This walk was meant to be pretty much the same as I'd planned to do yesterday with my friend Chris from Leeds. Things didn't turn out quite as planned though.
I got of the bus at the county boundary and walked up the drive to Moscar Lodge and then across Lodge Moor to reach Sugworth Hall. I paused to take a few photographs inside the rhododendron tunnel; it's a unique place to walk.
The next place Boot's Follywhere I stopped to take pictures was Boot's Folly, just a couple of hundred yards away.
I then walked down to the top of Dale Dyke Reservoir and up the track at the other side of Strines Reservoir. When I reached the road the plan was for me to turn left and then take the logging track up onto the moors, however I noticed a sign indicating that there was a permissive footpath in Bole Edge Plantation, and so I entered. This was to prove to be an interesting decision because a few minutes later I stumbled across something that I wasn't expecting at all just a few miles to the west of Sheffield; an encampment and training camp for some Doomsday survivalist cult by the look of it. I didn't dare go any closer; I was quite shocked and a bit unsettled. What I saw next shook me to the bone....until I ventured forward for a closer look. The overgrown and abandoned tombstones together with a man-sized crucifix and several strategically placed spades and half-dug graves turned out to be fake, made of plywood and plastic. Well that turned out to be a relief; I'm assuming it must be a long abandoned paintball arena, or some other roleplay experience...I'm hoping that's the case anyhow.
After leaving the plantation I eventually found myself on Bradfield Moors, just wandering aimlessly for about an hour. I seemed to have the entire moor to myself - the only locations I sought out were a couple of fairly substantial shooting huts where I imagine refreshments would be served. and a line of the best grouse butts I've ever seen. Each butt has a door, a comfy bench to sit on, and a wooden floor. It seems that they all can be easily reached by vehicles too, so not too tiring a day for the shooting party.
I sat and finished off my sandwiches in butt number ten.
I looped my way round the moor and cut down another plantation where most of the trees had been felled and arrived on the road just below the Strines Inn. I stopped for a pot of tea; lunch smelled delicious but I didn't order.
I finished by walking along the road then took a footpath to reach the Ladybower Inn. I thought I'd only have a few minutes to wait for the bus. That turned out not to be the case; the timetable that I'd downloaded and printed out was the wrong one, either one that's out of date, or the new timetable which doesn't come into effect until the end of the month. I had over an hour to wait and so walked a bit further to Ladybower Reservoir. I suppose I could have continued down to the bus-stop at Bamford Station where there's a more frequent service but I was tired and had had enough for the day.