71. Curbar, Baslow, Bee Wood, Froggatt Wood, Hay Wood, White Edge, 25th October 2015
The autumn colours were looking lovely so I picked this walk as it took me through some lovely woodland. I parked in the pay and display car park at Curbar bar. Not easy as it was full to busting today. I paid for a ticket before I realised it was free to National Trust members and I didn’t need to. Never mind. It is a good cause. It is an easy walk south from here along Baslow Edge past the Eagle Stone and Wellington’s Monument (worth the tiny detour) and down the hill to Baslow. In Baslow I turned right down Gorsebank Lane and followed it to the farm. There was a dog loose in the farmyard that barked at me but that was all it did. Another dog lying by the path didn’t even bother to do that. After the farm the track becomes a path. A sign advised me “For your own safety avoid cattle”, the one’s in the very same field, clustered round my exit point, were unavoidable but placid and untroubling. The path carries on through fields full of sheep and a couple of horses, one of whom was very curious about me and came up to inspect me. Coming into Curbar I kept straight on along the Green then took the path up the hill to where a left turn leads towards Bee Wood.
I thought the wood would be lovely and it was, awash with the reds and golds of autumn. Taking the right branch where it forks delays the unwelcome point where one has to exit onto the A625 and follow the horrid thing for a kilometre or so. The speed limit here is 30 while the road goes through Froggatt but it feels like a country road and loads of people ignore it. There is no verge, never mind footpath. With great relief I turned left just as the national speed limit came back into force and headed down into the lovely Froggatt Wood. The paths here are confusing as they branch in ways not shown on the map and I ended up emerging at the bridge over the Derwent at Grindleford half a kilometre further west than planned. From here up through Hay Wood to the Grouse Inn is the main climb of the day. After the Inn there’s more up, on the footpath straight across the road leading to White Edge where I turned south towards my starting point. It was noisy up here. There were a good few red deer about, including two stags in rut bellowing their heads off nonstop as I made my way up to the trig point. Then it was just a matter of following the path easily back down to the car park and heading for home.
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