Sunday, August 18, 2013

Foolow, Wardlow Mires, Cressbrook, Upperdale, Monsal Head, Little Longstone, Ashford-in-the-Water, and Bakewell.

I had planned to go to Fairholmes today and start by walking alongside the shore of the reservoir. The train was twenty five minutes late departing from Doncaster and so I caught the service number sixty five instead and got off at Foolow .

On the train people were complaining to each other; it was annoying me and so I told them they should do something about it and refuse to pay their fares. No-one took my advice though; I would have refused to pay, but I have a free travel pass. I don't know what the legal situation would be if I refused to show my pass to the ticket inspector: maybe I'd end up in court, but more likely I'd just have my pass withdrawn.

The bus wasn't much bigger than a minibus and was already full when it reached the stop near to the railway station, where I had gone hoping the earlier 273 bus might just be a few minutes late and I'd be able to catch it. I had to stand up, but was struggling. I was holding on to two upright supports to brace myself, one of which was rattling and obviously working loose - I was lurching from side to side as the bus cornered, staggering forward when the brakes were applied, and accidentally poking out the eyes of several passengers with my elbows and the dangling straps of my rucksack. Noticing the situation, a man offered me his seat - he was a lot smaller than me...and much better at balancing too.

The walk didn't get off to a good start; the bus driver jammed on the brakes just as I was getting up from my seat, resulting in my pulling a muscle in my lower back.


The bus-stop at Foolow is directly opposite to the pub. Fortunately the walking was easy across the fields to Wardlow Mires. Just before getting there I was approached by a family which was camping locally; they were from Devon and wanted some suggestions as to where to visit in the Peak District during their stay. I mentioned Eyam, Castleton, Kinder Scout, Bakewell, Monsal Head, and Matlock Bath...which they were keen to visit. I forgot Chatsworth House though...oops.

There's a café at Wardlow Mires, Yondermann's; I popped in, noticing the motorbikes parked outside. As I expected, it was packed - I had a quick look at the menu and the meals seemed to be good value for money.

I then took the path which goes all the way down Cressbrook Dale, passing Peter's Stone and the Ravensdale Cottages.





I gave myself a boost by eating some chocolate sitting at a picnic table at Upperdale before climbing up to Monsal Head. I bought an ice cream and sat for a few minutes enjoying the spectacular view. The weather wasn't at its best, and so the photographs I took weren't as good as I'd like...so, here's a photograph of some other people also enjoying the view, as you can see, it was quite cloudy.



I walked down the road to Little Longstone and noticed a sign for some tearooms which I think must be new, The Hollow Dining Room And Tea Garden. It looks like it's a converted old country house - I even had to ring a large brass hand bell for service. I ordered a pot of tea; it was good value for £1.75. I got four cups out of it; the food was very expensive though. Everything supposedly was made on the premises; many of the items on the menu preceded by the word 'Yorkshire.' Maybe the owners were from Yorkshire...or maybe it's just that describing home-cooked food as 'Derbyshire' just doesn't have the same effect.

There's a lovely large garden, but the tables and chairs hadn't been put out - I had a nice view from my table though.



I then walked across the fields to Ashford-in-the-Water, tripping up over a small yapping terrier on the way. I nearly flattened it as I hit the ground; fortunately the dog's owner was more concerned about me than her dog, though  I wasn't hurt, or even shook up; I was just trying to suppress a fit of the giggles.

I was aware of the time the bus leaves Bakewell as I approached Ashford-in-the-Water. I did have time for a quick glass of Diet Coke at one of the pubs though before continuing on my way alongside the river to Bakewell.

Only a few hundred yards after passing Ashford I saw a large trout jump two foot out of the water and land with a splash, something I've never seen before.

The bus was on time at Bakewell and a train being late at Sheffield worked in my favour.