I arrived at Bakewell with nearly an hour to kill before catching the bus to Middleton. The weather was still a bit murky and so I spent most of the time looking for interesting architectural features and close up subjects to photograph - the lighting conditions aren't as important...especially when the final images are converted to black and white.
By the time I started the walk at Middleton at 10:30 the weather was beginning to brighten up from the west, as it continued to do for the rest of the day, being quite sunny at times later on. I left the village by walking along the road that leads to the west and then headed off down Whitfield Lane, which is marked as just a bridleway, or maybe a green lane, on the map, but is actually a fairly well-maintained metalled single track road for the half a mile distance to Little Rookery Farm. I think the reason for this might be that there are no passing places because of the dry stone walls at either side.
After the metalled surface finishes my route continued, at first along a gravel track, and then across fields. Over to my left I could see that some sort of festival was taking place; I couldn't hear any music though.
I needed to walk along the road for a few hundred yards until I reached the footpath that eventually goes down in to Long Dale, at one point being asked by a group of women walkers if I minded taking a group photograph for them. Once down in the valley the walking was very easy, the scenery isn't anything out of the ordinary though. Once I'd turned in to Gratton Dale the scenery was much more interesting...but the walking conditions were much more difficult, muddy and stony underfoot in places.
It was a lovely undulating walk across the fields to Elton church. The church was just about all I saw in the village since the next footpath I took soon led towards open fields.
The countryside was possibly even more attractive as I headed towards Birchover.
I didn't enter Birchover, I just passed by some of the outlying houses to the south of the village before the long, gentle descent to Darley Bridge down Clough Lane, followed by the walk along the road to the bus stop at Darley Dale.
I reached the bus stop with fifteen minutes to wait for the bus back to Bakewell. It arrived on time and I arrived at Bakewell at four o'clock - just enough time to jog around the corner and catch the 16:05 bus to Sheffield. However; in my rush I stumbled and then tripped...it was very elegant though how I did it. When I realised that I wouldn't be able to regain my balance I put my hands out in front of me and dived forward as far as I could, landing on my hands and tiptoes in a sort of push-up position. I then continued with the push-up movement and ended up in a squatting position from which I could easily get up from and just calmly take the final few steps to the bus stop. No cuts, no bruises, no pulled muscles; I'm feeling really positive about how well I managed to deal with this minor accident, taking full control of the situation.
I needn't have bothered with hurrying to catch the bus though, the 218 does depart for Sheffield at five, and twenty five minutes past the hour, every hour during the day, except for 16:05...when there isn't one - instead it's replaced by the 215 which leaves at 16:20.