Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Shepley to Stocksmoor – Yorkshire – 21/03/12 – 10 Miles – R’mblers

My second outing with Ramblers in 4 days and I was very surprised to see the numbers for a midweek outing, exceeding those on a Sunday, with the total somewhere around the 25 mark. The weather had cooled slightly but it was still a more than acceptable Spring day.

Anyway to quickly run through this one we started at Shepley, and continued en route through: Upper Cumberworth, High Flatts, Cheese Gate Nab, Hole Bottom, Stone Wood Dike, before finishing at Stocksmoor.

This was one of those walks where I did more chin wagging than looking around. However what I did notice were: the fine views from the high vantage points, a series of wind turbines that didn’t seem to be turning, and at the end a turkey that was already carrying his full Christmas weight.

Still chatting about football as we neared Stocksmoor station the leader had to remind us to get a move on, as the hourly train went at 1629 back to Sheffield, and it was already 1621. Once on the train though I was a bit concerned that I should have bought a one stop extension back to Shepley. However the cute train guard seemed keen to check everyone elses tickets whilst giving all of us ramblers a wide berth.

Walks since last blog entry:
Somersall (circular) – 3.5 miles – Helen (Molly)

Monday, 26 March 2012

Bakewell to Rowsley – (Peak District) – Derbyshire – 18/03/12 – 12 Miles – R’mblers

My first outing with Ramblers nearly didn’t take place given how hard it was raining at seven in the morning. However after some reassurance from Sky News I decided to give it a go anyway, which was just as well as it turned out to be a really pleasant Spring day. Yet having arrived on my own in Bakewell I nearly missed out a second time, as I waited on one side of the road for the main group’s bus to arrive, whilst they were quietly getting off a little further down on the other side.

That resolved a group of about 19 of us set off, initially through the back streets of Bakewell, but soon were passing through Over Haddon, and then onto Youlgreave, where we stopped in due course for some elevenses.

Continuing on along the Limestone Way, we passed a sign post for Lathkill Dale, but instead of going along that we made our way up some steep rock face. This ascent being the second point on the walk where I managed to make myself look a pratt by slipping over. However by the time the group decided to stop for lunch I assumed I had put all that behind me. So having found a nice little rock inside a small cove to sit on, I was surprised to hear the ‘ready in one minute’ call a mere 20 minutes in (I was still on my mini-cheddars). So leaping up to attention I managed to bang my head on the rocky stone above me (ho hum).

We then began a very steep ascent on some very slippery mud/grass (still sopping from the mornings rain) where to my surprise I managed to stay on my feet. At this point however a few of the stragglers obviously became disorientated and took a wrong turn, leaving the rest of the group waiting for them at the bottom by a small bridge over a stream (still on the Limestone Way). There then followed a lively debate over whether we were going to make the 1656 hourly bus at Rowsley or not, if people didn’t get a move on.

We continued on what I assume was the second of the advertised Dales on this walk, where we began to warm nicely in the afternoon sunshine. As we passed Robin Hoods Stride on our right we passed a large group of red helmeted school children, preparing to make their way up it.

As the walk neared its conclusion we made our way through Stanton Moor, passing nine ladies, before eventually beginning a long descent down towards Rowsley, in the course of which there was more debate over whether we had misplaced someone. However with them located some way ahead of us, we touched down in Rowsley where it turned out there was sufficient time after all for some of the group to get a drink, and others to look into a garden centre.

Having been with IVC so long there are a few differences I will have to get used to, but it was a good day and a nice first outing with the group.

Chatsworth Circular - 16/03/12 - Helen (Molly) - 3.92 miles

A short few notes for a short walk. That said this was an attractive little ramble initially along the high ground overlooking the Chatsworth estate, before finishing along the river on the far banks of it. In the course of our wanderings we stodged up on the hardest of baguette's, and came across a wedding party in the estate church, with bell ringing accompanyment.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Monsal Head (circular) – (Peak District) – Derbyshire – 26/02/12 – 5.25 Miles – Helen, Ally, Grant (Molly)

Our now regular trio of myself, Helen, and Molly, were joined for this trek by youngsters Grant and Ally. One of whom wants to get into walking more, and the other one whom Helen wants to remind of the benefits. So both Helen and myself agreed that this particular route which we last did in May was an ideal short and scenic Peak District promo. For my part I was firing on a lot more cylinders than the previous week, although as usual never quite the full quota.

So after completing the tourist shots overlooking Monsal viaduct, we descended down some steps, over the river, and climbed up this time to join the Monsal trail. As is now usual there was a fair quotient of cyclists about, requiring Molly staying on her lead, however by the time we reached Cressbrook Mill, and come off the trail, we were able to let her run free again.

Descending down to Water cum Jolly, we were able to reminise about the time Molly nearly decided to run with the rapids on the weir there, as well as point out the place where Luther made an unscheduled swim. The first time I ever did this walk with Helen (not last May) there was too much water about to walk along the limestone walls. Not this time however, and we were all able to enjoy the tranquillity of the surroundings, as we were passed by other walkers with the occasional dog. As time was moving on two of our party (myself being one of them) were whinging for lunch, so eventually we had it there alongside the water.

After briefly crossing over the Monsal trail again, we began the day’s steep climb. Myself and Grant pushed each other on in the usual macho male way, whilst the three ladies took a more leisurely approach. One thing I find with walks is that the best views are often behind you, however on this occasion we all took our fill of Millers Dale, whilst taking assorted snaps for posteriety. I then tried to lead us astray whilst following a couple of walkers ahead of us, until the GPS in the grey fleece, put me back on track again.

Further along I looked once more to add some element of tension and uncertainty to proceedings, as I then wondered aloud whether we were still on the correct path with no promised farmyard in sight. However the newer member of our party then produced an app on her mobile, which was able to give us a satellite aerial shot of where we were and where we were heading (which is alright if you like that sort of thing I suppose).

Some of the best views on this walk are when you make the stony descent on the approach to Monsal Head, before eventually crossing over the viaduct. Following which we finished with a steep climb up the steps, where a little girl asked me if I was alright after I stumbled. At the top one is greeted with a choice of ice cream van, pub and tea shop. We chose the latter, having our cake and coffee outside, whilst watching the assorted walkers, cyclists, dog walkers, motorbikers, and hot hatchbacks, that seem to hang around there.