Saturday, August 29, 2015

Cromford, Middleton, Bonsall, and Matlock Bath

Another walk with Chris from Leeds; as usual he picked me up at Fox House, and we drove to Cromford.

We walked along the road which leads to Cromford Wharf, the start/end of Cromford Canal, briefly having a look at Arkwright's Mill on the way. We spent a few seconds admiring a barge which was moored on the canal before setting off for High Peak Junction, racing several groups of students who were in canoes on the water.  

There's a small museum inside a couple of guard's wagons to look at, plus toilets and an information centre that is really more geared to selling guide books or refreshments - the information boards are quite good though.



We headed up the incline, it's quite a steep climb, yet perfectly safe. After a few yards we went to look at the catch pit, a wagon that had smashed into the pit was clearly visible, but I found it difficult to photograph it.

I was ready for my sandwiches and something to drink when we reached the top of the incline, although Chris saved his food until we'd climbed up the next incline at Middleton Top where the highlight here for Chris was a full working model of the incline in operation, inside the small information centre next to the café.





We left Middleton Top and continued along the High Peak Trail for a few minutes before crossing over Middleton Moor and descending into the village and then continuing along a lane and down a steep path which was quite slippery in places, to Via Gellia at the bottom of the valley, otherwise known as the A5012 road from Cromford to Grangemill. 

We struggled up the steep hill to the lower part of Bonsall before taking a path that snakes around the back gardens of some houses and leads toward a quarry up on the hillside. It should then have been an easy walk across fields before dropping down into Matlock Bath; however, we got lost and had to crawl underneath some barbed wire. After finding a path we then climbed down some steps cut into the hillside and a couple of steep footpaths finally to be greeted by the aroma of fish and chips - there are several fish and chip shops in Matlock Bath, as well as other attractions for the visitors...it was quite busy today.









There was to be no fish and chips for me at Matlock Bath today, just a mug of tea. We walked along the road to arrive back at the car at Cromford within ten minutes of the expected time.

Chris dropped me off at Baslow, where there are three buses an hour back to Sheffield on a Saturday in the summer, nonetheless I still had to wait twenty minutes for one. The bus was packed; I was the last person who was able to get on before people started getting off at Sheffield. Naturally I had to stand up for most of the journey, gripping onto the inconveniently and uncomfortably positioned handrails and luggage rack. I usually get off the bus in Sheffield with my leg muscles hurting because of the lack of legroom when I'm sitting down - this wasn't a problem today; I could move my legs as much as I wanted when the bus was stationary...my arm muscles were, and still are, painful, tender to the touch, and feel very hard and rigid.

There was only a local stopping train due when I arrived at the railway station and so I boarded it. When we reached Rotherham the carriage I was in was totally overwhelmed by a loud, boisterous group of Fulham FC football fans. In no way was any of their behaviour threatening or inappropriate, in fact some of the songs were quite amusing; however they were in the way, blocking the doorway and access to the toilet. They had to stand somewhere though because all the seats were occupied.