Saturday, July 20, 2013

Bakewell, Rowsley, Stanton Woodhouse, Stanton Lees, Warren Carr, Darley Bridge, and Darley Dale.

It was a lot cloudier and cooler today than I expected; much better conditions for walking though than when it's hot and sunny.

There are always plenty of interesting and beautiful floral displays and shop signs to photograph at Bakewell.

After going to the toilets and popping into a shop I started my walk by crossing over the bridge and taking the footpath that goes next to the showground and then through riverside meadows towards Haddon Hall. Before reaching the road at Haddon Hall I turned uphill and walked up through woodland and across fields, and later using forestry tracks, I arrived at Rowsley.

Near to Rowsley there has been a lot of tree felling and the re-planting of saplings. To me it looks like they are planted too close together though; maybe they might be thinned out in a few years' time.

My intention was to pick up the Derwent Valley Heritage Way here and walk down to Darley Dale on the left bank of the river. Although clearly marked on my map, I couldn't find this route at all: coming back on the bus I didn't notice any footpath signs leading down to the river either. The path must have been diverted and I must have a quite old map. 

[On closer inspection of both my paper copy and several online versions, it looks like the path down to Northwood along the river doesn't actually exist  yet, just a proposal to establish one along this section - that's no bloody use to me though.]

I didn't want to walk along the road for over a mile and so decided to use the paths at the other side of the river, which I've used before. I walked past Caudwell's Mill and decided to have a look around since I've not visited the place before. I didn't think there was much to see there; the guided tour around the working mill might have been interesting, but I chose to spend my money in the cafĂ©: the pot of tea was good value for £1.50.

There's a well-surfaced road all the way to Stanton Woodhouse and then a path across fields and alongside the edge of a wood. I reached the road that leads down to Stanton Lees; unfortunately, apart from one short stretch,  I'd be walking on tarmac for the rest of the walk.

I increased my pace as I was walking along the roads, hoping to catch the 2:50 bus at Darley Dale, passing Warren Carr and Darley Bridge.

At Darley Bridge I took the footpath which is the direct route to the main road and the bus stop, across a field which always seems to have an electric fence positioned at a different location every time I'm there. Fortunately getting by the electric fence never poses a problem. It consists of only one electrified wire strung at a height of just under two foot above the ground, allowing any reasonably fit and active person the opportunity of either jumping or even stepping over it, or simply rolling beneath the wire. I chose the later.

The bus passed me just as I was approaching the bus stop. It stopped to let someone get off, but the driver didn't wait for me...although it was obvious that I was running for the bus. The next bus to Sheffield was a ninety minute wait: I wasn't going to wait that long though, the Bakewell bus came twenty minutes later, and the timing meant that if I hurried up at Bakewell I'd be able to get off and run round the corner to catch the Sheffield Bus from Rutland Square. [The buses from Matlock and Derby use the stop on Matlock Road.]

I was first off the bus at Bakewell, was able to cross the road using the pedestrian crossing without having to wait...and then had to frantically weave in and out of shoppers, shopping trolleys, parked mobility scooters, prams, pushchairs and a dense forest of street furniture...and on one occasion had to simultaneously jump over a dog whilst ducking my head to make sure I didn't hit a low hanging basket of petunias.  

After intentionally bouncing off two slow-moving cars as I crossed the next road I then crashed into the railings outside the bank and arrived at the back of the queue for the Sheffield bus, just as the first people were boarding.

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