Saturday, May 16, 2015

Clod Hall Crossroads, Robin Hood, Freebirch, Linacre Reservoirs, and Chesterfield

The weather was generally nice and bright today, but spoilt by a cold wind - something's that's happened a lot recently. I got off the bus at Clod Hall Crossroads, two miles north of Baslow and in the middle of nowhere on the main road that crosses Big Moor. I looked at my watch to check the time and it had taken me just over an hour since the train left Doncaster - not all my connections on public transport are this good. I walked along the road that leads to the footpath to Wellington's Monument...where the Highland cattle were waiting for me- they love posing for the camera and seem to know where to stand and what positions to take for the best results.

I then took the path that leads down through the woods to the main road and then back up the other side of the valley, and then gently down to the 'Robin Hood' pub; it wasn't due to open for another forty minutes when I got there and so my plans for a pot of tea had to be abandoned.  Along this section of the walk I was fascinated by a tree that looked like a giant marine/reptilian/insectoid mutant alien.

The next section of the walk was a stretch of about a mile and a half along the road to the hamlet of Freebirch; I don't like walking along roads, but sometimes it can't be avoided. At Freebirch navigation became a lot more difficult since I was no longer within the boundary of the Peak District National Park and the signposting of footpaths wasn't always as clear as it needed to be, especially in this area where there are a lot of criss-crossing footpaths. 

Just beyond Birley Farm the view towards Linacre Reservoirs was stunning; totally unexpected and unlike anything else I've seen in the Peak District. The view reminded me of some of the photographs of the Blue Mountains in Australia, near to where my sister lives.

The approach to the Linacre Reservoirs is very pleasant, along a verdant valley and then through woodland carpeted with flowering bluebells and wild garlic at this time of year; I could obviously smell the garlic, but I thought I might have just whiffed a bit of the scent of the bluebells...although I'm not sure if bluebells have a scent though.

Beyond the reservoirs I walked through more woodland, across fields and through a park and along some streets until I reached Chesterfield Town Centre. I had planned to finish at the church and take a photograph of the 'Crooked Spire' but as I was passing the bus station I noticed that the Sheffield bus was waiting at the stand.  I scanned my pass as usual as I got on, but as I was taking my seat another passenger said he had noticed that my blue plastic wallet which was given to me when my pass was first issued over five years ago is falling apart and is held together with yellow insulating tape. He gave me a new one, one of several which he had in his hand. I noticed that, like my old one, it was a blue South Yorkshire PTE one, yet Chesterfield is in Derbyshire, so he couldn't have picked them up at the information centre at the bus station....very strange; I thanked him and he went to the back of the bus.

At the railway station at Sheffield I nearly got on the wrong train, the Saturday only infrequent service to Cleethorpes via Retford...not the much more frequent train that goes to Cleethorpes via Doncaster. It was fortunate that the guard was standing on the platform explaining the situation to people; it's rather unfortunate that the wrong train departs at 16:01 and the right train departs at 16:10...from the same platform.

I'm glad I got on the correct train though, a group of women wearing very revealing clothing got on and had been standing next to me on the platform. A couple of them were wearing fascinators - maybe there's a race meeting at Town Moor.

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