Sunday, November 6, 2016

A List Of Peak District Leisure Activities I've Witnessed When Walking

Something a bit different today; the weather is cold and unpleasant so I'm at home all day, spending a lot of time on the computer doing things that I need to get done.

I suppose on average I go walking about once a week, and I've been writing the blog for over six years that's about four hundred walks, and I've seen people enjoying a lot of different leisure activities; after all, by one definition, the Peak District is the most popular, or most visited, national park in the world.'s my list;

I'll start with the obvious activities out on the moors, which I see nearly every time I go walking in the Peak District.

Hiking/walking/rambling/fellrunning jogging - I regularly come across quite large walking groups, out in the countryside, waiting for the bus, or eating in cafes and I've stumbled across organised fell races a couple of times. I can't recall even one walk when I didn't see another walker...and very few days when I haven't at least exchanged even a few words with someone.


Mountainbiking - Mountainbikers are really only supposed to stick to bridleways and tracks suitable for vehicles, but they can reach most of the more rugged areas just by carrying their bikes over obstacles. Personally I don't have any problems with this; I like watching them lifting their bikes over stiles or carrying them on their shoulders as they struggle through boggy areas...some of the riders are very skillful, and very fit.

Horse riding - I don't like horses and always stay well clear.

Angling - on rivers and reservoirs all over the Peak District

Cycling - obviously I don't see this one the moors, but it's very popular on the roads in the Peak District.

Photography and videography - it's surprising how many people I've seen carrying professional filming equipment up to isolated spots on the moors.

Now to the activities that are much rarer.

Abseiling - the only place I've seen this is from one of the bridges on the Monsal Trail over the River Wye; there's a special site set aside for this activity. I went abseiling thirty years ago, down a quarry face though - I really enjoyed it and would like to do it again.

Paragliding - I've seen this happen from Mam Tor, Bradwell Edge, and probably a couple of other locations.

Gliding -  The Lancashire and Derbyshire Gliding Club is based at Great Hucklow


Canoeing/kayaking - on the River Derwent at Matlock Bath and on the canal at Cromford.

Sailing - on Damflask Reservoir, Sheffield Vikings Sailing Club is based here

Angling - on rivers and reservoirs all over the Peak District

People preparing to go caving, obviously I've not seen them actually caving because I don't go caving myself. I once went as part as an organised group thirty years ago and didn't enjoy it at all. It was over on the western side of the Peak District somewhere and most of the time we were crawling on our bellies in mud and water. I did enjoy climbing down the rope ladder to get down into the cave though. I did once see a young woman who had just been cave diving at Castleton, she was behind me in the queue at the fish and chips shop

Drone flying - I was enjoying an organised walk around the ruins of Magpie Mine but was being annoyed by someone using his drone to film us all. It was all official, he'd got the proper permission though; we were being filmed as part of a publicity/marketing film I think.

Motorbike scrambling - the riders have a legal right to use BOATs [byways open to all traffic] but their vehicles need to be road legal at all times - obviously that's not the case if their number plates and lights are obscured by mud. Unfortunately they don't only stick to the areas they're legally allowed to use.

Birdwatching - usually in the lower parts of the Peak District.

Landrover 'safaris' - I only observed this once; a group of about eight Landrovers coming down the track from Stanage Edge. They caused a lot of damage and blocked the route for everyone else for about half an hour.

Painting - on a couple of occasions I've noticed someone with his easel and brushes at Upper Burbage Bridge.

Wild camping - once or twice I've noticed a pitched tent, set a bit back from the footpath. 

Geocaching - the people might have been doing this activity, I didn't ask though, it all looked a bit suspicious to me.

Trigpointing - I know this particular hobby exists because I once got chatting to someone who was doing it, trying to bag half a dozen trig points for the day.

And finally, one leisure activity that I've never witnessed is skiing. Conditions are rarely suitable for skiing in the Peak District, and I suppose when they are, they won't be suitable for me to go walking.

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