Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tideswell Dale, Litton Mill, Ashford-in-the-Water, and Bakewell.

I forgot to take my hay fever tablet this morning and ended up suffering with all the symptoms; runny nose, runny and itchy eyes, sneezing spasms,  and a tickly throat. I looked in my basic medical kit and there weren't any tablets in there - something I'll have to rectify later. The hay fever wasn't too bad though; it used to be debilitating when I was younger...it's just annoying and slightly inconvenient now.

On the bus I couldn't help but overhear the conservation between two older men sitting across from me: one of them was reminiscing about how many buses had to be put on to take trippers, mainly family groups,  back to Sheffield from the Burbage Valley and Fox House area of the moors when he was a youngster and few people had their own cars. Later on he told a couple of interesting anecdotes about when he was an Army Cadet and was taught navigation skills and range finding techniques by a retired Great War officer...I didn't catch the details.

The bus arrived at Tideswell Dale on time. I got off and went to the toilets and then got out my transistor radio to listen to the cricket commentary. The first thing I heard was the fall of the second South African wicket. A bad start for them, and their day didn't get any better; England easily won.

I walked along the gravel path at the bottom of the dale and then decided to take a concessionary path which isn't marked on the map, up to an old quarry which is now a lovely spot to sit and relax; a wildflower meadow with the quarry face as a stunning backdrop to catch the eye.



The path looped round and returned to the bottom of the dale. I then turned left and walked along the road to Litton Mill, bedecked with hanging baskets and floral displays. I continued alongside the river to reach a section of the Wye Valley known as Water-cum-Jolly Dale famous for its overhanging rockface, Rubicon Wall. Quite often the river floods this section; it was okay today, but the last I was here I had to take the high level diversionary footpath.

I then took the path which climbs gently up to the Monsal Trail. I briefly considered climbing even higher up to Monsal Head for refreshments, but I wouldn't have had the opportunity to walk along some footpaths I hadn't used before, and so stuck to my original plan...refreshments at the Old Station Café at Hassop.

I walked over the viaduct and through the tunnel and soon took the first path on my right leading down a lovely small dry valley towards Ashford-in-the-Water where I enjoyed a  glass of diet Pepsi at the pub, it was expensive though

It didn't cost me anything to take a nice photograph of the church.



I left Ashford by the road which heads to the north, finding the path that would take me back to the Monsal Trail, a bit further along the route. There were some lovely meadows and a formal parkland area, probably belonging to Churchdale Hall. At one of the farms I noticed an unusual sign; I was hoping it was French for 'bizarre dogs', but, as I suspected, and have now checked, it merely means 'beware of the dogs.' 

Putting the sign on the gate is a bit bizarre though.



I arrived at the road just before a roundabout, and even though I immediately spotted the railway bridge that carries the Monsal Trail over the road, the access wasn't well signposted.

I arrived at the café and bought a pot of tea and then lingered a while at a nearby picnic table listening to the cricket commentary before continuing on my way to Bakewell.

The bus was ten minutes late. As it approached Sheffield city centre the reason for the delay was understandable, a series of very complicated roadworks on Abbeydale Road.