Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Owler Bar, Longshaw Estate, Upper Padley, and Hathersage Booths

I woke up before six o'clock this morning and so made an early start for the railway station. I arrived at Sheffield at 08:15 and wasn't sure what buses would be due. It turned out that I'd have to wait for forty five minutes for the next bus from the bus station; my other option was to walk up the hill to Arundel Gate and catch either the Bradfield or Lodge Moor bus. I didn't fancy either, I'd been to Bradfield only last month, and the Lodge Moor would be teeming with schoolchildren at this time.

So I waited, and looked at my map. My plan was to travel to Owler Bar and walk across the moors towards Fox House.

There's nothing much for a walker at Owler Bar, just a couple of pubs, a complicated roundabout system for traffic to negotiate...and some rather bleak  and featureless moorland...and no handy footpaths, no dramatic views, no interesting rock features. As soon as I got off the bus I noticed frost on the ground, the first I'd seen this winter. I've not had any frost in my back garden near to Doncaster town centre - in fact, my geraniums are still flowering. I few minutes later, up on the moors I experienced my first snow of the winter too.

I walked along the road for a few minutes and then entered access land at the earliest opportunity. There was a welcome sign and a gate, but the path soon petered out and I found myself crossing bogland and dense heather. It was at this moment when it snowed. I quickly found a large rock down in a hollow; ideal for providing a bit of shelter. Here's a photograph of a nearby rock...which had more snow on it.

I made my way to the Longshaw Estate at Wooden Pole via Flask Edge and Lady's Cross. I was quite desperate for the toilets when I reached the Information Centre; some days my anti-diarrhoea tablets don't seem to work - fortunately most days they do work though. 

It's not far from here to the start of Padley Gorge from here. Walking alongside Burbage Brook I could see how much water was flowing in it and knew that the sight of large amounts of water tumbling over the rocks in the gorge would be spectacular. I wasn't disappointed by  the loud roaring sound, and the spray and foam caused by the water crashing into, and over, the rocks, but I was very disappointed with my photographs; I'm hopeless at photographing waterfalls or fast flowing water. I know I need to stop and manually set the camera, but it's all just too fiddly for me, especially with cold hands.

I descended Padley Gorge on the opposite side to what I normally do; it's slightly more difficult underfoot, but the views down into the gorge are much better. 

I arrived at Grindleford Station Cafe at Upper Padley just before one o'clock but was still able to order a large cooked breakfast and a pint of tea.

Here are some photographs of Upper Padley, all taken after I'd left the cafe. They are; a private house called 'Nearenough Cottage', The Old Mill, and Padley Chapel.

The weather quickly started to cloud over and get a few degrees colder, so I cut short the walk at Hathersage Booths. The bus stop is right outside the Millstone Pub.

The pub's car park is across the road; there are some stunning views of the Hope Valley and tables and chairs are set out on a grassy area; I'm assuming that drinks, and maybe even meals bought from the pub, can be consumed here.

Although not a long walk at all, according to my pedometer I did over 28,000 steps today. I did some research online and this is four times the number of steps the average US or UK man takes in a day. When I'm not walking in the Peak District, or wherever, I normally do just about six thousand steps.

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