Friday, 24 May 2013

Lathkill and Bradford dales.

Today was a local walk that starts only ten minutes from where we live. Alport is one of the few places that hasn’t been hi-jacked by the parking charge brigade, and you can usually find space here. The walk starts at the bridge over the river Lathkill. The water in this river has a clarity and brightness that has no equal. It is reputedly one of the cleanest rivers in Europe, and it sure looks that way when the sun is on it.
We went through the stile that leads to the path upstream, this lovingly restored cottage on our left, with an immaculate garden, complete with lawn stripes..

Spring is now in FULL swing in the dales. Most of the wild flowers are cocking a snook at the recent cold weather, and coming out anyway.

This flower, Campion, was in great evidence.

Some were a soft pink hue, others, like this one, leaned towards a more purple shade.

Raper bridge, just ten minutes along the path. It looks strange, because there’s a sort of drop for the water. You can just see it falling on the far side.

Looking upstream from the side of the bridge.

Bridge reflections and marsh marigold.

Like some sort of buttercup on acid!

The little smiler – forget me not!

The flowers of sweet cicely, if you rub the leaves, your hands smell strongly of aniseed.

A nice head of stitchwort.

A swan in mirror image - can YOU tell which is right way up????

You can see a video of the River Lathkill, click HERE
We climbed higher up the valley, crossing Conksbury bridge, to gain the higher reaches of the Lathkill. Over Haddon village was just above us now.

The simple dandelion – a weed? Maybe, but a beautiful thing, all the same.

A host of golden ..... dandelions!

Next years babies.

A coot, already with a clutch of eggs, sits patiently on them.
You can see a video of another coot that already has a chick here HERE

Lords and ladies, looking like a lily.

When fully grown, it will look like this.

On a small clapper bridge, we came across this short poem engraved into the stone.
Unfortunately, if you look closely, I think there’s a mistake! Should it say; ‘waters FOR to rise or fall’, or is there one ‘or’ too many?
I would say, ‘it’s not written in stone’, but the thing is – in this case IT IS!!
(NB - see comments, below)

A derelict barn, stark on the hillside above us.

One of my favourite places to take a picture, the small stone bridge and track that leads up to Youlgreave.
There was a mother duck with her five new chicks next to us in the river.
To see the duck & five chicks, click HERE

A short walk down Bradford dale brought us back to the start once more, the bridge at Alport and the car.
Not a long walk, only just over six miles, but it was great to be out.


  1. The reflection of the stone bridge in the water looks slightly out of kilter - I'll have to look out for it the next time I visit.

    The inscription on the stone is correct. The second line refers to genius that 'tells the water' or 'rises or falls', probably alluding to the genius of whoever or whatever designed this place, and accepting our fate whilst merely observing the passing of time whilst enjoying the timeless, and hopefully endless, beauty of this place. Very profound.

  2. The reflection looks like that because of the dip, I think Lee.
    I have already been corrected by a friend on the 'or' thing, but thanks for pointing it out. It's from 'Epistle to Burlington' (second verse) and goes like this;

    Consult the Genius of the Place in all;
    That tells the Waters or to rise, or fall,
    Or helps th' ambitious Hill the heav'n to scale,
    Or scoops in circling theatres the Vale,
    Calls in the Country, catches opening glades,
    Joins willing woods, and varies shades from shades,
    Now breaks or now directs th' intending Lines;
    Paints as you plant, and, as you work, designs.