Monday, January 28, 2013

Longshaw Lodge to Baslow

Although the weather was much better yesterday, I ended up going walking today because the trains weren't running to Sheffield yesterday.

Today's walk is one of my favourite routes; I've done it several times before, but never when the conditions have been so wintry.

I got off the bus at the next stop after Fox House and walked along the gravel driveway to Longshaw Lodge, where I went to the toilets...and stopped awhile to take a picture of what I assume to be a quite old plaque explaining some of the history of the building.

As soon as I left the areas accessible to vehicles and was on footpaths it was obvious that I'd need to use my new ice grippers: although the snow and ice was rapidly thawing, there was still quite a lot of it about. I bought my grippers from a shop called 'Clas Ohlson'. It's a Swedish firm, and I'm assuming that if their products are manufactured for the Swedish market, they'll be adequate for using in the Peak District. I've previously purchased my rucksack, head torch, flask and heat pads from them and have had no reason to complain or be disappointed yet. The ice grippers are certainly sturdier and better designed than the pair that disintegrated last week...and a damn sight easier to put on and take off too. In the photograph you can see that I've taped up my laces with parcel tape; it's what I do to stop my laces snagging and eventually working loose as I'm walking through the undergrowth.

The path through Longshaw Estate is just over a mile and then I needed to walk along a short section of road. There was a wide grass verge and so I didn't need to take off my grippers though.

I was soon on the path leading to Froggatt Edge where my first stop was at Stoke Flat Stone Circle where I observed that someone had placed an offering to the gods; only a penny though. On other occasions when I've been here there has been rather more money in the hollowed out bowl on the top of the main stone; additionally there have been offerings of costume jewellery, beads, flowers and food.

The views from the top of the Edge are spectacular, but were spoiled today by the not-so-good visibility  There are plenty of interesting rock formations, so I concentrated on photographing those instead.

Occasionally I'd look to my left towards the expanse of Stoke Flat hoping to see some deer. I was fortune to spot four in the distance; the first time I've seen any at this location. Much closer; hiding amongst the rocks and boulders were several Highland cattle: it's a good job that they're very placid.

By now it was already drizzling a bit, although the weather forecast wasn't predicting rain for more than an hour yet. This was incentive enough for me to increase my pace to make sure I'd definitely arrive at Baslow Nether End in time to catch the next bus: after the really severe bout of flu I've just recovered from the last thing I need to be doing is walking in the rain.

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