Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Whirlow Bridge, Ringinglow, and Fox House.

I caught the number 70 bus, which although it goes the long way round, still got me to Whirlow Bridge for 09:20 - it's better than hanging around the bus station waiting for a bus that goes deep into the Peak District.

I crossed the road and entered Whirlow Brook Park. After a few minutes I reached the toilets and popped in for a pee. I noticed that the cubicles had been nailed shut; I wonder what the situation was in the ladies'. On the Ordnance Survey map public toilets are shown at Ringinglow too. I can confirm that there aren't any there any more - what looks like the toilet block is now, of all things, a toy shop.



From a distance Whirlow Hall looks like a nice building. There seems to be public access, and looking at the photograph, there appear to be some notices on the door. Maybe it's a café; it's certainly a lovely spot....and there's a car park.

Beyond the car park I entered the wooded area of the Limb Valley. A large dog, friendly enough though, kept trying to sneak up behind me; but, because of the direction of the sun I could see its shadow and so kept thwarting it by turning round and facing it. Later on, as I was sitting on a bench eating my sandwiches, an even bigger, and dirtier dog, tried to steal one of them. The owner was very apologetic, but it would have been better if she'd kept her dog under control in the first place.

As I gradually climbed higher up the valley, it's not steep at all here, I spotted my first snow of the day; remnants of last week's weather still lingering on in sheltered spots where the sun hasn't reached. Later on, as I was crossing high moorland, there were even some sections where I had to walk through deep snow.

At Ringinglow I passed the Alpaca farm; yes, there actually is one - I've only been able to take a picture of the sign because the animals were actually hidden behind quite high green tarpaulins. Being tall, I could just about see their necks and heads; but it was no use pointing the camera in that direction.


I continued walking along the road for about a mile and then took the path which goes right next to the covered reservoir on Rud Hill, which from some angles as I approached it, looked a bit like an Aztec pyramid. Along this section I had to weave in and out of some quite large molehills; there were hundreds of them - it would be a good training exercise for rugby players I should think.

As I reached open moorland, down to my right I could eventually see all three Redmires Reservoirs. The middle one seemed to be nearly empty, despite all the recent rain and snow; I wonder if they are actually still in use?

I lost the path, and then struggled a bit across a boggy section of moor until I reached Stanedge Pole and the footpath to Stanage Edge.

As I approached the trig point I heard what I imagined to be the noise made by giant prehistoric grouse; if such things ever existed. In fact, it was the screeching brakes of a couple of mountain bikes. Two young lads were performing stunts on the rocks, and it looked like someone was filming them.

I continued to the car parking area at Upper Burbage; quite often there's an ice cream van here, but not today - despite it being very busy.

After a short rest, I walked along the track that goes along the bottom of Burbage Rocks, but halfway along I took the easy path which leads to the top...and then another level path towards Fox House.



I was surprised to see the 272 bus arrive; it normally doesn't run at this hour...except during the school holidays. So...the children must be off school in either Sheffield or Derbyshire, or both.

One final thing; and this has happened before - when I stood up to get off the bus my trousers nearly fell down. Although I had made sure my belt was tight it seems that my waist had temporarily shrunk by a couple of inches. I'm assuming that this was due to loss of essential fluids; I certainly was sweating a lot...and my pee stung my fingers when I needed to go. Maybe I was dehydrated.