I've started 2019 by exploring some new territory in the Peak District. I caught a bus from Sheffield to Bakewell, and from there another bus to Elton. The bus arrived in Elton twenty minutes late because of the large number of cyclists on the roads delaying traffic. I got off and walked down the main street towards the church.
I then headed off in a southwesterly direction across the fields towards Pikehall. Interestingly, looking at the map and trying to confirm this by using my compass [which isn't very accurate though], after only a short distance the footpath is shown on the OS map as being dead straight for over a mile going across Elton Moor, AND heading on a bearing of 225 degrees - exactly south west, without any deviation. I wonder what the significance of this is? There are no features at all on the ground though, the moor is just several large grassy fields.
I then found myself walking along the main Buxton road, the route along here is also dead straight, but on a slightly different alignment. I took a minor road and then a wide track surfaced with limestone aggregate, which I don't like walking on at all, it hurts my feet; unusually for me, I was glad to reach the surfaced road. Yet again this track was dead straight for most of its length...no-one is questioning their sexuality in this part of the world.
It was then a combination of road and footpath until I reached Aldwark, a working village with not much going in its favour, certainly there's nothing interesting to see there...and the people seem to be unfriendly. Approaching from the west the map clearly shows the footpath passing through a farmyard, and everything seemed fine until I reached a firmly secured gate leading out towards the road, and I couldn't open it. I stopped, checked my map, re-traced my steps a few yards...but I was right, this was definitely the right way, every other option was blocked...so boldly and confidently, actually hoping the residents might see me and come over and confront me, I strode back towards the gate and climbed over it. As I suspected, half a dozen seconds later I spotted the sign pointing in the other direction, precisely from where I'd just come. It was very prominently sited at the side of the road.
Most of the way to Grangemill was right next to a well screened off working quarry. There's on old pub in the village, and a furniture restoring business.
As I walked over to Upper Town, and then Bonsall, I experienced my only steep and prolonged climb of the day...it was nothing too challenging though.
I only visited the southern part of Bonsall; as I passed the bus shelter at the Fountain I noticed there was a bus due to Matlock...I'd already seen it go up the hill to the other end of the village, where it turns round to start the return journey. I decided to catch it; this knocked about a mile and a half of my planned route, but saved me quite a bit of time, so I could do a bit of shopping when I got back to Doncaster.