Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Visit To Bakewell Christmas Market And Fair.

I spent a few hours at Bakewell today with my friend Justin. On Wednesday I had a colonoscopy at the hospital; fortunately my bowel is healthy and I don't even need any treatment on my piles. I had, however, already made the plans for today's trip...just in case I was feeling a bit sore, weak, or uncomfortable and wouldn't be able to go walking.

The day didn't get off to a good start. The railway line to Sheffield was closed because of overnight flooding and so we had to take the bus to Sheffield, arriving an hour later than expected at Bakewell.

By now the weather was glorious, but the first thing we did was find somewhere to eat. The carvery at The Wheatsheaf pub seemed reasonable and so we piled our plates up high. I had turkey served with stuffing, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, roast parsnips and carrots; finished off with home-made Bakewell pudding and ice cream.

The sun was still shining when we left the pub and I took a little time to take some photographs down by the river.

The first place we both wanted to visit was the nearby indoor farmers' market where there seemed to be an amazing choice of meat on sale.

We played safe and settled on rabbit pie and game pie though.

The rest of the afternoon was spent looking round the shops; mainly the charity shops...and we popped into the record and CD fair, an antiques fair and the antiques centre next to the Rutland Arms Hotel.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Hathersage Booths, Upper Padley, Nether Padley, Froggatt, Calver, Bubnell, and Baslow.

The weather was lovely today and so I took a lot of photographs; many of them turned out to be quite good. There are far too many to include on the blog and so I'll be uploading my favourites onto my Panoramio photo-sharing page  Direct Link Here

There are numerous pictures from some of my other walks on the site, and also many images featuring locations in and around Doncaster, where I live; and a bit further afield too. I hope you enjoy looking at them: they're all in high quality format as well.

I started today's walk at the Millstone pub on the road above Hathersage and immediately went to the far side of the car park near to where the picnic tables are located to take some photographs. I reckon this is the best view from a pub car park anywhere in the Peak District.

I then walked up the road for a bit before taking the track which leads down to Upper Padley. Regular readers of the blog who know the area well will probably have already guessed where I was going for my breakfast...the Old Station Café at Grindleford Railway Station.

The establishment has unusual, yet very precise, opening times; and the owner is never late in opening you can see. I enjoyed a full cooked English breakfast served up on a twelve inch place, with the flames from the roaring log fire warming my back.

I then crossed the road and walked along a couple of streets at Lower Padley, and  climbed up through Hay Wood to reach Froggatt Edge. I only walked along the edge for just over half a mile before struggling down a steep and rocky path to the village of Froggatt. Although I wasn't on high ground for very long there were still plenty of opportunities to take photographs, so long as no-one else was in the was very busy in some places.

Once I'd reached the bottom of the valley I walked along the east bank of the River Derwent and then crossed over the 'New Bridge' just north of Calver to walk along the other bank. The path actually runs next to a stretch of water called The Goit, which I think is a section of a millrace which runs parallel to the river.

Just before reaching Calver the path moves away from the river and crosses a campsite: there are excellent views of Froggatt from here - I had to keep stopping and looking behind me to best appreciate them though.

I've never walked through the old centre of Calver village and so enjoyed this short diversion before climbing up through woodland, and then down across fields and a country lane to reach Bubnell...and finally Baslow.

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.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Rowsley, Calton Lees, Chatsworth House, Baslow, Bubnell, and Calver

At Rowsley I popped into the Peak Village Outlet Shopping Centre: I needed to use the toilets, but also spent a few minutes looking around the place; I've never been there before. It was quite nice, a bit bland maybe; a collection of  pleasant sandstone buildings and walkways with transparent roofs which fitted in well with the surroundings...and there were a few specialist outdoors shops which I might have spent a bit of time looking around if I'd got nothing better to do....oh, and there were a couple of places to eat.

I then walked further into the village, crossed over the bridge and started to follow the Derwent Valley Heritage Way, which I would be walking along for most of the route today. This section of the walk was easy-going and very pleasant, being along the flood plain I should think, and I made quick progress to reach Calton Lees in well under an hour. I went into the Chatsworth Garden Centre Café for a pot of tea and a cherry and almond scone. I was disappointed to see that they had already put up Christmas decorations and displays in one corner.

I continued walking northwards, along the riverbank, now being in the well-maintained landscape of Chatsworth Park. The weather wasn't too bright, but there were still a few autumn colours to be enjoyed.

Next up was Chatsworth House itself, which is always handy for a toilet stop. I went in the gents' near the main entrance, and since I was the only person in there I decided to take a couple of photographs of the urinals and the impressive tiles with Chatsworth-themed engravings incorporated into the design. As usual, the toilets were very clean and sweet-smelling.

I continued along the driveway towards Baslow, where I bought a small tube of ice cream from the shop at Nether End, eating it whilst sitting on one of the benches on the village green. I then headed towards the church, walked over the old hump-backed bridge to reach Bubnell, continuing along the road and then across fields to Calver; where I only had to wait ten minutes for the bus.

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 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 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.