It turned out to be a lovely day and yet I didn't make the decision to go walking until quite late last night after the weather forecast had been updated; I even told my friend that I'd got nothing planned this weekend when he phoned up earlier.
The 218 bus service runs every thirty minutes on weekdays and Saturdays, alternating between going directly to Bakewell or going the long way round via Chatsworth House. The bus I caught went to Bakewell first and so that's where I started my walk today. The bus went on a diversion though, the road was closed at Owler Bar and so we travelled via Froggatt and Calver; a chance for me to enjoy some different countryside.
Obviously I arrived at Bakewell a few minutes late, but I didn't mind. It was still a bit overcast when I took the first photographs...it didn't take long for it to brighten up though, and stay that way.
I climbed up to, and then walked along, the final few hundred yards of the Monsal Trail until I reached Coombs Viaduct, then continued along the bridleway which goes past Bowling Green Farm to Rowsley; I think it's impassable for horses, but there were tracks where I could see that mountainbikers had been. Like the rest of the walk, it was very muddy in places.
Some very nice countryside along here.
I dropped down into Rowsley, visiting the churchyard, but not venturing much further into the village because my footpath was just at the side of the churchyard. The church is quite picturesque, but not very old; it looks to be Victorian.
Once I'd passed the muddy sections the route towards Calton Lees is very easy, almost flat and walking on grass. I had a pleasant surprise when I got there; there was a vintage car rally taking place.
At Calton Houses the Chatsworth Estate has done a very good job in converting an old barn into a holiday cottage, or maybe even two.
The next cottage is also owned by the estate, but regular tenants live there, most likely estate workers. Properties owned by the Chatsworth Estate are easily identifiable by the blue/green petrol-coloured paint that is used on the buildings, the doors, fences, gates, windows, drainpipes, and eaves,
It was a short climb up to the top of the ridge and then a steady descent, with far-reaching views, down to Edensor.
I lingered at Edensor, taking photographs of all the cottages that were bathed in sunlight...here are a few of the better shots.
When I arrived at the bus stop on the main road I discovered that I had over half an hour to wait until the next scheduled bus was due, but who knows what time that might be because of the road closure? I decided to set off for Chatsworth House where I knew the public toilets would be open. Not long after I'd crossed the road the bus whizzed past me on its way to the House, where it turns round and then continues on its journey to Sheffield, either direct or via Bakewell. So...I had plenty of time to walk the couple of hundred or so yards back and wait at the bus-stop.
Annoyingly I seemed to be spending a lot of time pulling up my trousers today, I must be getting close to having a forty inch waist now...I will certainly have to punch another hole in my belt.