Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Fox House, Burbage Valley, Stanage Edge, and Hathersage

This was my first visit to the Burbage Valley since the large scale tree felling last year. I was curious as to how it looks now. Well, they've done a good job so far in tidying up most of the mess left behind...large areas still need re-planting or re-seeding though. The views are certainly different now, not necessarily better though at the moment, maybe they'll improve as the landscape matures. I've not been a supporter of this project - I thought everything was fine before; the pine plantations gave the valley a Scottish or Scandinavian appearance...something a bit different in the Peak District.

My day got off to a good start at Sheffield Railway Station where free packets of Belvita Breakfast biscuits were being handed out. For once there was something for free that I actually like - I'd already got a half-eaten packet of Belvita in my rucksack, which I finished off later with my sandwiches.

I got off the bus at Fox House and took the first path onto the moors. I then headed straight for Carl Wark [featuring in the first photograph] but missed the main footpath and so had to leap over Burbage Brook at a safe location. I was soon back on track though, reaching the flat summit after a short scramble, exploring for a while and then continuing  towards the next summit, Higger Tor.

After having eaten my sandwiches I spent a couple of minutes looking at the map and deciding where to go next. I opted for Stanage Edge...well, the trig point at the southern end of the escarpment.

I've walked along the entire top of Stanage Edge, in both directions, quite a few times and so wanted to do something a bit different today. There's a path that goes along the bottom of the cliff, and so I made my way down to there, then enjoyed the views of the rocks from below. The sun was at just the right angle to make out a lot of detail - striations, cracks and crevices, precariously balanced boulders, and interesting shadows cast onto the rocks by trees and other rocks. None of the photographs I took was any good though...I think the contrast ended up being too high.

After about a mile I picked my way through the died-back undergrowth to the road, and then had a leisurely stroll down to Hathersage along various footpaths and bridleways.

I arrived at Hathersage with forty five minutes until the next bus back to Sheffield was due. The public toilets are now closed indefinitely with a sign on the door that states that they've been closed because they're no longer fit for use and will be rebuilt some time in the date was given though. Cintra's tearooms were also closed today and so I couldn't pop in there for a few minutes to get warm. My only other option was the cafe at the outdoor swimming pool; I'd never been before and so was keen to try it. It's nothing special; the service was very slow and although I only ordered a pot of tea I looked at the menu and the prices seemed to be quite high, higher than the cost of meals at one of the pubs in the village that I passed by. 

The bus arrived on time, but I didn't reach the railway station at Sheffield in time to catch one of the express trains back to Doncaster. The bus driver seemed to be new to the route and went the wrong way in the city centre meaning that I had a much longer distance to walk to reach the railway station.

I had to catch the local stopping service that goes to Scunthorpe.

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