Sunday, September 9, 2012

Miller's Dale, Wormhill, Hargatewall, and Hope.

I visited another two villages for the first time today, Wormhill and Hargatewall: there can't be that many left now that I haven't visited that I'm easily able to reach on public transport from Sheffield.

I got off at a familiar location though, the bus stop just beyond the railway viaducts at Miller's Dale.

I walked along the footpath at the side of the river, soon reaching another viaduct, which now also carries the Monsal Trail over the River Wye.


There are plenty of trout which can easily be spotted in the water along this stretch of the river: I think it would have been easier to grab one with my hands than actually land a decent photograph though.

I continued until I reached the footpath which leads up to Wormhill, going through the Chee Dale Nature Reserve. My access was blocked though, the gate was padlocked. Now, there might have been a very good reason for this footpath being closed to the public, but a little bit of information and details of alternative routes would have been helpful. I assume that it's quite difficult to close a definitive footpath that's marked on an Ordnance Survey map, even for a temporary period; due process has to be followed and the proper consultation undertaken.

Never mind though, there was an alternative route that I discovered, adding about a mile to my walk; even though there was a sign reminding me that conditions underfoot might be a bit difficult.



After needing to be careful with some slippery limestone rocks along the way, I safely reached a footpath which I assumed led up through the woods to Wormhill. It wasn't marked on the map, but it appeared to be well-used. As I was ascending this section I was secretly hoping that I might come across a ranger or warder...I had it planned what I was going to say.

I walked along the road through Wormhill, to Hargatewall, about half a mile further. On the map there are several paths shown starting from here, yet I didn't see even one public footpath sign. Do the local residents actually want people to walk in areas that they'd prefer that they didn't?

I located the track that I needed to follow, then walked across fields as I approached the top of Peter Dale. I then continued along the bottom of Hay Dale and Dam Dale, areas I have previously walked.

At Dam Dale Farm I took the footpath across the fields to the main road, just to the east of Peak Forest, walked along the busy section of road, jogged really I suppose; then took the path leading down to Old Dam Lane. Access to this path was quite difficult; the area near to the stile was quite steep and overgrown with nettles and brambles.

I walked down the lane for a couple of hundred yards and then turned right along the track leading to Oxlow Rake, an area of old mine workings. It was then a steady climb up to the open grassland of Old Moor.

I then took the track which soon leads to the road which leads to Pin Dale. I was tormented by some bikers as I walked down Pin Dale. They were having a break at the top of the dale as I reached it, so I didn't linger as I descended. I soon heard their engines and so found a safe spot to let them pass; a few yards further on they stopped again though and I had to repeat the process all over again. I think this was rather inconsiderate on their part.

I then walked down the road which leads to Hope, past the main entrance to the Hope Cement Works, where I noticed that the Edale Mountain Rescue team is now based.

I had time to pop in the shop at Hope. The bus was a few minutes late because of some roadworks further down the valley at Brough. Unfortunately I didn't help the driver's timekeeping - when I pressed my travel pass onto the scanner my fingers were blocking the slot where the ticket comes out...he had to dismantle the machine: fortunately it didn't take too long. I think the reason I ended up doing this is that I was being careful not to block the scanning beam with my fingers; I have done this several times before...it seems that there are some situations where you just can't win.