Tuesday, December 31, 2019

892 Miles

I managed to reach 892 miles on my walks this year; that's 68 miles more than 2018, but still short of my nominal target of a thousand miles. I think my main difficulty in reaching the target is the amount of time I spend on buses and trains...and waiting for buses and trains.

Of course I will have walked many more miles during the year, back and forth to the railway station and bus station, walking round the shops, and walking round places I visit.

I've worn out two pairs of boots this year; the soles came loose on both pairs - I bought them secondhand from charity shops and so they didn't cost me a lot of money...certainly no more than £10.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Chatsworth House, Edensor, Rowsley, and Bakewell

Today I walked from Chatsworth House to Bakewell, but going the long way round via Edensor, Calton Houses, and Rowsley. The walk was a change of plan though because my train to Sheffield didn't show up and so I missed the 275 bus and had to catch the 218 to Chatsworth House instead.

The public toilets at Chatsworth House are really impressive - I was the first to use the gents' this morning and had them all to myself to take some  photographs.

The first part of the walk was through Chatsworth Park to Edensor.

I had to walk through the herd of deer as I left the village. I got much closer than the photographs would suggest.

I continued to Calton Houses, just holiday cottages I think, and then reached the Derwent Valley Heritage Way and walked alongside the river to Rowsley.

[Looking back at Chatsworth House in the distance]

I finished the walk by walking up the lane which goes all the way to Bakewell. I'd done five miles and I'd had enough; my feet were hurting because my boots had been rubbing against the tops of my toes. I walked straight over to the bus stop to wait for the next bus back to Sheffield, the 13:13 number 218 service. As soon as the bus stop came into sight I could see that there was already a bus there and people were boarding...it was the 275 which goes by a different route back to the city.

There seemed to be still one or two people needing to get on the bus when I arrived at the stop, especially a rather large old woman standing right next to the vehicle's doors. Suddenly though the driver closed the doors and sped off. I gave the woman a look of death and she just replied that it wasn't going to Totley. Why didn't she get out of the way, or ask me if I was wanting to get on the bus?

As it was, within a minute a very late running 218 arrived. I gave the woman very precise instructions as to what she needed to do this time. She got on...and so did I.

A few minutes later the bus nearly crashed as we were passing through Pilsley. A car pulled out straight in front of us and the bus driver had to jam on the brakes. I lurched into the back of the seat in front of me and the shopping trolley belonging to a woman sitting at the front of the bus fell over and spilled some of its contents.

Several people on the bus congratulated the driver or asked the woman if she was okay...I just remembered that I needed to get some tins of beaked beans when I got back to Doncaster.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Hathersage Booths, Offerton, Abney, Eyam, Stoney Middleton, Calver, Bubnell, and Baslow

I was stuck on the train on the approach to Sheffield Station for nearly an hour this morning; I missed my intended bus and had to catch the one that departed sixty minutes later.

The bus was on time and I travelled to Hathersage Booths as planned. I took the footpath leading down to the river, and the Derwent Valley Heritage Way. It's quite a steep descent, but there are usually some nice views of the eastern end of the Hope Valley; not today though, it was quite misty.

However, about thirty minutes later I was able to take these photographs as I was heading towards the hamlet of Offerton.

[I'm assuming that 'simulated game shooting' isn't the same as clay pigeon shooting.]

I climbed up to, and then crossed Offerton Moor.

At Abney I was hoping to take some photographs of the fairly recent landslip but there was no access...even for walkers - and the local authority has made sure there was no access, it looked like a military barricade and roadblock.

I was still able to use the footpath over to the left, going down into Bretton Cloough. I then climbed up the other side of the clough and walked along a bridleway, and then the road, to Highcliffe, located above Eyam. 

I chose to continue using the road to get to Eyam. Because I was an hour late after the delay on the train I didn't have time to pop into the tearooms.

I used Mill Lane, a byway open to all traffic [BOAT], to reach Stoney Middleton. You wouldn't want to be driving a vehicle this way though because Mill Lane is narrow, steep in places, has deep ruts, plenty of puddles and is very slippery because of the mud.

This message doesn't apply to me, because I can't drive.

I took some photographs of the church as I passed, and I'm not sure how much of the detail you'll be able to make out on the information panel about the so-called 'Roman Baths.'

I took the footpath that took me part of the way to Calver, I needed to use the road for the rest of the way though. I walked through the village and got down onto another part of the Derwent Valley Heritage Way and stayed with it until I reached Bubnell and then crossed over the bridge into Baslow. 

I don't think I've been inside Baslow Church, and I didn't try to get inside today - I just took a few pictures as I passed on my way to the bus stop at Baslow Nether End.

There was still a problem with the signalling when I reached Sheffield Station; many trains were still being cancelled or delayed. I went to get the Newcastle train, but the departures screen soon informed me it was cancelled. It was the same with the next train I was waiting for, the Scarborough train. Finally a train going to Doncaster wasn't cancelled, the Cleethorpes train - it was a few minutes late though. We all got on and then the train waited at the platform for a few minutes until those of us in the three rear carriages were told we had to get off, walk along the platform, and find room in the first three carriages - some sort of safety issue we were informed.

Eventually the train departed, only for us to be held up ever longer at Meadowhall. It wasn't a good day for the railways; listening to people chatting, and grumbling, as we travelled to Doncaster it seems like it's been a nationwide problem lasting all day.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Doncaster Lakeside

I did most of the preparation work for my Christmas lunch yesterday; all that was left to do today is the turkey joint that's roasting in the oven right now as I write this post.

It's been a lovely morning, bright and sunny, and not windy at all, and so I couldn't pass up the opportunity to go for a short Christmas morning walk...and I wasn't the only one doing the same.

I went to the Lakeside area, only a twenty minute walk from my house. There was no mud today, it was all concrete, gravel, tarmac, and a bit of grass.

I must have done at least three miles to add to the year's tally. I'll still fall short of reaching a thousand miles for the year...but it will be a few dozen more miles than I managed in 2018.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Conisbrough, Firsby, and Conisbrough Hill Top

I just managed to fit in a fairly short local walk this morning, five, maybe six miles. It was drizzling and barely daylight as I was waiting for the bus at eight o'clock- the rain was forecast to clear up...and it would also brighten up of course.

I travelled to Conisbrough and headed south along the bridleway that leads to the ruined Conisbrough Lodge. Over to my left I had views of Clifton Hill, the second highest point in Doncaster.

The route then passes close to Birk Lodge, where some improvement work has been done to the bridleway and boundary fences.

[These letters and the number indicate that I was walking along footpath number four in the parish of Conisbrough Parks]

I reached a road, turned right and headed towards Ravenfield Grange but then started the return leg of my walk, going across Ravenfield Common, before reaching most of the houses. The common is high ground and on a clear day there are some decent views to be enjoyed...but not today.

I missed out visiting the village of Ravenfield because the footpath across the field looked very muddy; most of my walking today was done using bridleways, farm tracks, and a couple of stretches of road.

I tried to get a decent photograph of the water rushing down the spillway of the abandoned reservoir at Firsby, but had to settle for this tableau instead.

The final stretch of the walk was a steady, gentle climb up to the Hill Top area of Conisbrough and then a twenty minute wait for the bus.