Monday, January 28, 2019

Cutthroat Bridge, Hope, and Castleton

I arrived in Sheffield in time to catch the 07:59 bus to the start of the walk at Cutthroat Bridge: I had alternative walks planned just in case I didn't get up in time. It's a steady climb up onto Bamford Moor, from where there are lovely views looking down at Ladybower Reservoir.

The view of Ashopton Viaduct shimmering in the sunlight was magnificent from every angle; I just wanted to keep looking at it and taking photos, but I had to be careful where I was putting my feet and so had to regularly glance down every few seconds.

I got safely down to the dam wall, walked across it and then climbed over half way up Parkin Clough before branching to the left and taking the path around the eastern flank of Win Hill.

Once I'd descended into the Hope Valley I was mainly walking through pastureland; there were a lot of stiles that I had to climb over - each one seemed to be a different style. One of them in particular I found interesting, it had a small plastic or aluminium box attached to it; I'm assuming that inside this box there were some electrical components powered by a tiny solar panel. I wonder what its purpose is? My best guess is some sort of electronic counting device.

Hope church was looking its best in the winter sunshine.

The approach to Castleton from the east is lovely; I took plenty of photographs.

I had thirty minutes to wait for the bus - plenty of time to take a few more photos.

When I got on the bus I noticed that a sweeping brush was stowed on board; it would be useful in snowy conditions.

UPDATE: Someone has suggested that the small box attached to the stile is a solar light. It's so obvious that I'd never thought of that. It's very helpful by the landowner, or whoever though.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Wadworth, Stainton, and Maltby

A later start again today - sometimes life's essential mundanities get in the way of walking in the Peak District. was a local walk...but I did find a few stretches of footpath which were new to me.

I travelled to Wadworth, a journey of less than fifteen minutes on the bus.

I left the village heading westwards; the path across the fields to Wadworth Wood was very muddy, but clearly defined. I turned left just before the path went through the motorway underpass - I was now heading heading south towards Stainton, another pretty local village. Just as I was approaching the village five wild deer crossed the road a few yards in front of me...I only saw them for a few seconds though.

The street I had intended to walk along was blocked by contractors' vehicles, and in particular a large lorry with a crane that was unloading heavy concrete beams. I ended up going the wrong way and did a lengthy detour along quite busy roads. 

The road passed beneath a railway bridge, and just a few yards beyond I noticed seven or eight sets of semaphore signals and an old wooden signal box. 

I know this line used to be a lot busier when the collieries were open, but these days it's a little used freight only line, and it's only single track; so why is there so much infrastructure right here?

I eventually found a track leading over to Maltby Common and the nature reserve, and then continued through the woods and down into the valley, where's there's a footpath which took me right into the churchyard at Maltby.

It was only a short walk up to the bus stop and I didn't have long to wait for a bus since there are four an hour going to Doncaster.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Bamford, Stanage Edge, Stanedge Pole, Porter Clough, and Endcliffe Park

I saw my first snow of the winter lying in the fields at the side of the road at Hollow Meadows as the bus climbed up towards the moors. I didn't spot any any earlier because it was very misty this morning; that's why I started the walk at Bamford, and stayed at low altitude for the first few miles. The mist did clear clear up quite a bit later on.

I got off the bus at the first stop in Bamford and walked down through the village and then turned left and continued uphill along Joan Lane. I soon found the footpath that I was looking for, passing through a field where three women were exercising their dogs - there were the remains of a large snowman in one corner.

I climbed up through some woodland to the access road for the sewage works and then re-joined the path a few yards later. 

This section of footpath took me down into Hurst Clough, using several dozen steps cut into the hillside.

Hurstclough Lane is a very muddy, deeply rutted sunken lane that's no more than a narrow track. I climbed up it for a few minutes before taking the path that leads to Nether Hurst, from where I made my way up to Stanage Edge

En route I made a slight detour to visit the ruins of the chapel at North Lees.

At the foot of Stanage Edge there was quite a bit of snow and ice and so I put on my new ice grippers; I felt a lot safer scrambling up to the top.

I walked along the top of the edge for awhile before taking the Long Causeway across the moors to Stanedge Pole [if you look closely at the photograph you'll see it's spelled as 'Stanage Pole'...I always try to stick to official Ordnance Survey spellings though.] 

Just as I reached the first of the Redmires Dams I headed for Fulwood Lane, going across the moors on a well-used concessionary footpath, and then descended down Porter Clough to Endcliffe Park, from where I caught a bus back to the city centre.

When I reached the woodland at the top of the clough there was no more snow or ice on the ground and so I removed my grippers; about a mile further down the valley I used the public toilets next to the Forge Dam Cafe to put on my overtrousers because my trouser legs were very muddy - I sank into some deep boggy areas on Rud Hill a couple of times.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Today's Walk Cancelled

I've just returned from the railway station; there are no trains running to Sheffield today, they're only going as far as Mexborough. The station was deserted so I couldn't ask anyone what plans have made for getting people to Sheffield, whether a direct coach service going down the motorway would be provided.

I didn't fancy taking the bus; it takes over an hour and a half, and so by the time I would have reached Sheffield many of the buses going to the Peak District would have already departed.

I shall try again tomorrow; with it being a weekday the trains should be running...and the weather forecast is decent. I will probably have to plan a different walk though because the bus timetables are significantly different on Sundays.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Ashopton, Snake Pass, Hope Cross, and Hope

I travelled to Ashopton and took the classic shot of Ashopton Viaduct framed in the distance before walking up to Crookhill Farm.

I continued past the farm; the next two and a half miles was my favourite part of the walk with lovely views over to Kinder Scout, the Great Ridge, and the Snake Pass.


When I reached Rowlee Farm I came down onto the lower reaches of the Snake Pass and immediately crossed the road and headed up the hill towards Hope Cross. The path going up this way has been named 'Potato Alley' by mountainbikers who regularly use the route - it's an appropriate choice, there are thousands of loose pebbles the size and shape of potatoes which have been placed there to supposedly improve the surface, and maybe reduce erosion...however it's now much more difficult for both tyres and boots.

Hope Cross is a prominent local landmark.

I took a steep path down towards the Edale road, one I'd not used before. Just past Edale End at the bottom of the valley I used a concessionary footpath going along the bank of the River Noe, new to me as well, and then the definitive path that still keeps close to the river until it reaches the road at the Townhead Bridge area of Hope. 

Today was the first time I was there when a train going to the cement works passed over the viaduct as I approached the main part of Hope - quite a rare event I think...I didn't get a good photo though.

The bus had just left for Sheffield when I arrived down on the main road in the village and so I had nearly an hour to kill. I went to the Old Hall Tearooms  and ordered a pot of tea and a slice of coconut sponge cake. the cake was very crumbly and I couldn't manage only using the knife which had been brought to my table so I asked for a fork as well...and then still struggled. I was pleased to notice that the knife had been made in Sheffield though. I had a good chat with a couple of the customers; when I left I told them I needed to get back to Doncaster before I turned into a pumpkin.

At one of the bus stops in Sheffield city centre the driver switched off the engine, left his cab, held up a bus ticket and explained that people who pay for their fare by swiping their mobile phone need to take the ticket they are issued and securely dispose of it because criminals are boarding buses and picking up the appropriate tickets off the floor and using them to steal money from people's bank accounts.