Monday, November 26, 2018

Ecclesall Road, Whirlow Bridge, Ringinglow, and Beauchief Abbey

I gave it a bit a thought this morning before deciding to go on my planned walk; I pulled a muscle in my right arm yesterday afternoon when I was helping my friend to move house...I was lifting a heavy suitcase, packed with hardback books.

I took some photographs of some different areas of Sheffield city centre as I searched for the bus stop from where my bus towards Whirlow would depart. None of the photos was any good though, so I've not included them today.

I travelled as far up Ecclesall Road as the bus would take me and then walked the final mile or so to the footpath next to the entrance of Whirlowbrook Park. It was a steady climb up to Ringinglow Road: there were some impressive views of Sheffield opening up as I got higher.

It was then a steady climb back downhill through some pleasant pastoral countryside until I reached Forge Dam Cafe in the bottom of the valley - there are public toilets here. I ordered a pot of tea and a toasted teacake from the cafe and sat right next to the warm radiator...after first looking at the paintings hanging on the wall. They're all done by local artists and are for sale as are similar paintings at other cafes in the Peak District area. I managed to get six cups of tea out of the pot...and the extra hot water which I always ask for.

I took the footpath which went up to the millpond and then walked along the road for nearly a mile until I reached the next path which took me back down into Porter Clough, but further up the valley.

The next path took me straight out of the clough, up to Ringinglow.

I returned to Whirlow Bridge via the Limb Valley and Whirlowbrook Park, passing in front of Whirlowbrook Hall; there are some disused toilets in the park.

Before crossing over Hathersage Road I noticed this date plate on an old wrought iron sign; I'm assuming that the initials D.C.C. stand for 'Derbyshire County Council.' I think this part of Whirlow was actually in Derbyshire until the county boundary was re-drawn a few years after this date, 1933.

I crossed over Hathersage Road and meandered down through Ecclesall Woods to Abbeydale Road.

[It doesn't open on Mondays so I wasn't tempted]

I turned left up Twentywell Lane, just beyond Dore and Totley Station and then left again, climbing up through some steep woodland until I reached more level ground at the top, walking next to a field where a herd of deer was grazing, then taking a path which seemed to bisect a golf course until I arrived at the area of parkland where Beauchief Abbey is located.

The abbey is in a lovely setting next to a row of pretty cottages: what's left of the  building isn't very big now - it used to be far more extensive in earlier centuries though...I think it might currently be used as the local parish church.

Finally, I needed to walk for a few hundred yards to the nearest bus stop - there's a frequent service to the city centre from there.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Meadowhead, Dronfield, Dronfield Woodhouse, Mickley, Totley Bents, Fox House...and then Sheffield

I caught the X17 bus from Sheffield and travelled to Meadowhead and walked south at the side of the dual carriageway over into Derbyshire.

I turned to go down the local road leading to Dronfield but soon branched off to the right taking a country lane which goes under the bypass; I was now heading west towards the Peak District. Once the metalled surface ended I took a sharp left, briefly walking south again through a lovely tree tunnel for quite a long distance until there was open sky above my head again.

I soon reached a spot where the word 'aqueduct' is marked on the map. I was very disappointed; all there was to see was a boxed pipeline crossing over a railway cutting - the railway is the busy Midland Main line which goes all the way to London.

The countryside was quite pleasant but I couldn't really enjoy it because of the weather; it was quite misty and dark.

About half an hour later I ended up walking through a housing estate at Dronfield Woodhouse by mistake, but I soon picked up my route again at Mickley...where I found an interesting subject at a farm to photograph in black in white.

You can take your pick as to what you call the next section of footpath I walked along.

I continued westwards until I reached the bus terminus just to the south of Totley; there was a bus waiting but it was only 11:30 and the weather was improving so I walked along the road for a short distance and then took the footpath down to Totley Bents.

I joined a well-maintained narrow country road for a few hundred yards before picking up the Sheffield Country Walk again. A couple of minutes later I was startled by the noise of a train passing through Totley Tunnel - I was standing only a short distance from one of the air vents

I couldn't work out where the path went next and so re-traced my steps and continued to walk on the road, leading up to the moors. When the metalled surface finished there was a broad track going across the moors all the way to Fox House.

Recently there had been an orienteering event held here.

I had twenty minutes to wait for the bus at Fox House; the sun was just breaking through the clouds and presented me with the opportunity to take these two photographs from the back of pub car park.

I bought some salmon bellies and Bakewell tarts from Sheffield Market...and took some more photographs as I made my way back to the railway station.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Warmsworth, Balby, and Doncaster Lakeside

I needed to make a couple of important phone calls and then go to the bank this morning before I could set off on my walk, so it had to be a local walk.

I caught the bus to Warmsworth, only about three miles south west of the town centre; the journey was interrupted by two teenagers misbehaving who had to be removed from the bus by the driver.

The old part of Warmsworth is quite attractive, and there's a lovely mediaeval bell tower - the view of it ruined by street clutter though.

I left the village and walked down a track running alongside the busy, and noisy, A1(M) motorway until I reached a road which I crossed  and continued on the old railway embankment, just skirting Balby and eventually reaching the main Worksop road. The railway continued in a cutting and then levelled out into open countryside for a mile or so until I arrived at the commercial outlets just south of the Lakeside area.

After walking round the lake I made for the town centre. When I reached the first bus stop someone was waiting for the bus and the bus was approaching and so I ended the walk a mile short of home.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

'Fifteen Experiences You Need To Tick Off Your Peak District Bucket List' - taken from the 'Experience Peak District and Derbyshire' website

1...Go paragliding at Mam Tor: I've climbed up Mam Tor plenty of times and seen the paragliders but there's no way I'm trying it myself...I haven't even flown in an aeroplane.

2...Take a dip in the Slippery Stones Plunge Pool: I don't like water so I won't be doing this. It's a lovely area to go walking though.

3...Climb on Stanage Edge: I've actually climbed up to the top of Stanage Edge, there are plenty of easy routes up - of course the experience in the article is referring to climbing using ropes, carabiners, and whatever other climbing equipment is required.

4...Watch the sunrise or sunset over Ladybower Reservoir: I use public transport to get to the Peak District, so this is going to be difficult to arrange...and anyhow I don't want to be high up on the moors when it's dark.

5...Go paddleboarding at Carsington Water: I'm not even sure what paddleboarding is but if it's on water I'm not going to be trying it.

6...Cycle up Winnats Pass: I enjoy watching the cyclist struggling going up as I'm walking down. 

7...Go abseiling at Burbage Quarry: I went abseiling once and really loved it, nearly thirty years ago on an outward bound course staying at Bollington in Cheshire - I think it might have been Burbage Quarry where we went. I've seen people abseiling from one of the railway bridges in Chee Dale; there's a dedicated area set aside.

8...Find a Highland cow on Baslow Edge: I've done this plenty of times. they are very photogenic and love to pose for the camera.

9...Swing through the trees at GoApe in Buxton: No thank you.

10..Reach the top of the Crooked Spire in Chesterfield: I'd like to do this. I've taken photographs of the outside of the church but I don't think I've been inside the building yet.

11..Go to a gig at Peak Cavern: Interestingly the cavern has now reverted to its old, pre-Victorian name of the Devil's Arse.

12..Take part in a local sporting event: several are listed in the article but I haven't been to any of them.

13..Get a bird's eye view on a helicopter flight or hot air balloon ride: unless I can use my free travel pass I won't be able to afford either of these activities. I've seen the sightseeing helicopter land at Owler Bar a couple of times.

14..Walk part of the Pennine Way: I've done the first couple of miles, starting in Edale.

15: Make your own Bakewell Pudding: I can't bake and struggle to even manage the most basic cooking tasks so I won't be doing this...and  I'm ashamed to admit that I prefer Bakewell Tarts.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Fairholmes, Exploring the Ruins of Derwent Village, and Hathersage

Today I went on a mission, to visit and photograph the ruins of Derwent village down in Ladybower Reservoir. The water level is now very low and extensive structures can be seen, being high and dry and easily accessible. I certainly wasn't the only person there exploring and taking photographs this morning; apart from hikers, there were family groups, dog walkers, keen photographers with some very expensive equipment, and even someone operating a drone. Unfortunately my photos aren't that good; the weather was still overcast and my camera struggles with the zoomed in shots.

Here are my best efforts though:

I caught the bus to the information centre at Fairholmes and walked along the road which after a while becomes a track going round the eastern shore of the reservoir and then made my way down to the water's edge and the ruins of the village at a location where a well-used temporary footpath has been established.

When I reached the busy A57 road I turned and walked towards the Ladybower Inn and then took the path leading uphill onto the moors, walking for about two miles until I reached Cutthroat Bridge. I crossed the road here and headed up towards Bamford Moor and made my way to the foot of Stanage Edge using a footpath I hadn't found before. I stayed below the edge, and at quite a distance from it before gradually dropping down to the high level road that goes from Bamford to Hathersage. I'd not previously walked along a stretch of this road, but I'm glad I did so today because it offered me some nice views of Stanage Edge well illuminated by the sun...a bit hazy though unfortunately.

As I made my way slowly down towards Hathersage there were still plenty of views to enjoy, usually when I stopped and turned round though.

As I approached Hathersage this was the view of the church in the distance, over to my left.

I visited the new public toilets in the village and didn't like them: two unisex toilets with a marble seat that couldn't be lifted up. The toilet I used was flooded with a mixture of water and urine, all over the toilet seat and about half an inch deep on the floor. I only needed a pee, and I hit the target with my don't be blaming me. 

There were fifty minutes until the next bus was due and so I popped into Cintra's Tearooms, one of my favourite establishments in the Peak District, and ordered a pot of tea and a homemade raspberry scone.