Monday, February 4, 2013

Northwood, Tinkersley, Fallinge, Chatsworth Park, and Baslow.

I caught a slightly later train to Sheffield this morning and so managed to get a seat. It was a local stopping train and so there wasn't much legroom; so I had to fold up my copy of the Metro free newspaper and wedge it between my knee and the back of the seat in front to provide a bit of padding so that I wouldn't be lame when I reached Sheffield.

I still had nearly half an hour to wait for the bus: it arrived on time though and there were no problems. It was quite a pleasant journey: after three other hikers had got off at Fox House I was the only passenger remaining and soon ended up chatting to the driver. After a few minutes I found out that his stepson has Asperger's syndrome, just as I do, and so we had quite a lot to talk about.

I think I made a good decision to catch the 214 Matlock bus this morning and stay on for most of the journey. As the bus was travelling out of Sheffield I noticed that the weather to the north didn't look very promising, yet the further south I travelled the better it got; it was mainly sunny when I arrived at my destination.

I got off the bus at Northwood, a few stops before Darley Dale, and headed uphill into the main housing estate and then through a haulier's yard, before reaching open countryside.

I soon reached woodland which provided some shelter from the strong wind, but the trees were being buffeted about quite a bit and I often heard branches creaking, and saw twigs being broken off. At times there were occasional clearings where I could enjoy nice views down into the Derwent Valley.

The woodland path gave way to a track alongside a field and then the houses of Tinkersley were in view. It's only a hamlet, but its hillside location means that the residents have expansive views down into the valley and to the hills beyond.


Beyond Tinkersley I walked along a well-maintained, but narrow, country lane and then took the path across fields towards Fallinge, having to cross the Chesterfield road.

Fallinge, like Tinkersley, is a hamlet too; there were plenty of hens at home today.

After about a mile I reached the road that comes up from Beeley. I turned right and walked along it for a few yards before heading into the woods and taking a path that never strays too far from the road. Further up the hill I re-joined the road and then walked along the track which leads down to Beeley Top. This is quite a substantial track that is often used by vehicles, but it looks as though it needs a bit of maintenance doing. I noticed one particular deep pothole that seemed to have been repaired using an old tyre and the branch of a tree - on closer inspection it seemed to be more than a pothole, it was very deep - possibly a mineshaft.

I then walked across the stretch of Beeley Moor known as 'Rabbit Warren': it was very windy and exposed, but the views were well worth it. In years to come I should think this stretch of footpath will be less windy, but you won't be able to enjoy the views because the Chatsworth Estate has recently planted saplings near to the path.

I climbed a quite high stile to enter the wooded area of Chatsworth Park and headed for Swiss Cottage where I was hoping that the sun would be at a good angle for taking photographs; I wasn't disappointed, although my camera's zoom lens struggled a bit.



A few minutes later the sun was at a favourable angle to take some photographs of the Hunting Tower.




It was then a fairly short walk down through some woods and across the landscaped parkland to reach Baslow Nether End, where there are two buses an hour to Sheffield on weekdays.