I should have processed this walk when we did it a couple of months (three??) ago - anyway, now I've had time, here we go.
One of the best places I've ever seen for autumnal horse chestnut colours is here in Beresford dale, just outside Hartington. The very first time I took photo's, about 1989, it was absolutely perfect. Water level, colour and amount of leaves, light, everything! I have been back numerous times to try and see it like that again, but it's never been exactly right. This year, however, it came pretty close.
This is the end of the lane, just before the road ends at the river.
A good, deep copper carpet of leaves - looks wonderful.
We left the car and crossed the river Dove by the small wooden footbridge.
Looking back up the lane.
The Footbridge and river Dove.
After crossing a couple of meadows, you enter Wolfscote dale, signified by these high limestone buttresses on the left.
There's a small cave in this outcrop, which you (and the kids) can explore.
With the high slopes of the dale rearing up around us, and the sun shining, it was a lovely day for a walk.
The path along this dale is VERY defined and easy, due to it's popularity.
Many man-made weirs can be seen in the Dove, created to improve the fishing and flow of the river. This river was a favourite haunt of Izaac Walton, writer of 'The Compleat (sic) Angler'. You can read about him HERE
On a day like this, it's a really peaceful place to walk, particularly if you walk mid-week like Sue & I do. In summer, the dale is teeming with people out for a short walk.
Sign of a hard winter? Who knows, but the berries were big and plentiful this year. Good store for the birds.
It's such a beautiful dale on a warm, sunny day like this. No wonder it's so popular. The greens are still a little vibrant, but we're coming towards the end of autumn now, so things will start to look a lot more drab soon.
Still lots of trees hanging on to leaves for now though. We pressed on through on of Derbyshire's famous squeezer stiles
The almost-glassy surface of the still water reflect the trees.
We love the way this walk changes from limestone, to grassy slopes around you.
Green and blue always make good partners.
Shadows too add to the effect.
At the Lode mill below Alstonefield, we turned up the road, crossed another stile and started the climb up to Shining tor.
It's easier to walk along the dale to Milldale, but today we fancied a climb or two, and also the views from up here are terrific.
A small herd of sheep were up here, getting the last of the summer grass.
Looking down into Milldale.
Looking towards Alstonefield.
We'd be climbing that grassy slope soon.
At the end of the tor, we started to drop into Milldale.
This is 'Viators bridge', mentioned in 'The Compleat Angler'.
The sides are low to facilitate the passage of baggage-laden horses.
One os the numerous holiday cottages in Milldale.
We left the hamlet, turning left to climb the fields towards Alstonefield.
Not something we expected, a herd of Galloway Belties.
This breed is always friendly and passive.
A fine example of the Shaggy Ink Cap toadstool.
This IS edible, but must be eaten BEFORE the edges start to go inky like this.
Also, not a good idea to drink alcohol with this fungus.
The garden door to this B&B was open, so we sneaked a peep inside.
LOVE this old bell on the gate - very 'Downton Abbey'.
We passed through the village, taking time out for a half in the George pub before moving on.
We climbed out via the Rakes towards Narrowdale hill.
Great views from this height over the surrounding area towards Hartington.
There's a very dilapidated farm below Narrowdale hill, and in the yard is this sad, old Land Rover.
It's back broken, this is it's final resting place.
These things are SO tough, you never expect to see a 'dead' one!
The rest of the farm was in a poor state too, with lots of dead machinery, and the house looks unloved too.
We made our way along the track that leads back to Beresford dale and the car.
A lovely day's walk, just what we needed.