Sunday, October 14, 2012

Castleton, Edale, Ollerbrook, Nether Booth, and Hope.



It was sunny all the way to Hathersage this morning; but beyond, the entire Hope Valley was shrouded in mist. As the bus passed by Surprise View the view up the valley was amazing; with the sunlight glistening off the mist it seemed as though there was a massive lake, or reservoir that just wasn't there before - with small islands of higher ground protruding above the mysterious, hidden depths...an entirely new, but fleeting, topography to enjoy.  It's a pity I was on the bus; I didn't try to take any photographs because I knew they wouldn't be very good; and I only had a few seconds anyhow. Several people had stopped their cars and were busy with their cameras though.

Unfortunately, by the time the bus reached Castleton the mist was already lifting and so I wouldn't be able to enjoy anything as truly spectacular as I'd seen about half an hour earlier. I walked through the village and soon became caught up in a group of about three dozen eager and excited students on a field trip. Fortunately they weren't heading in my direction and so I didn't need to change my plans.

I walked in a westerly direction, pausing several times to admire the views of the mouth of Winnats Pass (as shown in the header photo), and  Mam Tor and the landslip. At first my route was flat and across grassy, and sometimes sodden, fields: the last few hundred yards up to Hollins Cross is much steeper though, firstly climbing through bracken and then utilising a paved trackway to the top. Hollins Cross is the lowest point along the Great Ridge; it's still quite high though, requiring a climb of about 700ft.

At Hollins Cross I sat for a few minutes to eat my sandwiches and appreciate the view.




It was still quite early, but I could already see that half a dozen paragliders were in the air: a couple of hours later when I stopped for another break I counted thirty three.

The route down to Edale is very pleasant, passing through a variety of landscapes, with many photographic opportunities. I've not visited Edale for nearly twenty years and so was looking forward to spending a bit of time there. My first port of call was the café at the railway station. I didn't buy anything; the place was empty and looked rather sterile and uninviting - the high prices on the menu didn't help either. I knew there was another café further up the hill and so wasn't too disappointed at the time.

I had a quick look round the Moorland Centre and then headed for the other café in the village. I was to suffer disappointment here too though; I arrived too late for a cooked breakfast...and there wasn't anything else substantial on offer. I bought a mug of tea though, and ended up lingering for quite a while because I was enjoying overhearing the man sitting at the next table telling his friends about his recent trip to the Ukraine.

I  walked a bit further up the hill until I reached the path that leads towards the hamlets of Ollerbrook and Nether Booth. I then needed to walk along the road for a few minutes before taking the well-maintained track that goes past Carr House and eventually comes out onto the same road I'd previously been walking along...only nearer to Hope.

Although it was a lovely day, I was aware of how waterlogged it had been underfoot at times, and remembering that the path alongside the River Noe always seems to be muddy, and I was muddy enough anyhow, I decided to stick with the road the rest of the way back to Hope - something I haven't done before anyway.