Although cloudy, today showed promise for later on, and it was WARM for a change!
This sky looked pretty full and angry though when we parked up above Castleton, but ever the optimists, we set off.
The day started with two steep climbs, from the road up to Mam nick, then from there up this path to Rushup edge.
Already, things above us were looking more promising, with; ‘just enough blue sky to make a sailor a pair of trousers’, as my Mum used to say.
Looking back along the Edale valley to Mam Tor and the snaking road over Mam nick.
It was, judging by the numbers, a good day for paragliding and hang gliding too.
There were many of them, in various states of readiness.
This one was an early starter.
Lots more were ready to follow, when conditions were right.
One of the reasons we are doing this particular route is Sue and I have been following a drama called ‘The Village’ on TV. (You can read about it here; http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0162blq ) It has various locations, but the main characters ‘house’ (it’s really just a barn) is at Highfield farm. The walk passes the farm later on, but we could see it from here, down in the Edale valley.
A classic view back along Rushup edge.
The cloud was clearing fast as the day progressed, and we were warming up. I was beginning to wish I’d braved it and worn shorts now!
Sue standing on Lords seat, on Rushup edge.
More paragliders prepare to go.
While some were already soaring way, way above us, chasing the clouds.
You had to get it right, catch the right thermal, or it was a trip down to the valley for you (and a LONG walk to get back up onto the ridge).
Eons of natural erosion cut patterns into the boggy hillside.
We thought this particular stile was one of the prettier ones we’ve seen.
We dropped into the Edale valley, looking back to Rushup edge and Mam tor.
The first farm we passed has been converted to a place for National Trust workers to stay while doing projects in the area.
The famous ‘Castleton skyline’ view, right along to Lose hill.
We walked along this famous wall, used almost every week in ‘The Village’.
Through the gate, which we’d seen the main characters walk through the previous episode.......
To the ‘house’. The farm house proper is over to the right, but this is the house in the series.
I loved the look of this old forge outside the barn.
As we stood pondering the way forward, the old farmer who owns (and still farms the place, with help, at 80+ years old) came over to greet us. His name is Tom, and he was VERY proud of the fact his farm had been used for the series. He told us it wasn’t the first time though, he’d had stars here twice before in the past, such luminaries as Albert Finny, no less!
After the farm, we sat and had lunch in the sun, looking up to Kinder Scout.
This rabbit seemed unfazed by us as it grazed.
Did you ever see a prouder cockerel?
Spring is sprung, the grass is ris’, I wonder where the birdies is?
We set off for the long climb up to Hollins cross, and the skyline ridge. This crossing of a small dip was very well constructed. You might wonder why all this trouble just for a path?
The view along the Edale valley to the Derwent edges.
The reason for that set of steps was because we were following the old coffin, or corpse road. These byways were used to transport bodies to consecrated ground, where the was none. You can read more about them here; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpse_road
It’s a good job they didn’t have the obesity problems we have these days. It would be bad enough carrying a slim body up this gradient, let alone a bloated one!
The view the coffin-bearers would have got as they crested Hollins cross. A welcome sight – downhill all the way to Castleton!
The old Mam Tor road. It collapsed at regular intervals and, rather than continue to patch it up, they decided to improve the passage through Winnats pass. Here you can see the results of the final ‘shiver’ that ruined the road.
You can read more on Mam Tor and the landslide here; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mam_Tor
As we approached the top of Mam Tor, we could see a swarm (not sure of the collective term) of paragliders enjoying the lift.
Another classic view along the ridge to Lose hill, with the Derwent edges beyond.
Here we are at the Mam Tor summit trig’ point.
Most (sane) people take the path down the ridge to the Mam nick road, then walk down the steadier path to the road but, as we’d come up that this morning, we decided to take the very steep path down the face of Mam Tor.
You can see by the ‘steps’ that feet have cut into the slope, just how steep it is.
Looking across the shivering face of Mam Tor.
Wearing trousers – what a WUSS!
We soon reached the road, and it was just a short walk back to the car.
This had been shorter than our usual walk (but had encompassed over 1,500 feet of ascent), but we were going to the big city tonight to realise Sue’s Christmas present – to see a show at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham.
Hope we don’t fall asleep during the performance!