Thursday, 23 April 2009

Shilito Wood (circular) – White Peak District – (Derbyshire) – 22/04/09 – 8 Miles – Helen.

Once Helen had parked at the official Shilito Wood car park and I had got out, my first thought was ‘damn I wish I had brought my body warmer’. In the event however it turned out to be unnecessary, as once moving the temperature began to match the sunshine.

So after setting off along Hewetts bank we found there was quite a variety of birdsong floating in the air. Despite being no expert I managed to identify a Cuckoo (is there no beginning to my talent ?) and Helen was also able to pick out a Curlew. It wasn’t all happening above us either as we also came across a small snake on the path (the second one for me whilst out walking in the same number of weeks). Having decided that Grass Snakes aren’t brown, we then surmised that it my or may not be an Adder (although the fact that neither of us are well up on snake names, may have influenced our guess). So after working our way through Smeekly Wood and down a descending path, we then picked up Milthorpe Brook and a small Bluebell trail (which was one of the objectives of the walk). Various pictures were taken, the best of which is seen below.
By this time I was getting hungry and after working out where was the best place to share our lunch with the assorted midges in the air we settled for a grassy bank. With lunch finished, the lady of the map decided that our trail was just above where we were eating. So we had a combination of off road and country lane walking as we made our way to and through Horsleygate, Cordwell and Cartledge. Upon reaching the bottom of Milthorpe Lane, in the direction of Cartledge, we stopped for a drink whereby I noticed a memorial (put up in 2005) dedicated to a RAF pilot who crashed his plane near this spot some 50 years back.

It was around this sort of time, having just come through a caravan site, that a little bit of confusion started to reign with the map lady. There was a little bit of back and forth walking through a field past some horses, other fields where expected stiles didn’t appear, and another field where the wrong choice of two grass paths merely allowed us to circumnavigate the field’s perimeter. However after a few false starts and the inevitable passing of time, we eventually found ourselves further along Milthorpe Lane (it’s easy to be clever when you’re not doing the navigating). A large descent followed where we could see Sheffield’s twin towers (alright some flats then) in the distance.

Passing through Highlightley Farm we eventually came to a crossroads and proceeded to climb up Johnnygate Lane. This being a metallic road (er Derbyshire thing apparently, but looked concrete to me ?) that eventually became a mud track, that is not meant for vehicles. Well that is unless you have a trials bike, the rider of which was becoming a bit of a trial for us, as he continually rode past us in opposite directions (why couldn’t he do this somewhere else – Beachy Head for instance). Having stopped for another break, where I shared my last Kit Kat with Helen, we then picked up the road we had drove along earlier to head back to the car at Shilito Wood (with one eye out for the model aeroplane that was looking to pick up where the trials bike had left off). On the O.S map it says the word Cross where the wood is, and passing through we discovered a concrete Celtic cross type monument. So could that be why they …….. ?

Anyway it was an excellent afternoons walking, in perfect conditions, which turned out to be about a mile further than planned. So overall the map lady did good.
Walks since last blog entry (3 x Four milers). Note one of these was a Rucksack walk. However due to reasons of hurting my back and making me start to walk slower, the rucksack (excess weight carrying) experiment is now at an end.

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