Sunday, November 11, 2012

Castleton, Bradwell, Brough, and Hope.

Some people had a good start to their day this morning; the guard on the train didn't collect any fares. He seemed to be rather busy frantically pacing up and down the carriages, but doing nothing else that I could make out. Of course, I didn't benefit personally because I have a free travel pass anyhow.

I started today by walking up Cave Dale, for the first time this year I think. Access from Castleton is very easy; just head for the Market Place and go slightly up the hill to the left and just look for a cleft in the rocks between two cottages to the right. There's a short path squeezed in between overhanging rock faces...and then, there you are; in front of you is a gate with an information board telling you all about the Limestone Way, which begins, and ends, at Castleton. There's also a sign at the side of the road which indicates Cave Dale.

The early morning sunshine was perfect for seeing Peveril Castle at the top of the rocky crag; this photograph was taken probably no more than a ten minute walk from the shops and tourist facilities of this popular village.



As I climbed and got higher up than the castle, Win Hill and the Great Ridge came into view; again, perfectly illuminated.



When I reached the head of the dale the weather conditions changed dramatically, the grasslands of Old Moor were shrouded in mist.

At the junction of five paths or tracks I turned left and headed towards Bradwell; firstly along a well-maintained track often used by motorised vehicles, then a short section of path across fields, and finally along the road down into Bradwell. I took a short detour to visit the observation platform overlooking the active quarry workings at the Hope Cement Works: being a Sunday there was no activity to observe though.

After a brief visit to one of the village shops I found the path which goes across the fields to Brough. Although the chimney and the plant buildings of the cement works are always in sight, there are still some lovely views to be had along this section.



At Brough I walked across the site of the Roman Fort (NAVIO or ANAVIO). The footpath goes right across the archaeological site, I don't know if any artefacts have been unearthed but there was a couple kicking over new molehills, possibly hoping to find something.

The last mile or so approaching Hope was absolutely idyllic. The low angle of the sun was casting long, dark shadows in the foreground, in the middle distance deciduous trees were shedding the last of their leaves, and on the horizon Win Hill and the Great Ridge were bathed in sunshine.




Lovely.