Saturday, November 22, 2014

Baslow, Pilsley, Hassop, and Bakewell

I had planned two alternative walks this morning, one starting at Great Hucklow, and one at Baslow. I waited until the last minute to make my choice. The Buxton bus and the Matlock bus depart within a few minutes of each other; the Matlock bus came to the stand first and was a double decker - there would be plenty of legroom for me on this bus and the journey time to Baslow is significantly less...and so I opted for the Baslow walk.

It was very misty on the highest parts of the moors and so I was glad that I would be doing a low level walk today, sometimes the fog and mist can set me off coughing and ruin my entire day.

I got off the bus at Baslow Nether End and went to the toilets to tend to a delicate area which needed a bit of attention. The cubicle was very small, and what with the actions I was doing, I kept bumping my elbows and knees against the sides. I considered taking a photo to illustrate how little space I had but someone arrived and went inside the other cubicle; as I was washing my hands I noticed a camera flash go off in the other cubicle - maybe he'd had a similar idea.

Anyhow, my nether end was sorted at Baslow Nether End and I was ready to set off on the walk.

I walked through the village to just past the church, crossed over the old humpback bridge and took a path which soon reaches the fields. It was a gentle climb away from the village followed by quite a steep descent down to the Bakewell road, then a similarly steep climb back out of the valley to reach more fields, and then a short stretch along the road into Pilsley.

I sat and ate my sandwiches on a rather old and decrepit lichen-covered bench just across the road from the village pub. At one point a car stopped and the driver asked me for directions to 'Chatsworth Hall', a hybrid combination of Chatsworth House and Haddon Hall; I gave him directions to the former, since it's much closer. 

Just beyond the village I took a well-used footpath through a wood which isn't signposted or marked on the map, and then continued down the lane to reach the Bakewell road again, about a mile further on. I needed to walk along a very short stretch of the road, no more than a few dozen strides; yet even in this brief period a car came uncomfortably close to me, forcing me to take a step away and put my foot on the raised white line which marks the edge of the road. This surface was very slippery and I lost my grip, slipping and nearly doing the splits. Many thanks to the driver of the white car for that (have you noticed how most cars are white these days though?)

At this time it was raining; the rain only lasted for about twenty minutes though and then the weather slowly brightened up...being really quite sunny and excellent conditions for photography when I was travelling home on the bus and the train.

I had to dodge two groups of cyclists as I walked along the path to Hassop. I reached the main road right at the southern end of the village and then walked along this road until I reached the Hassop Station Café on the Monsal Trail, using the strobe setting on my torch to let car drivers know of my presence this's very effective; they can see it from several hundred yards away.

I had a pot of tea and a scone at the café and then continued along the Trail to Bakewell, passing Bakewell Station on the way. By this time in the afternoon the conditions were a lot brighter and more colourful; I took a picture of the old station buildings. I like this photograph; it reminds me of a looming, snorting steam engine, one of the earliest on the railways - I can see the chimney, the massive wheels that the early locomotives had...and a snowplough on the front.

From here I soon reached Bakewell. I had a few minutes to spare as I was waiting for the bus and so popped into Bath Gardens to take this photograph.

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