Having parked at Matlock Bridge and started climbing up a steep gradient to pick up the Limestone Way, we were met by a bare chested man (+ partner) coming towards us, who claimed to be carrying his red shirt so as not to provoke a nearbye bull. In the event the bull had clearly come from his own mouth, as the livestock in the nearby vicinity were of the docile cow variety. That said with young calves around, I for one was prepared to disown Luther and Molly if there were any problems.
Anyway onwards and upwards we went, and what do you know it started to ever so slightly drizzle. Being the gallant chap I am however I did not hesitate to lend Helen my £8 National Trust umbrella, but only because (unlike Dorset) I happened to have my waterproofs with me.
In due course we found our way into the village of Bonsall, where we enjoyed looking at a replica carving of “T” Owd Man, as well as letting the dogs drink from one of wells being prepared for the following week’s Well Dressing (all the while supervised by a young boy and his Mother). However having gone through the village Helen’s route planning went a little askew as we first climbed up and then climbed down, as well as going to the gates of a churchyard and turning back from it again. The running order was soon restored however as we skirted round a quarry, as well as skirted round some more cows just prior, before eventually making our way up to the Heights of Abraham. There we partially saw the cable cars that serve Matlock Bath as well as Riber Castle in the distance. None of this information being brought to us by an idiotic talking telescope that shut up after a couple of minutes, and which neither of us could properly see through (there are better ways to spend 50p). From there we made our way through Masson Leas Farm, picking up the Limestone way again before eventually retracing our steps back to Matlock
What I found strange about this walk (which was a Helen creation) was that from the off we seemed constantly to be going upwards, but it seemed to end with the shortest of descents back to the car. Anyway Helen later used the scientific OS map and a bit of string method, to determine that we had done 5 ½ miles, and you can’t get more precise than that.