Sunday, November 27, 2011

Rivelin, Redmires Reservoirs, Porter Valley and Endcliffe Park.

Although today was quite sunny, it was also very windy, and so I altered the original route of my planned walk to keep to low ground as much as possible. Quite a bit of time was spent in the Porter Valley, going all the way downstream to Endcliffe Park - only two or three miles from the city centre.

Yet again the early train to Sheffield was cancelled and so I had to catch the bus. Fortunately I arrived at Sheffield with a few minutes to spare.

The walk started at the Norfolk Arms at Rivelin, no longer a pub now though. I walked a few hundred yards along the road towards Hollow Meadows until I reached a sign for a farm with a name that appealed to me...with my name being Lee.

All sorts of images came into my head.

I then entered Wyming Brook Nature Reserve, following the path upstream. After a while the line of the path that I'd chosen became rather overgrown and littered with slippery moss-covered rocks. I was struggling a bit and so headed for higher ground through woodland consisting mainly of silver birch trees, which had trunks which were just the right girth for me to grab hold of and drag myself forwards and upwards.

I soon reached open moorland and took a short detour to photograph the Head Stone, quite an impressive rock. Its location is rather disappointing though and I couldn't find a decent angle to take a picture from.

It wasn't long until I was walking along the path which goes alongside the water conduit which leads to the upper of the three Redmires reservoirs. I sat and ate my sandwiches on a bench right next to a small stone tower which must be something to do with the reservoirs. Whilst I was here a woman passed me with a large black dog which was trotting like a horse.

A short section of quiet road followed and then a concessionary footpath going past some houses and then fields and more short sections of road until I reached the toposcope at the head of the Porter Valley.

This photograph was taken from this area whilst I was walking along Fulwood Lane, looking towards Sheffield.

The rest of the walk was a gentle descent alongside the River Porter, calling en route to Endcliffe Park at the Forge Dam Café where I had an all-day breakfast. I thought it was bit expensive, but the service was pleasant and efficient.

I left the route at the park gates on Eccleshall Road where I caught one of the frequent buses into the city centre. I had a short walk down the hill to the railway station from Arundel Gate though.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Miller's Dale, Wheston and Bradwell.

Due to a change in my regular weekly schedule I was able to fit in an extra walk today. Although still not fully recuperated from Sunday's walk I decided to take advantage of the good weather forecast, even though the day turned out to be far more hazy than I'd hoped for. It was mild and dry though, and neither foggy nor windy, so it was okay.

The walk started at Miller's Dale, this time climbing up the other side of the valley than I'd done a couple of weeks ago. It was less steep, not as slippery, and not as high either, so I only needed to stop a couple of times for breath. Underfoot it was good walking, due to this being a bridleway and a section of the Limestone Way.

Once I'd reached high ground I was progressing quickly, well aware of the fact that it would be dark by four o'clock and I had over eight miles to cover. It was an almost straight, level track for the next mile and a half to Wheston, with only a short stretch of country lane. Just before I reached the village it seemed to be the brightest part of the day; I turned round to admire the view behind me and noticed these trees which seemed to look rather threatening, as though they were attempting to reach out and grab me.

The next section was entirely along a country lane, but I made good time to Mount Pleasant Farm on the main Chesterfield to Stockport road. Just beyond the farm I could look down into Peak Forest, which appeared to be much larger than it's depicted on the Ordnance Survey map. At this point I also noticed a strange feature on a distant hill; it looked like a gaping hole. I got my binoculars out, and indeed that's what is was. Just before writing this post I checked online, and it's known as Eldon Hole, a deep cavern with many interesting tales about it. It seems only experienced cavers are able to explore it though.

A few minutes later I turned right onto the path that leads to Bradwell, across an area of old spoil heaps: not an unpleasant area to look at though. By now I was looking at my watch and wondering if I'd arrive in time to get some fish and chips. It was too late though when I got to Bradwell, the chip shop had been closed for over ninety minutes; it seems to have rather limited opening times.

I was hungry though, and so went into one of the shops and bought some sausage roles and jam tarts which they were selling cheap. It was a bit of a wait for the bus, and so I sat on a bench and enjoyed my food; attracting a few strange glances no doubt.

The bus arrived about ten minutes late and so I thought I'd miss the express train at Sheffield. It was late I was able to catch it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Moscar Moor to Hathersage.

Most of today's walk was done in thick mist, apart from the highest point of the walk at the northernmost end of Stanage Edge and the last mile walking into Hathersage.

I got off the bus at the county boundary on Moscar Moor and headed towards Stanage Edge. Instead of walking along the top of the Edge as I did the last time I was here, I decided to take the path which leads along the bottom of the cliff and then across the moor.

After stopping to eat my sandwiches in the sunshine I descended onto what the Ordnance Survey map identifies as 'Moscar Moor' but I've always known as 'Hathersage Moor.'  It wasn't long until the mist enveloped me, but the path was well defined and I made good progress. However, the line of the path soon became indistinct, and since I couldn't see any identifiable landmarks I had to start using my compass and head due south to where I knew the road was. The heather had  recently been burned back and so it was easy to just walk in a straight line with few deviations.

After about twenty minutes I could make out some trees ahead of me and a few yards closer I could see parked cars; I had arrived at the parking area at Dennis Knoll. I had to climb over a fence to get to the track which leads to the road though; obviously I hadn't come off the moor at the point where the footpath does.

The next stretch was a gentle descent to Green's House where I passed through a gate on wheels which was very easy to open, unlike last week when an unhinged gate fell on me.

By now the mist was clearing and so I took a few photographs. This one shows  the location of  BrontĂ« Cottage, so named because of the Jane Eyre connexion with the area.

It was then a very pleasant walk into Hathersage with the sun getting stronger all the time.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Miller's Dale, Priestcliffe, Taddington, Ashford-in-the-Water and Bakewell.

Not a good day for public transport.

My day got off to a bad start when I arrived at Doncaster Station and saw a coach parked in the car park; I went into the concourse and the departures board was showing a bus replacement service for the first train to Sheffield. As usual I'd arrived early and had time to walk over to the bus station and catch the 07:45 X78 bus. Although it's an express service it still takes 75 minutes to reach Sheffield: it was a few minutes late and so I missed the 273 bus.

So a change of plan was enacted; the next suitable bus was going to Buxton and so I decided to do a walk from Miller's Dale that I had already planned to do soon.

As I was waiting to get off the bus I could see that one of the information notices was bilingual; printed in both English and Gaelic. Obviously this bus had  previously been used in the Scottish Highlands.

It was still very misty as I began the walk, and it didn't start to clear up until mid-afternoon. I began by walking up some steep steps through woodland; this would otherwise had been very slippery at this time of year with the fallen leaves on the ground. Once I'd reached the top it was open fields and then a country lane to the hamlet of Priestcliffe.

Just beyond Priestcliffe I had a painful accident. I was attempting to open a metal gate which unfortunately was unhinged, and as soon as I pulled at it, it started to fall towards me, just clipping my left thigh as I tried to get out of the way...I now have a very tender bruise there.

I rummaged in my rucksack for my torch so I could safely cross Taddington by-pass; a busy stretch of dual carriageway - one of only a few in the Peak District,    I should think.

Because of the poor visibility, it wasn't a good day for photography; but I did manage to take a photograph of a rather pretty milepost in the village.

The next section of the walk was along another lane and then a footpath which led down a pretty valley, which isn't named on the map. I was soon down to the A6 trunk road; and had to walk along it for about a mile, switching on my torch again. The oncoming cars seemed to move into the middle of the road to give me space in plenty of time, so I'm assuming it has a powerful beam.

At what looked to be a fish farm or hatchery, I left the road and walked along a very easy riverside path to Ashford-in-the-Water, popped into the village shop, and then continued to Bakewell...where the bus to Sheffield was ten minutes late. There seemed to be a lot of extra traffic on the roads, so I'm thinking that maybe there was a major event at nearby Chatsworth House.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fairholmes, Ladybower, Thornhill and Bamford

Today I travelled on the new 273 bus service for the first time. It leaves at the same time as the 242 service which it replaces and travels the same route to Fairholmes; but continues on to Castleton.

At Fairholmes I walked southwards along the road which follows the eastern shore of the reservoir. There were several spots where I stopped to take photographs of the marvellous autumnal colours.

After about a mile I reached the footpath which leads up onto the moors; it is quite steep in places, but not at all difficult. There were stunning views down towards the reservoir and valley from most of this section of the walk. I took many photographs, but I think both my camera and my poor technique somehow didn't do the views justice; and so I haven't included any of them.

I continued along this high level path until I reached the Ladybower Inn; the official beginning of the Snake Pass road. The food smelled delicious and I was certainly tempted, but there were some very smartly-dressed people sitting at the tables outside, and some very nice cars across the road in the parking area; and so I thought the better of it, covered in mud as I was.

By now I was aware that I needed to pee but knew it wasn't far to the Heatherdene car park where there are toilets. I was walking along the road which leads towards Bamford when I saw a toilet block; the toilets were locked though. I noticed that this building was also used to sell fishing permits, and so assumed that these toilets must be for the exclusive use of the anglers, who must be issued with keys.

The car park was less than a hundred yards further on. As in most places in the Peak District that I've visited, the toilets were very impressive, with drinking water supplied and somewhere to wash the mud off your boots. Public toilets are located in most of the larger villages, and at several isolated car parks as well.

The next photograph was taken from near to the car park.

I crossed over the dam wall and took a picture of one of the bell-mouth spillways; according to several online sources the largest in the world.


Most of he final part of the walk back to the bus-stop near to Bamford Railway Station was along a minor road and then a short section of the Derwent Valley Heritage Trail. Rather unusually, the bus was over ten minutes late.