Monday, May 27, 2019

Hathersage Booths, Abney, Abney Grange, Bretton, Eyam, Stoney Middleton, Calver, Curbar, and Baslow

I travelled to the Millstone pub on the hill above Hathersage today. It was raining when I got there, something I wasn't expecting after reading the weather forecast yesterday. It rained for prolonged periods...but there were also long spells of sunshine as well.

I took the footpath going down to the river and then followed the Derwent upstream for about half a mile and then walked along a series of paths, tracks, and lanes to reach Offerton Moor, and then Abney.

I continued along the road to Abney Grange and then slipped down into the upper reaches of Bretton Clough, then climbed up the other side. At the top I was greeted by a friendly farmer who had just arrived to inspect a dead sheep; we stayed chatting for a while, mainly about why the next path I wanted to use, and the road, had been blocked off. It was due to subsidence in an area where there's a strategic water pipe only a few inches below the surface in places.

I couldn't go down the hill to Foolow and so continued along the road to Bretton - the Barrel Inn there is the highest pub in Derbyshire.

So I then made my way down to Eyam, going by Black Hole Mine using a footpath I've never used before.

There are some lovely cottages in Eyam.

I took Mill Lane to reach Stoney Middleton.

It was level walking to reach Calver and then quite a steep ascent as I partially climbed the hill going up to Curbar Gap.

Only going so far up the hill was far enough; my pelvis was starting to hurt me, it must be a sprain, strain, or pulled muscle. Fortunately it was fine when I was walking on level ground or going downhill, as most of the remainder of the walk to Baslow Nether End was. On the way I needed to escort a family through farmyard where the footpath goes - because the farmer was working, using his tractor to move some bales of hay out of storage they thought that the public footpath definitely doesn't go that way - I knew it did without even looking at the map...and so  they followed me.

There was time for a cherry Bakewell ice cream at the end of the walk, and a quick look at the art exhibition inside the village hall.

Apart from one striking abstract still-life I didn't like any of the paintings. I've seen much better pictures, and more to my liking, hanging on the walls of various cafes and tearooms I've visited. Like those at Baslow today, the artists' work was also on sale. 

Friday, May 24, 2019

Bawtry, Scrooby, Mattersey Thorpe, Mattersey, Lound, and Cooks Cottages

A later start today and so only a short bus ride out to Bawtry. The bus ride was even shorter than I'd planned though; I wanted to start the walk at Scrooby but the Retford bus that goes there didn't turn up and so when the Worksop bus showed up on time twenty minutes later I boarded that...meaning that I had a mile and a half to walk down the road until I reached Scrooby.

I took some photographs in the village and then headed over to Mattersey Thorpe and then Mattersey. I was walking along a dusty bridleway along this section of the walk and a car was approaching me. I jumped over to the right to get well clear of the cloud of dust it was causing but I nearly stood on a young hare or rabbit and then stumbled and needed to briefly put my hand on the car's bonnet to get my balance. Fortunately the car was only travelling slowly, at walking pace, but I was coughing for the next few minutes as I recovered from inhaling copious amounts of dust particles.

The church at Scrooby was locked, the one at Mattersey wasn't though.

I've not visited the ruins of the priory at Mattersey yet, access is via a mile and a half long dead-end it entails a three mile detour.

There's no church to photograph at Lound.

I headed to the south, walking down the road for a few hundred yards until I reached a lake which I think is part of the Idle Valley Nature Reserve. I progressed further into the country park and some of the paths had been blocked off and re-routed and so I couldn't work out where I was; I had to stand still for a few minutes until I could hear a train travelling on the East Coast Mainline. It was easy enough then for me to get my bearings...this is a technique I wasn't taught on my mapreading and navigation course at Northern College.

The path which led out of the nature reserve took me to a bus stop on the main Doncaster road right across from a noisy garage. I didn't fancy waiting there for thirty minutes and so walked down to the next bus stop at a location called Cooks Cottages, only two miles north of Retford. I now had only twenty minutes to wait; about five minutes before the bus arrived though a couple of young men in a white van waived at me and honked their horn; I don't think they were being friendly though - and I certainly didn't know them. They probably objected to how I was standing, what I was wearing, how I was observing the passing traffic as I looked out for my bus. Maybe they were offended because I'm too tall, or too thin, or they didn't like my glasses or my haircut...whatever it was, it's always something for some people.

Monday, May 20, 2019

A Walk From Doncaster To Conisbrough Along The River

I went for a quite short walk today with a friend from Leeds, one of my favourite local walks, going up the river to Conisbrough.

We had originally planned to meet up in a pub in town with another friend and just have a meal and chat for a few hours but he rang up this morning to say he wasn't feeling very well. Damo had already bought his train ticket and so he travelled through to Doncaster as planned and we went on the walk...the two of us could walk and chat at the same time.

When we reached Newton we spotted six cats in a yard, and then a further two on the lawn at the next house.

We climbed up out of the Don Gorge at Sprotbrough and spent some time in the bistro at the top of the hill; thanks for the birthday treat by the way Damo; tea and cake, a large slice of Black Forest gateau. Damo ordered an Italian vegetable garden pizza for himself - he said it was one of the best he'd ever eaten - he also liked the ambiance and decor of the establishment, 'very  Mediterranean' he said. Damo thought he'd  counted his ninth cat of the day lurking in the shadows at the back of the bistro; when it got closer though we could see the it was actually was a small dog which looked a lot like a cat.

We continued towards Conisbrough, exchanging a few pleasantries with a man on rollerblades who was complaining about his sore ankles. After a while Damo was struggling, not just with his feet, but he was also feeling sick as well and vomited at the bus stop in Conisbrough at the end of the walk...I didn't get away unscathed today either, I suffered one of the worst insect bites or sting that I've ever experienced, so bad that it drew blood. My thick heavy trousers provided no protection for me; the insect probably got trapped underneath the material.

After vomiting Damo felt better, but I struggled not to scratch the bite which was really beginning to itch as we travelled on the bus back to Doncaster.   

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Hessle West Open Gardens 2019

My first visit to an Open Gardens event this summer.

Hessle is a suburban area about five miles west of Hull and although I enjoyed my day out today with my support worker I much prefer visiting the open gardens in the pretty villages. 

We arrived half an hour early and so walked down to the foreshore; I didn't take any decent photographs of the Humber Bridge or the river...but there's a row of pretty cottages near to the northern tower... almost directly beneath the overhead carriageway.

There were some lovely gardens to see today but many of them were quite similar, and because the gardens were quite spread out there was quite a bit of walking to do. There was a free minibus service provided, but we didn't fancy hanging about waiting for it though.

At one point we were quite close to the town centre and so we walked towards the shops, and the church - I couldn't find any suitable spot to photograph the church from though; this was my best attempt.

Back to the final few gardens we visited as we returned to the car; there were about four we didn't get around to seeing though because Siobhan's hip was hurting her a bit.