only opens for a few hours each week. The fish and chip shop doesn't open at all on Sundays...but I'd be able to get an ice cream at two o'clock.

I spent a few minutes reading the information board at the entrance to the small park and then visited the toilets. It's the first time I've used these facilities; on previous occasions they've been closed - like most public toilets in the Peak District they were clean and well maintained and serviced though.

I was waiting outside Bradwell's shop when it opened; Bradwell is the name of the family which makes and sells the ice cream...it just happens that their dairy and shop are also in Bradwell.

I was confronted with the entire range of flavours available...nineteen in all. I treated myself to a twin cone, double chocolate chip and lemon curd. Delicious.

The bus was due ten minutes later, and arrived about five minutes late.