Sunday, November 26, 2017

Cutthroat Bridge to Hathersage

It's been Bakewell Christmas Market this weekend and so I needed to make sure I stayed well away from the crowds when I decided where to go walking today.

I was the only person who got off the bus at Cutthroat Bridge. I was rather disappointed that there was no snow on the ground; yesterday I'd been watching the live webcam streams from various locations in the Peak District and there was plenty to be seen then. I walked alongside the road for a short distance until I reached the path up on the Bamford Moor and it wasn't long until I got my first glimpse of some of the snow left from yesterday; you can just about see it on the summit of Win Hill in this photo.

It's easier to make out much more snow on Kinder Scout and Great Ridge in this shot taken a few minutes later.

As I climbed higher I soon got my first view of Ladybower Reservoir.

It started sleeting at this point, only light and lasting only a couple of minutes; a trend that continued for most of the walk until I was approaching Hathersage when it changed into light drizzle.

Higher, and further on still, and Ashopton Viaduct came into view.

I waited here for a while, hoping to catch the sun lighting up the viaduct for the opportunity to take the perfect shot...but it never happened. It was windy and quite an exposed location and I started to feel uncomfortably cold and so moved on.

On the way down to the road a park ranger called me over and said he was concerned about a quite frail old man who he had recently passed; he asked if I could look out for him and try to persuade him not to go any further. I met the gentleman a few minutes later and suggested to him that he might like to continue for about half a mile further to enjoy the view looking down at the reservoir and the snow on the distant hills but then he ought to return to his car because the weather wasn't looking very promising and further on, beyond the viewpoint, where I'd already walked it was quite difficult in places, steep, muddy, boggy and possibly quite dangerous. He seemed quite amenable to this idea, but I don't know what he did in the end though.

I'd been taking my gloves off a lot in order to use the camera and by the time I'd reached the road I couldn't get my fingers inside of them; the lining had worked loose and had swollen into a soggy, gooey, sticky foam blob so I used the barbed wire fence to rip open the lining and pull  it apart...job done!

It was a few hundred yards until the next path, heading down towards Hathersage, then a walk across the fields using a concessionary footpath - there are some nice views along here.

I finished the walk by walking down Coggers Lane into Hathersage; it was quite misty by now and so the only things I could find to photograph were some roadside signs.


As I reached the centre of the village the sun briefly popped out and I looked over my shoulder to the west. A thought immediately sprung to mind, ' Looks like it's getting a bit brighter.' A few seconds later a middle-aged couple appeared from around a corner and the woman said to the man, "Looks like it's getting a bit brighter."

It's happened again: sometimes I really scare myself when I think about things that happen...I'd scare other people a lot more though if I actually told them.

The matrix isn't broken - it's just an illusion.  

Friday, November 24, 2017

A Sunny Morning In Wakefield

I needed to go to Wakefield this morning to sort out a refund I was due and took my camera with me to take advantage of the sunny weather.

Scaffolding had been put up on the cathedral spire but there was still plenty of the building lit up by the sun for me to photograph. Some of the other buildings I photographed were a restaurant, the grammar school, St. John's Parish Church, and the town hall.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Conisbrough Castle

Changeable weather today but the sun popped out just as I was passing Conisbrough Castle in the car with my support worker. Not a bad place to stop and eat our sandwiches.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Moscar, Low Bradfield, Holdworth, and Hillsborough

Despite still having a few problems with my knee today, not as many problems as yesterday though, I still managed another ten mile walk.

I'd only been walking for a few yards when I realised there'd been a hard frost overnight so the ground was frozen meaning that there'd be less mud for me to contend with. I'd got off the bus and headed to the north, passing by Moscar Lodge; this area marks the boundary between Yorkshire and Derbyshire and over to west there were some lovely views looking deep into Derbyshire.

It wasn't long until I got my first view of Boot's Folly in the distance, a tower built in 1927 to provide work for local unemployed men.

After a short stretch of walking along the road the next footpath goes right up the drive to Sugworth Hall and skirts the grounds; unfortunately you don't get a good view of the hall - it's well screened by a high, thick rhododendron hedge.

Leaving the hall behind me I began the approach to the tower; it's possible to get up right close...and even go inside - it's only a shell though.

Although it was frosty it was still very boggy in a couple of places as I descended to Dale Dike Reservoir. The reservoir in the following photograph is Strines though.

I planned to walk along the southern bank of Dale Dike Reservoir, there's a path, but I couldn't find I took the higher path - a route I've taken before. This path eventually cuts up through the woods to the road. After a few hundred yards on this road I took the footpath alongside the stream which leads to Low Bradfield.

Next I walked along the northern bank of Damflask Reservoir, The path is wide, level, and well maintained and the walk around the circumference of the reservoir is very popular with families, joggers, and dog-walkers - at least a hundred people must have passed me here. The water level was low, the lowest I've ever seen it - but there was still enough water for the sailing boats belonging to the members of Sheffield Viking Sailing Club. 

The last couple of hundred yards of the reservoir walk is along the road; I was expected to have to continue about another half of a mile further until I reached my next footpath, but unexpectedly I noticed a footpath that wasn't marked on my map. The signs were obvious and very clear; there were two of them, both indicating that this was the way to Holdworth - where I needed to go next. One sign had been put there by Bradfield Parish Council and the other had been erected by the  Peak and Northern Footpaths Association. The route up the fields to the top road looked interesting and so I decided to take a chance, knowing that I couldn't refer to the map.

Maybe I regretted this...or maybe not, because I do like a bit of confrontation at times though. There were no line-of-sight markings on gateposts or trees, but the route looked clear and obvious and I soon spotted a gate that opened onto the road. I noticed that it hadn't been very securely fastened and so took a bit of time and care in doing a better job - there was no housing for the bolt to go into and so it was just catching on a flimsy piece of wire...anyhow, I bent a bit of stronger wire from the adjacent fence and made it  much more secure.

The next thing I knew the farmer, who had been driving his tractor in the next field, came running over to me and in a very abusive manner told me that I'd been trespassing and I'd damaged his gate, and a wall that I'd supposedly clambered over. He was a chancer and a liar; I hadn't been near any of his walls because there weren't any where I went, and I'd probably done him a favour by securing his bloody gate. After a lot of shouting and finger pointing, he attempted to show that the gate wasn't secure by attacking it with a kung-fu kick. The gate held firm and didn't open; I think he pulled a groin muscle. I kept a straight face and waited for his next move; another kick using a different type of martial art - this time the gate did indeed open; unfortunately for the farmer in the process he'd completely demolished the makeshift latch and loosened the gate post. 

There was an awkward silence for a few seconds which I eventually broke by reminding him that it's his responsibility to make sure that all footpaths going across his land are clearly marked and kept free from obstacles at all times.   

I don't know what he expected me to do, or what he thought my reasons were for ending up at that gate. I used that footpath in good faith and everything else that transpired was his own fault.

It didn't take me long to reach Holdworth, just a small cluster of houses and farms, and then take the footpath all the way to Loxley Common and Wadsley Common, and then walk through the housing estates to Hillsborough.

As I was passing the golf course on Loxley Common my friend Justin called me in a panic explaining that the pub was closed and shuttered. He phoned me up again a few minutes later to explain the reason - the water had been turned off in Doncaster town centre for a few hours.

Both the tram at Hillsborough and my train at Sheffield were late today...but this all worked in my favour when travelling home.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Hope, Little Hucklow, Windmill, Wardlow Mires, Wardlow, Great Longstone, and Bakewell

A change of plan today; I left the house early this morning and so ended up at Sheffield bus station just before eight o'clock. Since the Castleton bus was due in a few minutes I got on it rather than waiting another thirty minutes for the Bakewell bus, which was my intended plan.

I travelled to Hope and headed south out of the village along the road which leads to the cement works and Pindale. There were some lovely views of the Great Ridge along here.

I took the footpath which goes alongside the perimeter fence of the works, but didn't go all the way down into Bradwell.

Instead I stayed on higher ground, walking along the quarry road and then Smalldale Head Road. Whilst I was on this stretch of the walk the sky became very dark and it started to spit with rain although I could see bright sunshine ahead of me to the south...something to look forward to. Alas, I never reached the sunshine; by the time I arrived at Bakewell it was cloudy there too. The weather was disappointing today - much better was forecast.

I arrived at Little Hucklow, walked the entire length of the village and then across the fields to the hamlet of Windmill - the best views were over to my left.

I ate my sandwiches sitting on a bench at the site of the old lead rake before continuing down the road towards Wardlow Mires and then the bridleway which goes along Silly Dale. I don't think this should be a bridleway though; I could see that horses regular use the route but I wouldn't feel comfortable, or even safe, passing horses at close quarters here. In places it's quite narrow and it's enclosed by dry stone walls at both sides meaning that there's nowhere to get out of the way of anyone on horseback.

The only way to reach Wardlow is by using the road. It started to drizzle a bit as I approach. The only subject I found to photograph was the church - it's small and not very old.

The next footpath led on to the southern end of Longstone Moor and then a lovely descent down into Great Longstone. I have not used this path before and I enjoyed the distant views of Monsal Head and Little Longstone which I haven't seen before from this angle.

I walked through Great Longstone from west to east; this piece of metalwork caught my eye; I'm not sure if it's part of the pub sign at the White Lion, or not.

I had to rush a bit to reach Bakewell in time for the bus; I've done the walk before and so it wasn't a problem...I didn't miss anything. I arrived just a couple of minutes before the bus was schedule to depart...but it was five minutes late.

I noticed a few twinges in my right knee today - I hope this isn't a sign of problems to come.