Walking today with Chris and Maureen from Leeds: the location and route of today's walk required a bit of forward planning, an easy, flat, circular walk with frequent toilet facilities - I've recently increased my dosage of anti-diabetes tablets, as I need to, and I can therefore sometimes suffer from diarrhoea; fortunately not today though. There are some very clean and modern public toilets at the car park at Eyam [and an additional set inside the courtyard of Eyam Hall which are easily reachable from the main road through the village], and of course the pubs in the villages we would pass through would all have facilities.
I did my good deed for the day by re-uniting a hiker with his hiking pole at Sheffield Bus Station; he had got on the bus and left it on the seats in the waiting area, and I was rewarded with better than expected weather and a perfect day on public transport.
I arrived at Fox House, my regular point for Chris to pick me up in the car; a location named after a pub, which is named after a man who's named after an animal. It was busy at Fox House; there were quite a few mountainbikers, boulderers, fellrunners and maybe even an odd hiker or two.
We drove over to Eyam, parked in the free car park at the back of the regular car park and set off on our walk in glorious weather; this was how it stayed for most of the day apart from three short showers.
We walked down a track and then across the fields to Foolow. There are some lovely views of typical White Peak countryside here; mile upon mile of limestone drystone walls, a carpet of green fields and gently rolling hills in the distance.
The pub at Foolow seems to sell more than you'd expect...it even brews its own postage stamps.
It began to rain as we left Foolow and headed across the fields to Grindlow and then along the road to reach Great Hucklow where we stopped for a brief, a very brief, visit to the phonebox art gallery.
We then walked along the road and then the footpath which runs parallel to the road towards Windmill, before taking the lane which leads back towards Foolow. There are some lovely views towards the north from this area but it was still a bit murky...although it had stopped raining.
The track towards Littonfields is very straight for long sections and quite boring; things got more interesting when we reached the section of the path which cuts diagonally across the fields. We had to walk along the grass verge alongside the main trunk road for a few yards before turning down into Mires Lane and heading towards the next footpath. We walked through the gate, walked only for a few yards and then stopped to admire the wonderful view of Cressbrookdale and Peter's Stone.
We returned to the main road just before we reached Wardlow Mires, the ugliest village or hamlet that I've visited in the Peak District. Our next footpath went right through the farmyard, the route was clearly marked though.
There were a lot of stiles to be climbed over along this section and Maureen struggled a bit towards the end; fortunately the final mile and a half back to Eyam was along a public bridleway and so there weren't any stiles.
When we got back to Eyam Maureen remained in the car as Chris and myself had a quick look round the village, visiting the courtyard at Eyam Hall, the Tourist Information Centre in the old market hall, and the church, where there are some very informative display boards telling the story of the plague and the bravery of Rev. Mompesson and the villagers of Eyam.
I asked to be dropped off at the tram terminus at Malin Bridge and we arrived there just as a tram was approaching; I got back to the railway station five minutes before the fast train back to Doncaster was due...and it arrived on time.