Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hathersage Booths, Hathersage, Bamford, and High Peak Garden Centre.



I got off the bus at The Millstone pub and walked a few yards back up the hill to the Ringinglow road. I then climbed over a stile next to a gate which had an electric motor to open and close it, a push key entry pad and an amber light that I assumed would flash or strobe when the gate opens, or it's tripped by an infra-red beam. I've never seen anything this elaborate before; just to add to my paranoia, I spent a few seconds looking for a CCTV camera...you never know who might be watching. The route was definitely a footpath though; there was a roadside sign...and it's marked on the map.

The first section was a track, but after a few minutes I was walking across fields and then through woodland: I should think if it wasn't so misty there would have been some nice views.

The path comes out onto the main road just before the turn-off for Hathersage Church. I passed through the graveyard, stopping for a few moments at Little John's grave and then walked northwards across the fields towards Stanage Edge.

Where the road reaches its nearest point to Stanage Edge there are some public toilets, which I popped in; these being possibly some of the most isolated in England...but very convenient for the many climbers, cyclists and hikers who use them. A few yards along the road there's a carpark: I was glad that the refreshment van was there. It was busy though; I had to queue for a few minutes behind a group of cyclists...some climbers then joined the queue behind me.

I got caught up with a small group a boulderers heading uphill towards the edge; they were struggling a bit with their mats on their backs...so I could easily keep up with the pace.

I walked along the top of Stanage Edge for a few hundred yards then took the byway which leads down to the Dennis Knoll parking area.

After a short stretch of road I found the path which goes to Hurstclough Lane; a good example of a sunken lane. At the bottom of the hill I took the footpath which is a short cut across Sickleholme Golf Course, walking right down the middle of one of the fairways, since no-one was around.

A few minutes later I had arrived at High Peak Garden Centre. Unfortunately the cafe was closed due to a change of tenant, so I walked back towards Bamford on the main road and bought something from the garage shop.

I ate my chocolate covered flapjack and drank my milk as I waited for the bus; which arrived pretty much on time. Just before I was due to disembark at the bus-stop nearest to the railway station in Sheffield I noticed a sign outside a pub which made me smile: it was one of those free-standing boards where they chalk on what the landlord thinks might most likely catch someone's eye. All it read was  'Warm' ...with an arrow pointing inside.