Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Matlock Bath to Ambergate - Derbyshire - 28/08/13 - 7 Miles

Having survived some woman's toddler continually falling onto me on the train from Derbyshire (what is the correct response to this, if you don't think they are cute?) I then couldn't find my way out of the car park at Matlock Bath station. So yes I was back using one of my walk cut-outs from Country Walking magazine (June 2010) and you know how tricky the instructions on those can be. Anyway I eventually found my way onto Lovers Walk, on a steep stepped climb that had me looking back at the Heights Of Abraham on one side (cable cars too small to see in this photo) and Matlock Bath, with some sort of school holiday fun-fare way below. This soon descended in a switch back to the river Derwent, where I crossed a white footbridge to come out on the A6. There I followed the road past Masson Mills, regretting the fact that I had already had my lunch, before turning left to pass Cromford Mills. The visitor centre there had a board displayed outside for Bradwell's ice cream. Now this seemed a good idea, but the grumpy sod in the visitor centre told me there was no one to operate the kiosk (what looked like a standard fridge thing to me), and told me to piss off (well not his exacts words, but if you can read body language.....) Fortunately disaster was averted as there was an ice cream van, at the joining point of Cromford canal (also a conveniently placed set of conveniences). From here it was a fast and flat canal walk that took me to my first marker of Highpeak Junction. One thing that had come up in conversation on Monday's walk with Helen was the prevalence of Himalayan Balsam (invasive species) that seems to be everywhere. If anyone is looking for a good example of this, walk along the canal by Highpeak junction and you will get some idea of the problem. Anyway after taking some photos of the Wharf Shed and Leawood Pumphouse (see below), it was back with fast flat canal walking for the 4 miles to Ambergate. My written instructions, were a tad confusing regarding where to come off for Ambergate station (two stone bridges have a 'Welcome to Cromford Canal' sign), but having worked that out, I arrived at Ambergate with twenty minutes to spare for the hourly train back to Derby. Walks since last blog entry: Chander Hill-Chesterfield (circular) - Helen (Molly) - 4 miles

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