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!


  1. That's a great walk, I love that area! My Gran used to work at the cheese factory, in an office, when I was small and they'd occasionally have open days which she took us to. It's amazing how much snow is still around after so long - you might enjoy my recent post from Monyash where I had great fun walking on the snow and with lovely scenes from Lathkill Dale.

  2. I've just spent ages viewing your walk, it's been great and you have some fab photos. Making my feet itchy now for a bit more serious walking! Just been having a nose at the cheese shop....yum! You do have some strange sheep up there! :)

  3. Louise, we drove the Monyash road, and saw the HUGE drifts there, also had a day in Lathkill dale. Have put pictures on the electronic frame in the cafe - people are amazed! Will take a look at your post :-
    RVC - we think it's something in the water ;-)