Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Foolow, Grindlow, Great Hucklow, Windmill, and Castleton

It's only been a couple of days since my last walk in the Peak District, but the weather has been good today...and I'm feeling good too. I'm really enjoying my extra stamina and increased level of fitness since I started taking the vitamin D supplement...and I've lost 9lbs and at least an inch round my waistline. I'm on fire!

As usual, when I got off the bus at Foolow there were several cars parked close to the duck pond, spoiling the view of the church and the nearby buildings. I did my best though to get some decent angles.

For the first time I managed to look inside the tiny church, a converted blacksmith's shop.

I walked across the fields to Grindlow where I sat on this bench and ate my sandwiches. It was a bit early, but it saves carrying them I guess.

It was only a short walk along the road to Great Hucklow, where I took photographs of The Manse and giant spiders scuttling across the gable end of an old farmhouse.

Just beyond the village I discovered a lovely grassy footpath which runs parallel to the road; previously I've walked along the road, which is quite narrow in places. Sometimes the path opened up to reveal larger spaces of grassland with fantastic views to the north. An information panel explained that all these areas are the remains of old mine workings.

I quickley passed through the hamlet of Windmill and then went down the lane which leads to High Rake Mine. There are quite substantial ruins here; unfortunately the underground passages are fenced off though.

Tideslow Rake is quite an interesting landscape, and is the largest in the Peak District; it's a bit of a climb to get to the top, near to the transmitter mast.

The final few miles to Castleton were along stretches of road, across high limestone grassland and tracks constructed using limestone chippings...which can be painful to walk on after a while.

I caught the three o'clock bus back to Sheffield. About thirty minutes later, as it was climbing up the hill from Hathersage, three separate alarms sounded...they were very loud. The driver got out of the bus at the top of the hill at Fox House and checked everything he could on the vehicle - the alarms were still sounding even with the engine switched off.

He tried to contact the depot by radio, but he couldn't reach them. A rather rude passenger waiting to be let on asked what the problem was; it turned out to be an overheating engine and brakes.

The driver decided to let the waiting passengers on and proceed with caution down the hill to Sheffield. The journey was slow and the engine was misfiring and backfiring as we juddered forward; this uncomfortable motion probably compensating for the fact that the brakes might not be working.

A few miles later at Whirlow, we came into radio range and the driver was able to contact the depot; the highlight of the conversation was, 'there's a flame lit up and flashing on the dashboard...I'm not sure what it means.'

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