Saturday, May 23, 2015

Kelstedge, Tansley, Lumsdale, and Bentley Bridge

I woke up this morning with a painful twinge in my lower back, obviously restricting my movement. Maybe I must have pulled a muscle last night clapping too enthusiastically at the ballet. Northern Ballet's first visit to the new theatre in Doncaster was amazing and was well appreciated, and enjoyed, by a full house. I must admit that I enjoy ballet even more than walking.

Today's walk was therefore an easy one, mainly along country lanes and across fields.

I got off the bus at Kelstedge and walked down the hill towards Ashover, taking the first footpath on my left; being careful not to approach too close to the village and going to areas where my map coverage ends.

The weather forecast was for it to be a bit murky in the morning, but brighten up by mid-afternoon; the first part was correct but the second wasn't - it stayed murky all day, spoiling many good opportunities for taking photographs.

The countryside at the start of the walk was quite pretty though and I think these two pictures are okay.







The most difficult part of these section was when I'd arrived down in the bottom of a valley and had to cross the infant River Amber; I could use the stepping stones, or the 'Tarzan' rope swing. I chose the former; they were actually very easy...the steep climb up steps cut into the hillside through woodland which followed was more difficult.

At the top I was walking along the edges of fields, across grassland, and occasionally through more wooded areas, but most of the time I had extensive views to my left of Ashover and the Amber Valley...with Ogston Reservoir in the distance.





Just before I reached the road which leads to Tansley I had to cross a field with cows in it. I'm always wary when I'm near to cows because they can get quite aggressive at times; these animals just seemed to be puzzled - they were keeping their gazes on me though.



A few minutes later I arrived at a crossroads and noticed signs advertising two garden centres, one of which was in the direction I was going. There was an ice cream van parked there and so I bought an orange juice lolly and sat on a comfortable grass verge to enjoy it.

Not long after I'd stood up and started walking again I came to Scotland Nurseries and Garden Centre [and Café] and popped in for a cream tea at the café.

Not much further along the road there was another garden centre, the third in a very small area.

I walked through Tansley, through the centre of the village and then the track which leads to Lumsdale, past some very pretty countryside.







Lumsdale is an amazing place, somewhere I have been looking forward to visiting for a long time. The entire valley is a series of linked mills, all ruined now of course, and weirs and waterfalls. Despite being spoiled for me by the poor lighting conditions, a very flat and uninspiring light not suited to photography at all, and it being busy with several dozen people I was still not disappointed with my visit at all. I would have spent longer there if I could have explored on my own.

I took a lot of photographs and some have turned out not to be too bad; I've had to convert some to black and white and adjust the contrast and brightness though.









In my dreams I reckon that Lumsdale would be an excellent location for a future Indiana Jones film, with its extensive overgrown ruins, steep and twisty steps, inaccessible caves, rocky overhangs, narrow precipices, noisy and powerful waterfalls and deep splashpools, shear-drop weirs, picturesque ponds...and potential danger round every corner. I had the tune and the lyrics to the chorus of the 1990s pop song, 'Dr. Jones' by Aqua bouncing about in my head as I was enjoying myself here.

I'm actually quite an Aqua fan; I was early on in their career, seeing something much more profound than the mere bubblegum pop tunes and the corny comedy videos that they served up at the time. They've moved on a lot now, still performing live regularly. Lene, the female lead singer is really very sexy and now performs in the style of a hardcore bondage porno rock diva.  

During the journey home on the bus and the train more of my favourite Aqua tunes were in my head, 'I'm A Barbie Girl,' 'Cartoon Heroes.' 'All Around The World'...and....wait for it...'F*ck Me Like A Robot.'