Saturday, May 28, 2016

Owler Bar, Robin Hood, and Chatsworth Water Spectacular.

I started the walk at Owler Bar and walked down Horseleygate Road, quite a pretty area. I found the footpath leading off to the right; I hoped this would lead directly to the large area of Access Land where I could wander freely across the moors. It didn't though, I ended up coming out further down the Baslow road, which I needed to follow for a few minutes until I found a suitable footpath.

I hadn't walked along any of these paths before as a continued downhill towards Car Road [A forestry track, or maybe a firebreak] so I wasn't miffed by the extra mileage. The countryside here is pretty too, riverside meadows, heathland, woodland and eventually open moorland.

I do like to include gates in my photographs.

I reached the road and entered my next area of open Access Land, this time the northern part of Leash Fen where archaeologists do give some credence to a legend of a lost city, sinking beneath the bog. There's a local rhyme 

When Chesterfield was gorse and broom,
Leash Fen was a market town;
Now Chesterfield's a market town,
Leash Fen is but gorse and broom.

All I discovered was a footpath across the bog.

A short stretch of road to walk along and then I took the footpath which leads up to Birchen Edge, Nelson's Monument and the Three Ships. It's a location popular with climbers and so there's a well-maintained path across the boggy terrain...more boggy terrain for me to cross.

The 'Three Ships' are three large boulders with the name of one of Admiral Nelson's flagships carved into the rock, the three ships being 'Victory', 'Defiance' and 'Royal Soverin'...[that's the spelling used.]

The descent to Robin Hood needs a little care, even in dry weather like today. Robin Hood is named after the pub of that name. There's not much else here; as far as I'm aware there's a Bed and Breakfast, a couple of farms, a holiday cottage, and a car park.

The road where Robin Hood is situated is quite busy but at least there was footpath or a wide verge for me to walk along until I reached a footpath onto the Chatsworth Estate, down some steep, overgrown steps leading to a recently-rebuilt footbridge over a fast flowing beck. Although I was now walking in the Chatsworth Estate, it would be another half a mile or so until I would reach Chatsworth area of easy walking. When I reached the parkland I sat on the first bench and spent a bit of time scraping off the worst of the dried on mud from my trousers, using a sturdy plastic store loyalty card that I had in my wallet...I regularly do this...I think it's the first time I've mentioned it on the blog though.

I wanted to look at least reasonably presentable when I reached Chatsworth House. I had to walk briskly in order to arrive at the Cascade House inside the gardens in time. I was a few minutes late for the start of the talk, but I still got some decent photographs of the fountains playing at their maximum pressure.

The guided walk continued, visiting three more water features, until we arrived at the highlight of the day...turning on the Emperor Fountain to its maximum height. The guide reckoned it reached well over a hundred foot, quite impressive, yet this is less than half its original height  when it was constructed in the 1840s. 

I've used sepia effect to add a bit more contrast to the picture. By this time it was quite cloudy and so difficult to fully appreciate how impressive the fountain is. On a sunny day it produces spectacular rainbows and the water spray sparkles like jewels.

I spent about forty more minutes in the gardens before going to catch the bus back to Sheffield.

I seem to have messed up the fonts in this post, I think it was when I copied and pasted the rhyme about Leash Fen and Chesterfield. I might try and sort it out later, but at the moment I'm a bit tired and am just looking forward to a long, hot soak in the bath.

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