An almost perfect day today; the weather was warm and sunny and ideal for photography, my health was one hundred percent as good as it can be and that's very good these days, public transport ran like clockwork...BUT...it was muddy nearly everywhere I walked. I've brought back several ounces of Derbyshire mud on my boots and trousers...I didn't slip down though.
I got off the bus at the northern end of Tideswell, on the way in, so that I could walk down and take some photographs of the church and whatever else I saw in the area.
I took the path which runs parallel to the road through Tideswell Dale, but is obviously more scenic...but a lot muddier. I then crossed the road into an area of Access Land and the path soon took me up high behind the parking area. I needed to be careful on the steep grassy descent though.
Just past the toilet block there was another path leading onto the Access Land again and I immediately regained all of the height I'd lost, and added a bit more too, arriving at the old quarry...a wonderful spot for wildflowers in the spring and early summer months. It's a sheltered location here and somewhat of a sun trap; it was noticeably several degrees warmer, being protected from the chilliness of the wind on all sides by the sheer quarry walls..
I left the quarry by walking down well over a hundred steps cut into the rock, down to the gravel track at the bottom which comes out just before Litton Mill. These were to be the first of many more hundreds of steps I'd be climbing up and down today...I don't think I've ever come across so many on a walk before.
It was a short stretch along the road to reach Litton Mill - I didn't take any photographs because, despite it being nearly midday, the sun still hadn't risen high enough in the sky to illuminate most of the buildings in this deep narrow valley.
I had to climb up more steps to reach the Monsal Trail, and more still, followed by a difficult muddy ascent up to the rake and then the bridleway which goes to Brushfield.
It was a steady descent of just over a mile to reach the Monsal Trail again, just before the Headstone Viaduct and then the Headstone Tunnel.
After passing through the tunnel I continued for a few minutes before reaching the first path that goes down to Ashford-in-the-Water - there are some lovely views to the north with Longstone Edge looming on the horizon.
By the time I reached Ashford many parts of the village were in shade...but not the church.
The next bus to Bakewell wasn't due for another forty five minutes and so I walked it there taking the pleasant riverside footpath...still more mud to deal with though.
I literally just turned the corner and walked onto the bus at Bakewell, the driver setting off as soon as I'd sat down.