Sunday, June 25, 2017

Stoney Middleton, Glebe Mines, Housley, Rowland, and Bakewell.

The first few trains from Doncaster to Sheffield this morning weren't stopping at Meadowhall due to engineering works and so they were being sent along a diversionary route which is usually only used by freight trains. This was something new for me, something different to look at; although I've actually travelled along this route two or three times before it's always been on a late night service from Sheffield to Doncaster...this was my first time during daylight hours.

I got off the bus from Sheffield at Stoney Middleton and walked along the road until I reached a footpath that looked as though it was leading somewhere interesting.

I ended up walking along the bottom of the cliff face, and sometimes climbing higher, for about a mile until I crossed the road and headed up a quarry road that's also a footpath going towards Glebe Mines. Near to the top I took the opportunity to leave the quarry road and head across the fields which overlook the valley and some old quarry workings.

Glebe Mines is a blot on the landscape; there's nothing there but run-down industrial buildings, rusting vehicles and equipment, lots of pipework, piles of rubbish, and lagoons of polluted waste water. I hurried up and quickly reached the next footpath which lead across the fields.

There are only about half a dozen scattered houses at Housley, so nothing to see there. I took the footpath which headed off in an approximately southern direction, walking mainly across more typical White Peak limestone grassland landscape, on one occasion doing a fifteen minute detour to visit an old lead mining rake on the lookout for wildflowers.

I then walked along the road which leads to the top of Longstone Edge, and continued using the track and footpath which drops down to Rowland.

It was then a relatively short and easy walk across the fields and along a short section of the Monsal Trail to arrive at the bus stop at Pineapple Farm on the northern edge of Bakewell with only five minutes to wait.

The bus arrived on time, unfortunately I had forty minutes to wait for a train at Sheffield Railway Station because the Newcastle service had been cancelled.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Bakewell, Youlgreave, Middleton-by-Youlgreave, and Over Haddon

I was delayed in town this morning on my way to the railway station, I didn't miss my train though. The cause of the delay was chewing gum being removed from the pavement by a scrubbing/scouring machine that was using a high pressure water hose with the dirty used water being expelled by a jet at the back of the contraption...spraying everywhere for a distance of several feet in all directions. So, I had to wait for a couple of minutes until the operator had finished and moved on to somewhere was a quite narrow walkway and there was no room for me to pass.

I arrived at Bakewell at 10:15 and immediately headed off down Matlock Road towards the footpath I was looking for. It was easy enough to find and I was soon walking up a farm track, and then briefly through an orchard before crossing some pleasant countryside consisting of meadows, woodland, fields, and pasture.

The weather was a bit murky, and it stayed that way all day - pleasant enough for walking though.

Just before I dropped down into Lathkill Dale for the first time today I noticed this home-made footpath sign - I wonder what point the farmer was hoping to make?

Descending to the river through the woodland was quite steep, the climb up into Youlgreave was a lot gentler though.

Youlgreave, or Youlgrave as the locals seem to prefer, is a large village and so it took me a while to walk to the western end where I took a path which led down through the woods to the River Bradford.

It was about a mile until I reached Middleton, a village that I hadn't visited before.

I needed to walk back along the road towards Youlgreave before picking up the footpath which headed due north across the fields to Over Haddon. I had to go down into Lathkill Dale again, and climb up the other side.

It was an easy walk along the road and then a gentle descent across the fields back to Bakewell, passing by Lady Manners' School, where it was the annual sports day.

For most of the walk today my legs were quite sore and very itchy - caused by the nettles, brambles, and thistles that I had to walk through not long after setting off from Bakewell. I was regularly needing to stop to have a good thorough scratch and this spoilt my day somewhat. This is the first time I've really suffered like this and I can't think why it should trousers are proper walking trousers, long-legged and quite thick - so I just don't know why the material didn't protect me from the stings and thorns.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Thurnscoe, Great Houghton, Clayton, and Goldthorpe

Another walk from Thurnscoe having first visited my parents for an hour or so. I left their house just after midday and walked along the old railway embankment towards Great Houghton. There are some decent views from this elevated route...and quite a few wildflowers too, and some maybe not-so-wild flowers as well.

The wildflowers I was able to identify were cranesbill, willowherb, and thistle...although I actually call the first two wild geranium and railway flowers.

These are two plants I couldn't identify...although I'm sure I've seen the first one before.

UPDATE: I've been told that the flower in the photograph above is a musk mallow, or at least some type of mallow.

I crossed the road at the bottom of Great Houghton and continued along the perimeter of Sandhill Golf Course and then turned right up the hill to reach the church at Great Houghton, unusual in the fact that it's one of the very few churches to have be been built during the Commonwealth era.

I walked along the high street and then headed up onto the fields at Mount Pleasant Farm.

After a few minutes I reached the road, which I walked along until I found the footpath which leads back to Clayton via Howell House Farm - at the farm I saw a young woman polishing her horse; it was standing perfectly still like a statue and glistening in the bright seemed quite magical and out of place. I've never seen a horse looking anything like this before.

I walked from one end of Clayton to the other, from west to east.

I took the bridleway that leads back to Thurnscoe, but after about a mile forked off in the direction of Stotfold Farm.

The farm track from Stotfold to the main road just before it reaches Thurnscoe gives good views of Hickleton Golf Course; it's a very scenic course, and some holes are quite difficult due to the hilly nature of the of the holes is known as 'Heart Attack Hill.'

Finally I climbed up to the summit of Phoenix Park, where there are lovely views of Hickleton village...looking like a bit of the Cotswold that has crash landed in South Yorkshire.

I arrived at Goldthorpe at 3:45 to find most of the shops closed and shuttered; is this usual for a Saturday afternoon? I did find a shop that was open where I could buy something to drink though.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Lodge Moor to Hathersage

Service 51 runs every 10/15 minutes right to the edge of the Peak District at Lodge Moor, only just over a mile from the National Park boundary. So whatever time I get up, get ready and leave the house, arrive at Doncaster Railway Station or Sheffield Interchange I never have long to wait for a bus to the start of my walk.

This morning was possibly the earliest start to a walk, I got off the bus at Lodge Moor terminus at 8:20. I walked along the road for a bit and then took the footpath across the playing fields and then joined the main path that goes along the route of the Redmires Conduit until I reached the road.

I crossed the road and took the concessionary path past the waterworks and continued towards the first of the Redmires Reservoirs.

When I reached the second reservoir I turned north and used the well-maintained gravel track that heads out onto the moors; there are plenty of seats along here.

The gravel path only goes half way; the return part of the loop back to the reservoirs is mainly grassy, but a bit boggy in places.

It was a steady climb up the track to Stanedge Pole, and then a level crossing of the moors to reach Stanage Edge.

I walked along the Edge to Cowper Stone and descended down to the road not too far from Upper Burbage Bridge where I could see a police roadblock in operation - most likely only a traffic survey though.

I walked along the road, across the moor again and down into Hathersage, catching the bus back to Sheffield from the higher part of the village.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Fairholmes to Malin Bridge

Sometimes a few young women  get on the early train after enjoying themselves in the nightclubs in town on Saturday night. Naturally they are usually wearing quite revealing clothing...which always puts a smile on my face when I notice them. Today, however, I was in for a real treat; one young woman who was wearing practically nothing, just a skimpy pair of knickers and a flimsy toga that wasn't even properly held in place. When she walked by me on the train I got a right eyeful of naked flesh - her friend wasn't wearing much more, just beachwear, a thong and a couple of red stars covering her nipples.

My bus from Sheffield arrived on time at Fairholmes, and after visiting the toilets there I headed up onto the moors via the dam and a few isolated cottages.

I took the Wellhead path, which leads up to Dovestone Clough, a route a haven't walked along previously. There were some lovely views as I climbed up here, mainly looking behind me, and they'd look even better in the sunshine.

I then walked across open moorland for a bit and found the easiest way to get up to the Salt Cellar rock formation, climbing through the heather, bracken, and was quite tiring.

From this point onwards it was a steady descent along the top of Derwent Edge and then across the moors to Moscar House and then a bit more undulating past Moscar Cross Farm and across Ughill Moors.

The next section of the walk was along country lanes, tracks, and footpaths, passing the hamlet of Load Brook en route. There was some decent countryside to enjoy and take photographs of.

Only a few minutes after this point it started to rain; the clouds looked very threatening and I thought it was set for the day, and so instead of heading down to the Rivelin Valley and walking all the way to Malin Bridge I decided to bale out and head for the nearest bus stop at Stannington.

When I reached the bus stop I cursed because I'd arrived there five minutes after the bus had left and it was fifty five minutes for the next one. I continued walking towards the direction of Hillsborough and a few minutes later I noticed a timetable on another bus stop showing that two services stopped there on a Sunday - yet again though I was a few minutes late for the additional service. So I kept on walking, fortunately the worst of the rain had passed over.

I wasn't really sure exactly where  I was by this time, I had walked off the edge of the map...but I knew where I needed to be - in the bottom of the valley. I headed straight down a steep hill on a housing estate and arrived not too far from the tram stop at Malin Bridge. When I got there, there was a tram waiting for me on the platform ready for the journey back to the city centre.