I was poorly over Christmas and was in no good state today but with a ton of fresh snow on the Peak District I wasn’t about to stay at home. I parked at the national park boundary where the A 52 meets the A523. There were deer in the field by the farm at the crossroads. I was sick enough to find the short straightforward walk to the top of Musden Low a bit of a struggle but the fabulous views from this southern edge of the Peak District in the crisp snowy conditions were worth it.
With Sophie. We parked in Muker and headed west though Usha Gap Farm and on to Thwaite where a stop for a brew was enoyed at the Kearton Tea Shop. Then we walked the circuit round Kisdon Hill to Keld and back, out by the Pennine Way, back by Corpse Road. Daylight was running very low as we passed the top of the latter so I had to drop my plan for a little detour to bag the top of the Marilyn. Now I will have to visit this beautiful place again. I’m not too sorry about that.
With Sophie. This unsung Marilyn on the extreme edge of Yorkshire seemed a nice thing to do with the leftovers of a short December day after driving from Sheffield to the CB Inn on a seriously windy but otherwise beautiful day. We did almost all the climbing by car to park at Stang Top. From here it is a fairly short and straightforward but still rough and pathless trek there and back to the trig point. A lot of structures hereabout signal the fact that shooting things is a popular activity rather earlier in the year than this.
With Sophie. A very straightfoward little walk for a fairly miserable day in South Lakeland. Undistinguished Marilyn Kirkby Moor is just outside the national park and, probably for that reason, hosts a huge wind farm as well as a massive quarry. It was a very easy walk up from the A5092 near Gawtwaite so easy we thought we better do somethiong else for it to count as any kind of exercise so we grabbed Great Burney, one of the Wainwright Geriatrics, as an afterthought.
I parked in Hathersage and walked down to road to Leadmill Bridge. From there I took the familiar and delightful Derwent valley path to Shatton. Then I crossed the railway by the garden centre and right to pick up Station Road south of Bamford. From here I wanted to take the Bamford Clough path onto the moors below Stanage Edge but the path that way is closed so I changed my plans to follow Joan Lane and Hurstclough Lane out past Gatehouse and Upper Hurst Farm to find the track up to Stanage Edge from Dennis Knoll. Briefly touched on Stanage Edge then before returning to Hathersage the familiar way by North Lees House (always alert for Mrs Rochester) and Brookfield Manor.
I parked in the middle of Longnor on a beautiful sunny winter morning and went into cobbes cafe to have something called a Staffordshire oatcake with cheese and sausage for breakfast. Came out into a vile winter morning with lashing rain and grey sky in all directions. Contemplated just driving back to Sheffield. Didn’t. Good call. This alternation of the best and worst kind of weather went on all day.
Headed down the hill towards Crowdicote to pick up the footpath cutting over a couple of fields towards Bridge End Farm. (The stile leading onto this path was in dangerous disrepair but a gate into the next field gave easy access to the path.) The walk from here up to Vincent House climbing up by Pilsbury Castle is utterly glorious. I met a few cows, including one bull, but they weren’t bothered by me and left me alone. There must be a lot more in warmer seasons. At Vincent House a sigh warned me of dogs loose in farm yard but I boldly ventured through without canine molestation, continuing past Darley Farm to meet the High Peak Trail. Here I turned left and followed the trail to its end. Here I turned left again and skirted the Dowlow works until a path off right took me across fields – and through a violent hailstorm – down to Abbotside Farm. An easy walk thence by the Green Lane back to Longnor.
I parked at Edale and followed the permissive path along and over the railway to join the ROW to Barber Booth. Went west a little from here to pick up the path leading onto Rushup Edge. But now I was confronted with a sign saying my intended path was closed till mid-December. Which put a stop to my planned walk for today. I settled for walking straight up the tarmac onto Mam Tor. There were hawthorn berries everywhere.
Once I got high up there seemed to be quite a lot of traffic on Rushup Edge: maybe the footpath there was not so closed after all; sometimes it is a mistake to obey signs. On to Hollins Cross and down past Peter Barn where an army of people from Buxton Mountain Rescue seemed to be coming to the end of some major operation. A bull stood by the track calmly chewing the cud and watching it all going on.
I parked outside the Old Forge Valley Inn in West Ayton; crossed the bridge and turned left up Castlegate past a hotel. Then right up through the woods past Osborne Lodge and down to Green Gate. NNW up Mowthorpe Rd then right after the farm, up through Hawthorn Wood and onto the high fields by Suffield Ings. It is very beautiful up here; for me the high point of the walk. NNW a bit more then a very overgrown path leads steeply down through Greengate Wood. I then followed another path SW skirting the woods above Hackness Hall and Mill Farm. The map shows this path describing a bit of a zipgzag in descending back to the road: on the ground this corner is eminently cuttable.
Now a narrow bridge led off towards Wrench Green, which is reached after crossing a big field full of slightly worryingly large and not very timid rams with big horns. But I made it through their midst without them killing me. From here a short road walk leads to Cokrah Foot then the River Derwent is followed all the way back. These last few miles are a bit tedious underfoot as they begin with a long riverside stretch that is - or was today - unpleasantly squelchy, Then, after entering the woods, there is a long stretch on raised duckboard that is not much of a joy to walk on in the sort of wet conditions prevailing today. After that a short walk across a field and up past the ruined Ayton Castle soon took me home.
With Helen and Gavin. We parked in Edale carpark. Some big orienteering type thingy afoot: lots of people wandering avbout with numbers attached to them. Up past visitor centre to pPennine Way then right opff latter to pick up path onto Grindsbrook Knoll. Usual thing: Wool Packs, Pym Chair, Noe Stool, Edale Rocks, Kinder Low, Jacob’s Ladder, Lee House, Upper Booth, Pennine Way, home. A Dark Peak classic. Orienteering people everywhere. Rather dreich late November day. Excellent company. Free will problem: sorted. Coffee in The Rambler. Curry in Rama’s Bridge back in Sheffield. Splendid day. (No pictures: idiot Lenman forgot to check there was a memory card in his camera.)
With Angie. Three corners of a triangle. Rosedale Abbey, High Askew, Lastingham. This walk joined the dots. The very comfy lounge of the Lastingham Grange Hotel was a nice stopping place for a cup of coffee and a slice of chocolate cake.