Monday, August 29, 2011

Fox House, Longshaw Estate, Upper Padley and Hathersage.

I chose today's walk specifically for a couple of reasons; I wanted to experience the heather at its best and to try one of the large breakfasts for which the Station Café at Grindleford is famous.

I wasn't disappointed with either.

I got off the bus at Fox House and within seconds was walking across the heather moorland at the back of the pub.

I wandered around for a few minutes, then crossed over into the Longshaw Estate; lingering for an hour or so in Padley Gorge and the area of Bolehill Quarry. Whilst  here I experimented with taking some close-up photographs of objects that interested me because of their shape, texture or the  lighting conditions - here are a couple.

I was soon at the café, and ordered a breakfast; indeed it was large - I needed both hands to carry the plate. I then walked over the railway bridge and took a photo of Grindleford Station, complete with old-style semaphore signal...I'm surprised they're still used on this stretch of track; after all it's the main railway line between Sheffield and Manchester and is very busy.

A fairly straightforward walk along a track to Hathersage Booths then followed, then along the road to Hathersage, but soon taking a footpath across a field and along the back of some gardens to arrive at a part of the village I hadn't seen before.

I passed by the bakery and couldn't resist popping in. Something called an 'Australian Slice' took my fancy; it was nothing more exotic than dark chocolate and coconut, but was delicious.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Derbyshire Lake District: Fairholmes, Yorkshire Bridge and Bamford.

For today's walk I went to an area which is informally and unofficially referred to as Derbyshire's 'Lake District' - due to the large amount of water in the three reservoirs of the Upper Derwent Valley.

I got off the bus and walked to the visitor centre, used the toilets and went to the east tower of the Derwent Dam to take some photographs. The dam is an impressive structure, but none of my photographs could adequately show this. I then doubled back for a couple of hundred yards and climbed up the path through the wood to the western tower.

Inside the western tower there is a small museum dedicated to the 'Dambusters Squadron' which used these dams to practise flying low and dropping 'bouncing bombs'  in preparation for their attack on the Ruhr Valley Dams in Germany during the Second World War.

Nearby there are two memorials; one to the airmen and one to a very loyal dog - the inscription tells the story of 'Tip.'

I then continued along the track which runs alongside the western shore of the reservoir and after about a mile took a steep footpath up through the conifer plantation; eventually leading to a point where four footpaths meet. I chose to take the one leading westwards, going parallel to the Snake Pass road, which I crossed about a mile later just beyond Rowlee Farm. There were some spectacular views ahead of me on this section of the walk.

I was now approaching the headwaters of one of the arms of Ladybower Reservoir. It's just about the best time of the year for heather, so I took some photos featuring it.

As you can see from the next photo, the water level in the reservoir is quite low.

I continued through woodland and then a track suitable for vehicles until I reached the Ladybower Dam, the furthest South of the Upper Derwent Valley Dams, the newest, and the least spectacular (it's only earthen).

Finally I walked down the road to Bamford, passing Yorkshire Bridge en route.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Castleton, Hope, Aston, Thornhill, Bamford and Hathersage.

Today I walked the entire length of the Hope Valley; it's not far, only being just over seven miles by the route I chose - but it's something I hadn't done before.

I got off the bus and immediately popped into the toilets next to the bus station, and then walked down the road, away from the village centre, passing Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Inn.

Somewhere in the photo, partially hidden by a hanging basket is a sign that states that 'Dirty Boots Are Welcome.' This is a positive development, and not all that unusual  in the Peak District these days.

It wasn't long until I reached the footpath that leads back to Hope. This is an easy, pleasant walk across meadows where I sat awhile and ate my sandwiches. At this point I was passed by three organised walking/hiking groups - a large one, and two smaller groups. At Hope I had to walk along the main road for a few hundred yards but then took a country lane which leads to Aston. My route to the village soon took me across more fields though.

A bit more walking on the road but then back to a path which went all the way to Thornhill, and then Bamford. At Bamford I crossed the River Derwent at the mill using a rickety wooden bridge and recently-repaired stepping stones. Bamford Mill closed many years ago and has now been converted into expensive flats.

I was soon crossing Sickleholme Golf Course by a new route to me and then a few more fields and a country lane and I was at Hathersage.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Tideswell, Windmill, Little Hucklow and Bradwell.

Today has been the second day of the Bakewell Show and since all the roads leading to the town would be very busy I decided to catch a bus that stayed well away; the number 65 to Buxton, and got off at Tideswell.

Tideswell is such a pretty little town at this time of the year; there are flowers everywhere, hanging baskets, containers and troughs decorating nearly every building.

I wandered around the streets and alleyways for about twenty minutes and then set off down a country lane in a northerly direction. I soon arrived at the Baslow to Chapel-en-le-Frith road. The road was very busy and so I hurried along the next section of the walk until I reached the footpath that leads towards Tideslow Rake - this is the best example of this type of landscape feature I've seen so far. A rake is a man-made linear feature in the landscape; a series of old surface mine workings following the line of a mineral seam or vein; excavations down to the bare rock and grass-covered spoil heaps.

A bit further on there's a less obvious rake, High Rake, with fabulous views to the north and east though; all the way to Lose Hill, Win Hill and the Hope Valley.

I then arrived at Windmill, a hamlet I've not visited before, and then walked across grassy fields to Little Hucklow.

Next I walked to the north across fields again and then along the road in Bradwell Dale. The views towards Bradwell Edge are impressive here, and I enjoyed watching several paragliders launching themselves into the air off the edge, and then spiralling upwards as they caught the thermals.

(This photograph was actually taken looking in the other direction though.)

Since it's now the school holidays the 15:09 bus from Bradwell goes all the way to Sheffield - I arrived in the village just in time to catch it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Bargain

T. J. Hughes are continuing with their closing down sale and this morning I spent nearly half an hour rummaging for, and then queueing to pay for what must have been the last pair of size nine walking boots in the shop. At half price, only £12.49, it was well worth the effort though.