Saturday, June 11, 2016

Grindleford, Hathersage Booths, Hathersage, Bamford, Thornhill, Brough, Hope, and Castleton

Walking the entire length of the Hope Valley from east to west.

A walk today which takes in short sections of footpaths and roads that I'd not previously walked along, maybe a quarter of the entire distance covered.

I got off the bus at the bottom of the hill at Grindleford and walked through riverside meadows and woodlands before climbing up to Hathersage Booths, taking a route which was new to me; it was difficult to find the path too.

The path went straight over the main Sheffield to Manchester railway line.

I then walked the few hundred yards down the road into Hathersage village and had a pot of tea at Cintra's Tearooms, one of my favourite establishments in the Peak District. I was the only customer in the front sitting area; there might have been people at the back, upstairs, or even outside in the garden.

I left the village using a back street which runs parallel to the main road, but higher, until I reached a short footpath across a field down to the main road. I had to re-cross the railway line.

This path continued at the other side of the road, leading down to the river. At one point the thoughtful landowner had provided a pole for me to rest my testicles on - it was exactly the right height for me.

After a few hundred yards there was a choice, either turn left and use the stepping stones over the river, or turn right and climb back up to the main road. I turned right...definitely the right choice.

I found two short scenic paths at Brough so that I didn't have to walk along the road and then took a rather overgrown path to Thornhill.

It was quite a long section along the main Hope Valley road until I reached Hope itself; there are several milestones along the route.

I don't think the church at Hope is very pretty; I think it looks quite austere and even sinister.

The last couple of miles across the fields and along country lanes to Castleton is pretty. Just after leaving Hope there's a footbridge over the railway branch line that goes to Hope cement works. It was constructed to hang lower in the middle, a bit like a rope bridge in the jungle.

I only had about five minutes to wait for the bus at Castleton. When we reached Hope a large stag party boarded. The groom was meant to be Robin Hood, but he looked more like Julie Andrews [the actress who starred in 'The Sound of Music' and 'Mary Poppins'] dressed as a leprechaun. Unsurprisingly they were going to the Little John pub in Hathersage.

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