Sunday, July 29, 2018

Fox House to Curbar Gap and Back

It's about two months since I last went walking with Chris and Maureen from Leeds, our previous walk was cancelled when Maureen phoned me to say that the weather was too hot for her and she wasn't feeling very well - I still went walking in the Peak District that day though.

The weather certainly wasn't too hot today; at times it was like midwinter...when I was out on Burbage Moor before Chris and Maureen arrived it was sleeting and there was a strong cold biting wind.

We made our usual plans, meeting up at eleven o'clock at Fox House. Although my train was nearly half an hour late departing Doncaster I still arrived at Fox House before ten o'clock and attempted to get in a couple of miles on the moors. After about twenty minutes because of the atrocious weather I abandoned this idea and returned to the bus shelter at Fox House to wait for my friends.

Today's walk started from Fox House. We headed off down the hill to the public toilets at the Longshaw Information Centre and then walked through the estate to reach White Edge. 

At a couple of points where a gate leads out onto open Access Land on the moors  one of these signs has been pinned.

Currently there are no bulls on the high moors in the Fox House and Longshaw areas - maybe the landowners are intending to graze Highland cattle up there. There are Highland cattle further south, to the south of Curbar Gap; they're very placid and friendly but I suppose it's still advisable to have the notices there.

It's a gentle climb up to White Edge and so Maureen was easily able to cope. It's then quite level all the way to Curbar Gap...there's even a bit of downhill towards the end. Although it was raining all the time it wasn't anywhere nearly as bad as it was earlier when I was on Burbage Moor.

We then turned north and headed back towards the car, walking along Froggat Edge. For the final mile and a half we returned along the same route at Longshaw that we'd used earlier going in the other direction and the weather had brightened up enough by now for me to be able to take a few photographs.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Eggborough, Kellington, Beal, Birkin, Gateforth, and Brayton

After yesterday's problems with the trains I thought I'd better stick to the buses today. I caught the early bus to Selby and travelled to Eggborough, about six miles south of the town.

I got off the bus and paused for a few seconds before setting off to orientate my map before setting off along a dead straight track running almost parallel to the railway line, heading westwards. On the map there's a footpath shown as leading in a northerly direction across the fields but I didn't see it and so continued with the track until it too turned abruptly to the north, the direction I required.

The church at Kellington is right at the western edge of the village in an isolated location; there's only a windmill and a restaurant nearby.

The two old ladies I met inside the church were very keen to tell me all about the building; I spent a very pleasant fifteen minutes chatting with them

There's a causeway alongside the road all the way to Beal; there's nothing to see there though. The road to Birkin crosses over the River Aire; I took this photograph whilst standing on the bridge.

Unfortunately I then missed my turning, but a bit later thought I'd found another path going towards Gateford. It was clearly signposted, but very overgrown and I had to eventually turn back...especially after I got stung by a wasp on my ankle.

So I continued along the road, going north and then east until I approached Gateforth. I barely entered the village though, so no photographs. The next path took me through paddocks and a field until I needed to walk along a short section of road. It should then have been open countryside for two miles but after struggling to reach Lund Farm and then cross over the railway bridge the footpath disappeared when I reached a potato field. I checked the map and could see a road over to my left and so just walked across the stubble field, daring the farmer on his tractor a couple of fields away to come over and try it on with me...nothing happened though.

I climbed over a gate and arrived just to the west of Selby Golf Club; just beyond the clubhouse there's a path which goes to Brayton Barff, a landscape feature created by the retreating ice at the end of the last Ice Age. I climbed to the top hoping to get some good views but there's only a covered reservoir up there, and the summit is wooded anyhow.

For the last few minutes, on the approach to Brayton, it rained - something rare this summer so far.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Taking Some More Photographs In Sheffield City Centre

A frustrating few hours today going to Sheffield. I went to book a couple of tickets for the ballet at the Lyceum Theatre but the seats I wanted weren't available; I require an aisle seat because I'm tall...there isn't enough legroom when sitting in any of the other seats. I usually book well in advance, but Siobhan, my support worker, couldn't let me know until yesterday that she could confirm that she'd be able to go with me. I usually go to the theatre on my own; occasionally I'll take my friend Justin along if it's an Abba, Queen, or Meatloaf tribute act...there are a lot of complications though and it's never really a relaxing night out for me. I'm sure it will be much more pleasant going to the opera or ballet with Siobhan.

So, my time in Sheffield was spent looking around the shops and taking photographs. My trip got off to a bad start though; travelling both ways on the train I experienced long delays and crowded carriages because of a major signal failure caused by a lightning strike on some vital trackside equipment.

I've never seen so many people on the platforms at Doncaster; there were police officers there to manage the crowds.

The first place in Sheffield I headed for to take some photographs was the cathedral. I've not been inside the building before because it doesn't look very attractive from the outside. Inside it doesn't really work for me either; my favourite part was the lantern tower in the modern section of the building.   These twentieth century additions were built in a very sympathetic and traditional-looking way.

The rest of the photographs feature corners of the city centre which looked interesting when I spotted them.

Finally, my best bargain of the day was a large bag of salmon bellies for only £2.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Equipment Failures When Walking

I once got off the bus at Rowsley and my trousers were falling down; I checked my belt and half of the buckle was missing. I managed to walk along to the shop where the shopkeeper had some twine in the back room - I bought a carton of milk to drink later.

I was walking down into Bretton Clough when I stumbled and noticed that the sole at the front of my right boot had become partially detached. I used one of the socks from the spare pair I always keep in my rucksack and pulled it over the toe end of the boot and I was able to continue without any problems. Of course the sock was ruined, shredded and caked in mud - I think the remaining sock is still at the bottom of my rucksack somewhere.

Another footwear problem; this time I was carefully closing a farm gate at Wormhill when my boot was somehow snagged by the bottom of the gate and the sole was entirely ripped off this time. I took the boot off, wore both of the socks from my spare pair on that foot to provide a bit of padding, struggled to put the boot back on and then carefully made my way back to the nearest bus stop at Blackwell Lane End.

I'd just finished eating my sandwiches on the Hallam Moors near the Redmires Reservoirs and attempted to sling my rucksack over my shoulders when one of the shoulder straps snapped. There was nothing I could do about this; fortunately it was easy and safe walking conditions back to the bus terminus at Lodge Moor.

I was once climbing over a gate and caught my trousers on a nail and ripped them. The tear was several inches long and I was unable to wear them again.

My Berghaus hiking boots are very comfortable, strong and still totally waterproof after five years, and I love them, but their grip is very poor when walking on limestone so I can only use them in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District and for some local walks - we do have limestone countryside near Doncaster, the Yorkshire Magnesian Limestone Ridge.

Twice I've bought a pair of ice grippers and both times I was disappointed. They were awkward to attach to my boots and kept coming loose and eventually the studs would break off. 


Sunday, July 22, 2018

Thorpe Salvin Garden Trail 2018

My first Open Gardens event of the summer with Siobhan, my support worker...we had one arranged for last month but had to cancel because she had problems with her car.

Thorpe Salvin is located a few miles west of Worksop and so is much nearer than all of the other villages we've previously visited which were in the Peak District. Something that interested me in particular today is that Thorpe Salvin is the nearest village to the point where the boundaries of Yorkshire, Derbyshire, and Nottinghamshire meet.

We arrived just before midday and were directed to the car parking area in a field quite near to the ruins of the old fortified manor house.

We then visited the church and eyed up the cakes and cream teas that were being sold.

The rest of the photographs were taken in the gardens that were open, plus a couple of general shots of the village.

On the drive back home we stopped at the tearooms at Braithwell and had a pot of tea and a large slice of refreshing key lime cake each.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Clod Hall Crossroads, Robin Hood, Chatsworth House, Edensor, Pilsley, Hassop, Bubnell, and Baslow

I travelled to Clod Hall Crossroads today, an isolated spot on the Eastern Moors just north of Baslow; there's a bus stop there of course though. I immediately walked across some moorland and then climbed up some rocks to reach Nelson's Monument at the top of Birchen Edge. It was cloudier and cooler than it has been for several weeks in the Peak District; it did brighten up a bit at times though...but not much really.

I got the opportunity to photograph the monument and the Three Ships rocks from every angle because I was alone here for the first time - it's a pity that the lighting conditions were really poor though.

I continued down to the road at Robin Hood and managed to find the well-hidden footpath that passes through the Chatsworth Estate to reach the woods behind and above the House. This path and several others in the vicinity aren't marked on the map...I think they are only permissive routes, but many of these are also shown on Ordnance Survey maps.  

After a couple of miles I reached the Hunting Tower, now used as a holiday cottage, and then slowly and carefully climbed down the one hundred and fifty or so steep steps cut into the hillside to arrive down at the Farmyard and then the cafe, restaurant, and shops located in The Stables, having first to open a gate with the most complicated latch I've ever had to use...I struggle with it every time.

I then passed Chatsworth House itself and headed off for Edensor.

I didn't enter the village proper, I just stayed on the road until I reached Pilsley; I still passed a couple of pretty in particular had a very attractive garden.

On the footpath to Hassop a large tree had recently fallen and blocked the path; I could climb over or crawl under. I chose the former and regretted it because as I was balancing on one of the recumbent branches it collapsed under my weight and I fell and landed on my back, the impact fortunately being cushioned by my rucksack. Several coins spilled out of my back pocket - I'm glad I looked down and noticed.

I sat and rested for a few minutes at Hassop before leaving the village by walking along School Lane, followed by the path that goes through Bank Wood. Just before reaching the wood I caught up with a nice woman with a nice dog called Percy who was covered head to paw with seeds and pieces of broken off bracken. I chatted to her for a while and threw the yellow tennis ball for Percy to run after, catch, and retrieve.

It was an easy walk down the road to Bubnell and then over the bridge into Baslow.

At the moment I've got a bit of a stiff neck because on the bus travelling back to Sheffield I had to hold my head up at an uncomfortable angle otherwise I'd be blatantly looking straight down at the clearly displayed ample cleavage of the young woman who got on at Abbeydale. I think she was an exhibitionist because she kept messing with her hair, always turning away from me so that I could look towards her without it being obvious what I was looking at...she was also always pushing aside the flimsy material of her blouse and kept re-adjusting her bra...always when turned away from me I wasn't made to feel uncomfortable all of the time. I think she must have been French, and a youth leader, because she got on with about a dozen teenagers who were speaking that language. She got on first, spotted me and quickly walked down the bus to sit next to me. Maybe it's true what they say about French women that they're far more open and easygoing about their sensuality and sexuality. In truth, it made the journey a lot more pleasant for me.