Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Lanes And Tracks Of Hathersage

To the north of Hathersage there are a lot of lanes and tracks, I've walked up and down some of them, but there are still sections I haven't explored yet...and of course, they're all linked together by a dense network of footpaths.

I started the day with an apology.

The first lane I walked along, but only for a few yards before I took the footpath that leads towards the church, was Baulk Lane. I've not taken this path before and it was interesting to see views of Hathersage from different angles as I climbed up the side of the field - it was a well-maintained gravel path though, fenced off from the field.

'Little John' is supposedly buried at Hathersage church; I took several photographs of his grave but none of them really showed how large it is; I've settled for this shot of the church itself instead.

After leaving the churchyard I took one of the footpaths that eventually leads to North Lees Hall, crossing a road that I think is called 'Birley Lane.'

Just beyond North Lees Hall I took the path which leads to the left, in the direction of Green's House. When I reached Hood Brook I had to make a decision; the brook is usually only a trickle here and it is easy to just step over it, or ford it...not today though; it was an angry, raging torrent of wild water. Here's a link to a short video I filmed

The water seemed to be too deep and too  fast flowing for my liking, and since there was an alternative route that led down to a footbridge, that's the way I went.

Just after Green's House I spent a bit of time walking along the upper reaches of Coggers Lane, my third, and final,  lane of the day; there are several more though.

I then found a path that I was particularly keen to locate because it isn't marked on my map; it's only quite recently been designated as a concessionary footpath. I only found out about its existence by looking on the Streetview feature on Google Maps.

By now the weather was closing in and visibility was quite poor. I could just about make out Stanage Edge, Win Hill, and the entire length of the Great Ridge. On a warm sunny day in the spring or summer I can't imagine there are many places with better views to sit among the wildflowers listening to the cricket commentary and enjoying a steady supply of chilled drinks, chocolate, and a selection of cakes.

The path came out further down Coggers Lane; I soon took the path that took me past Thorpe Farm, which sells its own ice cream - I wasn't the least bit interested today.

I got a bit lost as I crossed Sickleholme Golf Course and in the end decided to head straight for the club house. A couple of footpaths cross the course and it's accepted practice to just plot your own route, causing as little disruption to the golfers as possible - I noticed a sign stating that the course was closed today though; I did observe that a couple of the greens were waterlogged and nearly every bunker had a large puddle in it.

The bus was a few minutes late arriving at the bus stop at Bamford Station. It lost even more time when it reached the outskirts of Sheffield. I have never seen so many people get on the bus as it travelled down Ecclesall Road. I think this is likely due to the re-organisation of bus services undertaken by the Sheffield Bus Partnership. I've been following developments online and it seems that there are now a lot fewer buses serving Ecclesall Road. Bus users in the city aren't very happy; provision in many other areas is also a lot worse; fortunately the buses that run out to the Peak District have hardly been affected. In truth, now that there's a regular service from the city centre out to Bradfield it can even be claimed that there's been a significant improvement. I used this bus service on my previous walk in the Peak District. 

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