Sunday, March 22, 2015

Fox House, Totley Bents, Mickley, Bradway, Beauchief Abbey, and Millhouses

There was a very good start to the day; I'd not walked for more than a few hundred yards when I noticed a couple of very impressive stags on the horizon, but not too far away. I'm not a very good wildlife photographer though; this was the best shot I could get.



At first only their antlers were visible, and as they both moved I though it was a couple of bare trees swaying in the breeze.

I continued walking across Totley Moor, it's fairly flat, just a gentle slope down to the track which leads to Totley Bents. At one point, just over to my right, I could see a fenced-ff derelict redbrick building, probably something to do with the construction of Totley Tunnel. A bit later I saw the first of two airshafts, built on top of an artificial mound.



Although it isn't visible in the photograph, a train must have recently passed through the tunnel because a small amount of smoke was rising from the shaft.

I found a comfortable, and sheltered spot, to sit down for a few minutes; the view would have been really nice if it wasn't so cloudy and misty. A couple of young men, in their early twenties, who seemed to be prepared for any imaginable emergency or contingency stopped and chatted to me for a few seconds; the larger of the two told me that in good visibility you can see Bolsover Castle from this location.

The track down to Totley Bents is quite steep in places, this is where my hiking pole was useful for the first time; helping to support me. Totley Bents is only a collection of maybe a dozen houses; in one of the gardens I noticed a wrought iron dinosaur skeleton.

I climbed up to the Baslow road,it was very muddy in places, and walked over to the bus terminus where the next section of footpath began; the walk through Gillfield Wood. As I was walking through the wood the sun started to break through the clouds, and a few minutes later when I was walking along country lanes or grasslands I had some lovely views of Totley, and the rest of Sheffield, behind me. I stopped a few times to take pictures.





The climb up to Mickley wasn't too strenuous; yet again my hiking pole was very useful.



From Mickley I walked down the road to Bradway and eventually found Beauchief Abbey, not before getting lost in some woods at the top of an escarpment where there were stunning views towards the moors. In a couple of places seats had been placed.



There is some very pleasant managed countryside in the area where Beauchief Abbey is; the sun was at just the right angle for getting a well-lit photograph of the abbey.



I was hoping to finish today at the café in Millhouses Park but ended up on the wrong side of the railway, walking through some woodland. In this area of woodland I came across a bit of a mystery, some sort of ruins that at first I thought must have been put there for children to play on as some sort of adventure playground...until I saw some more of these ruins totally overgrown. They look like the remains of some mostly-buried lost city; the only parts visible being the tops of pyramids...which look like gigantic pieces of Toblerone chocolate six or eight foot tall.



Being right next to the railway line I'm assuming that's what the answer is to this mystery.

Finally I walked down to the main road and caught the bus.

Today was the first time I'd used my hiking pole for a walk in the Peak District. Overall I'd say it was worthwhile taking it; it was most useful when climbing over stiles, especially the final step down, which can be quite a distance at times. It was also helpful when walking up, or down, steep slopes -  supporting me, helping with my balance, or helping me get up the hills; it is spring-loaded. So...I'll be taking it with me on every walk; I imagine it'll also come in handy when walking across stepping stones...something I have a particular problem with.