Saturday, September 19, 2015

Litton, Cressbrook, and Ashford-in-the-Water

I'd like to start today's blog post by praising the 'powers that be', the Department of Transport or maybe the Local Authority, for installing a flashing twelve seconds countdown system at the pelican crossing on the dual carriageway in front of the railway station at Doncaster. A very good idea for people rushing to catch a train.

As is often the case I had an hour to wait at Sheffield until my bus departed and so I decided to spend some time photographing the water features in front of the railway station; there were some striking shadows and interesting reflections.








I got off the bus at Litton, I had planned to start the walk at Miller's Dale but I was desperate to escape from the confined space of my seat, there was very little legroom. I had been fine until only a few minutes earlier; lack of blood circulation maybe causing the sharp pain and numbness in my knee. A lot of people were travelling to Buxton today; there was some event there yet the bus was only a single decker - I do wish management at TM Motors would check the 'what's on' listings for the Peak District before allocating the day's vehicles. 

Only a few seconds after the bus pulled away a van drew up  beside me and I spent the next few minutes finding 'Littonslack' on my map and confirming the directions with the driver.

I crossed the fields and walked down into Tansley Dale, and then Cressbrook Dale. I didn't stay at the bottom of the valley for long, I was on the lookout for the higher level paths which I hadn't used before. I walked through some different areas of Cressbrook and made a slight detour to photograph an interesting crenellated building which at one time was a cafe, but is now up for sale.








I walked down the road and up the track onto the Monsal Trail. Before entering Headstone Tunnel I found the adjustable settings on my camera; I was quite impressed with its night vision capabilities. The only problem is that the images are shaky because I can't hold the camera still because of my poor minor motor control of my muscles. I've included one of the photos though because I quite like the accidental effect that I created, especially the overhead lights clawing their way deep into the tunnel.



It didn't take me long to reach Ashford; a bus back to Bakewell was due and so I got on it - my knee was getting a bit sore by now; a recurring public transport injury...I wonder how many other walkers have this problem?

It was still quite early when I arrived at Bakewell and so I spent about an hour looking round the outdoors and sports outlets, and charity shops. Most of the outdoors shops had sales; I bought some socks.

I arrived at the bus stop ten minutes before the bus back to Sheffield was due. There seemed to be a rather large queue. I discovered that the previous 218 bus hadn't turned up. Well, the 218 I was waiting for didn't turn up either, but the 240 arrived twenty minutes later, on time.

As expected, when we reached Chatsworth House there was a lot of people waiting. Those who had passes or tickets that they could use on this service, and people paying their fare with cash, got on, however there were still a lot of people with return tickets to Sheffield who couldn't get on, including a large group of Chinese students. The leader of the group instantly took charge and negotiated some arrangement with the bus driver. Some money was handed over, a single ticket was issued, and the entire group was allowed to board, most of them thanking the driver as they got on.

Back home in Doncaster there were dozens of police officers at the railway station and football fans supporting several teams were being kept a safe distance apart.