Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Baslow, Chatsworth Park, Beeley, Rowsley, Churchtown, and Darley Dale

Quite an easy walk today, just down a section of the Derwent Valley Heritage Way from Baslow to Darley Dale...with a couple of diversions when I ended up on the other bank of the river, that's all.

I got off the bus at Baslow with about twenty other people; members of one of the Sheffield walking groups - fortunately they soon went off in another direction.


Although I've walked past it quite a few times, I'd never noticed before that this sign doesn't have an apostrophe, therefore the meaning is somewhat different to that intended...or maybe not; maybe the parking restrictions have no legal standing.

It's easy walking through Chatsworth Park, passing Queen Mary's Bower and the old mill as I followed the river downstream...and, of course, not forgetting the House itself.

Chatsworth Park was lovely today, showing off its autumnal colours.


I arrived at Beeley and took a photograph of another sign, this time the 'barter board' at the Devonshire Arms pub: I've never seen one of these before.



More stunning views as I continued southwards towards Rowsley.


At the Peak Shopping Village at Rowsley I popped in to Massarella's Café for a pot of tea and a toasted teacake. The home-baked pie, roast chicken, and even Christmas dinner looked and smelled delicious, but I resisted; the prices seemed a bit high...and I couldn't really spare the time - the length of daylight is quite short at this time of year.

A couple of months ago I failed to find the continuation of the Derwent Valley Heritage Way at Rowsley, but I was successful today after being advised by a member of an online walking forum. There's no wonder I missed it last time though, I needed to get within about six foot of the fingerpost sign until I saw it, right next to an industrial unit.

I was soon walking through woodland, right next to the river, but never out of earshot of the traffic on the adjacent busy road. I  passed the northern terminus and depot of Peak Rail and then was walking across grassy fields typical of a fluvial flood plain.

I was surprised at how quickly I got to Churchtown; I checked my watch and realised that if I walked up to the main road at Darley Dale I'd be able to catch the earlier bus. Thinking that at this time the bus wouldn't be as crowded as the later one since it was a bit early for most visitors to be leaving Chatsworth House I increased my pace slightly, just to make certain of catching it.

My assumption was correct; only half a dozen people got on at Chatsworth. About a dozen got on at Bakewell though, and since the bus only had a seating capacity of thirty it was quite full by now.

Arriving back at Baslow there were a lot of people waiting for the bus, all twenty members of the walking group who had got off at the same time as me earlier. The bus was packed to absolute capacity; my knee was so so tightly wedged up against the thigh of the woman sitting next to me that I could feel my pulse surging...or maybe it was hers.

The train back to Doncaster was nearly as crowded, but not quite. It only consisted of one carriage, and therefore by some definitions it's not a train at all.

When I got back to Doncaster tickets and passes were being checked, not just once though, but three times; and I was forced by crash barriers to walk the long way round. The third person who checked my pass was standing quite close to a police officer; as I was waiting, loud enough so that I'd be heard  I asked if the police officer would be strip searching me.

The police office didn't seem to like this comment and blocked my way and then threatened to arrest me; I dared him to and held out my wrists for him to handcuff me. He declined...I wonder why?