Thursday, 25 April 2013


A super-perfect day to walk. A relief after having no choice but to work last Tuesday, which was a good day too. We so wanted a good day today to get some air in our lungs and see the approach of spring.
The beginning of the walk was slightly marred by the discovery that yet ANOTHER 'wild' car park was being fitted with a tax machine (otherwise known as a pay and display machine).
You can probably tell, I wholeheartedly disagree with these silent tax collectors. This would be the last time I parked here.

We left the Robin Hood car park and climbed through the birch trees to gain Birchen edge. The trees are JUST starting to show signs of new life.

Looking up onto the edge, we could see the monument to Lord Nelson, standing proud.

 These rocks are called the three ships.
 Nelson, and his three ships.
We were soon up high on Birchen edge, with the breeze in our hair. It was quite strong, but very refreshing. This is looking back along the edge.

Again, the ubiquitous view of Mining Low. I have said many times that this place is amazing. It can be seen from most high places in Derbyshire. It's just SO distinctive, with its ring of trees and central tall tree, you can't mistake it. I know it's hard to see from this picture, but it's definite from your eye.
You can 'get up close and personal', and see my blog posting, where we walked up to Mining low by clicking HERE

You can also enlarge this picture by clicking on it too.

 Looking back through the ships to Nelson's monument.
Always a favourite with climbers, today was no exception, and there were two or three parties taking the strain on the rope.
Me at the trig point (yes, spring is here - time for the shorts to go on).
Sadly, this trig' point, like so many others, has now been disowned by the Ordnance Survey, and is no longer given a lick of new paint. They are all fading into the scenery as they become more and more drab and green.
 Yes, it was a bit breezy, and here's Sue, wondering if I'm after the insurance by sending her to stand on the edge for a picture :-)

We reached the end of Birchen edge and continued to the Sheffield road where we crossed it and made for Wellington's monument and Baslow edge next.

On the bridge, we looked over and spotted these two frogs having.....ahem..... a 'good time'. Typically (Sue said) the female was doing all the work swimming, while the male was having a lazy ride on her back.

This could 'spawn' all sorts of comments (groan).

cat's cradle in the sky - courtesy of air traffic.

The wide track up to Baslow edge. Usually, there's a herd of highland cows here.

At the end of the track, we came to another monument to another great man - Wellingtons monument.

Then, it was time for lunch. A handy bench is situated just before Baslow edge, so we took full advantage of it, and the stunning views.
 The village of Curbar, from Baslow edge.

Another rock for Sue to stand on (note - standing safely back from the edge)
Of course, I had to have a go too!
Looking North along Baslow edge to Curbar edge. Curbar gap is between the two, and this would be our 'halfway house'. We intended to drop below this edge and walk back towards the car.
Looking South along Baslow edge.
The highland cows we expected to see on the track were out for the day, and we came across them here. You can see a video of the cows coat in the wind by clicking; HERE

Most of them were fairly docile (if you leave them alone), but this one wasn't happy with me taking his picture!!

You don't argue with a set of horns that impressive!!
We pressed on to the Topographic plate at the end of Baslow edge.
 A lovely setting to put the plate.
 We dropped down off the edge, and I took this photo.
You often see this shot on Derbyshire calendars.
 Curbar edge, from below Baslow edge.

 A MUCH more relaxed herd, just taking in the sun with their new calves.
 We spotted this remote 'graveyard' which, on investigation, is NOT a graveyard at all, but the remains of a hay barn! The 'headstones' are actually columns on which boards were put to store the hay off the ground. The walls of the graveyard are the ruins of the barn walls. All this information was imparted to me by a local historian, Dr David Dalrymple-Smith.
You can see his website by clicking HERE

Another of the strange sculptures scattered around Derbyshire. We saw our first one a couple of years ago near Arbor Low, and have seen several since. You can read about them by clicking HERE

Strangely, all but this one get a mention on that site (and the web address is at the bottom of the sculpture)??

We crossed the Sheffield road and climbed up onto Gardoms edge. This is the view over the valley towards Wellingtons monument.
 And looking South along Gardoms edge.
We found this abandoned stone trough. It looks like someone had started to hew a trough out of the rock, and for some reason, decided not to finish it?
 Looking over the fields to Birchen edge, where we were this morning.

Before returning to the car, we searched out and found this 'stone' just off Gardoms edge. It's actually not a stone, but a plaster cast of the original, which after being excavated, was re-buried.
You can read about the archaeological find, click; HERE
 Just before dropping down to the road and car park, we had time to take a shot of this outcrop of rocks called 'the three men'.
With flat caps, I presume?
 If you look, you can see Nelson's monument over on Birchen edge, just to the left of the three ships rocks.

Then it was quickly back home and off to Nottingham to the theatre. Not a long walk today, but very satisfying, and in perfect conditions. 
As Sue said - one of those 'good to be alive' days.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Last of the snow, first of the curlews - a walk from Hartington, to the north west & Sheen hill

After (far too many) weeks of not doing what we’d call proper walks, we finally managed to get out on a reasonable day. Work and holidays had prevented us before, but now, with a not too bad forecast, we headed for the hills!
We started out in the lovely village of Hartington, with its village pond and famous cheese shop;
This is the view looking forward as we passed the old cheese factory. Our route lay across the valley, and above that wood top right.

We left the village, passing the sad and unsightly remains of the old cheese factory. This used to be the must-have cheese on all local tables How it ever came to go bust is anyones guess.
The site now stands forlorn and starting to look derelict. Plans have been submitted, and turned down, to develop it.
Maybe something a bit more in keeping with the village will be done in the future – who knows?
In the valley, we came across this strange, two-headed lamb ;-)

A bright, spring morning in the woods. The trees are still looking stark and dormant, but it won’t be long now before this place is a riot of greenery, both overhead and underfoot.
We can’t wait!

A lone tree and fallen partner lie on the horizon.
This valley is really good for Curlews, and today was spent stopping & listening, held in their haunting call.
We also heard our first skylark, a sound synonymous with sunshine and meadows.

There was still evidence of the huge drifts that stopped the countryside dead just a couple of weeks ago. Most of the snow
has melted now, but deep pockets like this one still exist and are still impressive.

There was no need to climb this stile – thanks to the snow!
In the background, Sheen hill and trig’ point. I've often looked at this, but never climbed up to it.
Sue decided that today would be that day.

We scouted round for a route, there not being an official one, and eventually found a way (without causing any damage whatsoever). Our goal was in sight.

Almost there.

A cold and strong breeze accompanied us, but here is Sue, the conqueror, claiming the trig’ point as her own. As you can see, a little hazy today, but the views from here on a clear day must be absolutely stunning! I was surprised there was no evidence of a tumulus or settlement, it’s SUCH a good vantage point?

We could see the reef knolls across the valley in the murk. As I said, on a clear day these would look really good.

At lower Boothlow, we saw LOTS of new lambs, this one entertaining us with his gambolling.

There’s always ONE!..........

As we left the farm, more evidence that the past few weeks had been hard for the farmers in particular with the lambing season imminent.
Expectant ewes could easily have been under something like this.

 Sometimes we had to cope with what nature had left us on our walk..........

 ........and sometimes, the blockages were due to man.

This road hadn’t been cleared, as access was via another one, so they’re just leaving it to melt.

We thought, by now, we’d seen the worst, but this biggy was the best so far!!
Don’t forget, it’s had almost two weeks to melt by now.

 We passed through the hamlet of Brund, with its stunningly renovated old mill and bridge.

Next was Sheen, last village before we got back to Hartington.
The church roof is old copper, hence the green.
The clock looks new though.

As we headed over the fields and back, we saw this memorial stile to Brenda Dale. It looks like a carved lily?

We had a welcome t of hot tea before leaving for home.
Our bodies told us we were out of walking practice, but boy – had WE enjoyed today!