Friday, 9 December 2016

Middleton back to Cromford

Good morning, it's Friday morning and I'll post the second half of Wednesdays walk. The National Stone Centre is on the High Peak trail to Middleton Top, when it turns into The Pennine Bridleway. Here we have the restored Steam Engine House built in 1829, to haul wagons up the steep incline. It has a visitor Centre and cycle hire, which were closed, it is only open weekends throughout the winter. Check out the Derbyshire County Council web site for more info. 

I didn't go into Middleton village, this is the view as I left the Engine House. I skirted around the outside, following footpaths. The fog is lifting a bit.

Heading off along a track I walked through Slinter Wood. It was quite steep in places, careful not to slip off the edge.

I was a bit confused at one point as the track seemed to go off in a different direction from what was indicated on the map. It also gave the impression that it should have been a wide bridleway, when in fact it narrowed down to single lane and went through a couple of fields. I heaved a sigh of relief when I caught a glimpse of the pond at Via Gellia Mill. Yes, I was going in the right direction and here is the mill. 
Crossing over the main A5012 trunk road, I took the minor road to Bonsall Village. Boy was it steep. Luckily there was a bench half way up to sit for a few minutes and eat, and cool off a bit. By this time I was sweating buckets.

Lovely olde worlde stone buildings.

The Village Cross. There are more pictures of Bonsall here.

From Bonsall it was a long trek on the Limestone Way, passing Massom Lees Farm. Matlock looks a bit misty in the distance. 
Then as I descended towards the town it became clearer and more details came into view.

I had a little bimble around Matlock, I have been here many times, even bought a car once from the Ford dealer. The market was packing away, daylight was fading, and people were doing a last bit of shopping before they made their way home for the night. I decided that the safest way to get back to the hotel would be to walk along the main A6 trunk road, as it would be well lit and has a footpath alongside. There was an alternative route to follow the river, but a bit risky in the dark. I asked a local man and he confirmed my decision to keep safe, saying there could be an encounter with undesirables, (drug users) along the path. He said he had just finished work and was going to get the train back to Matlock Bath. As I was passing the railway station 20 minutes later, who should I see but the man I had spoken to.

Matlock Bath is famous for their annual illuminations, a bit like a mini Blackpool. The river runs alongside the main road and reflects the lights making the place sparkle. I was sort of hoping there would be some Christmas lights, but apart from the ones on the shop fronts, all I saw were these lights across a bridge. They changed colour every few seconds.

Still on the A6, Masson Mills is the last building on the left between the road and the river, before you get to Cromford. This is an old Richard Arkwright Mill, now home to a shopping complex. 

Five minutes and I was back at the hotel. A couple of night time shots. The Christmas tree decorations were a bit disappointing, nothing to rave about. In fact there was a much better tree at the back of the building which could be seen from the meeting room. 

Dinner was lovely, freshly cooked, plenty of it, served by friendly staff. Couldn't ask for more. I was half way through uploading the pictures when I decided to retire to my room.

Come back tomorrow for the third and last day of my mini break in Derbyshire. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Cromford and beyond.

Hello, now where was I? I'm back at Tightwad Towers after my outdoor adventures in the beautiful county of Derbyshire. I put these photo's on last night but I was too whacked to add the words, so I'll get on with it now. I'm going to make two posts of yesterdays walk because there are too many photo's to put them all into one post. 
As you can see by this one, it doesn't look like I am going to get any nice views again. 
Willersley Castle is very close to the River Derwent and not far from the Main A6 trunk road, in Cromford. I crossed over the road and took a track which joined up with The High Peak Trail, a disused railway line which has been turned into a path for walkers, cyclists, and horse riders. I came under the bridge.

I did a sharp right turn following the horses up there.

And the track you can see on the top of the bridge is the one I am going to join to Middleton Top.

It climbs up a steep incline. It must have been a very long job to cut a path through the rocks, all those years ago. A few dog walkers about, I stopped to chat to a very nice man. 
At the top is Sheep Pasture Engine House. This housed the winch which pulled the wagons up the incline.

As you can see the fog is still hanging around.

Just past Black Rocks the track crosses a road near Bolehill. .

I stood and watched these workmen laying the hedge, it looks like hard work. The older chap was teaching the younger one how to do it. The trunks are almost severed near the ground, he said it would take around ten years for it to be fully recovered. New shoots would emerge from the bottom to fill all the gaps. The National Hedge Laying Society has a web site if you want to read more about it.

I thought this was worth a look, might as well, I am passing anyway. 
This looks like a practice area for dry stone walling.

These steps show the different colours of the rocks.

The indoor exhibition area was closed for refurbishment. It's almost the end of the season and only the shop and cafe were open. I saw the magical Walls Ice Cream sign outside, oooh, I just fancy a Magnum. It was my lucky day All ice cream was half price. Just got to have one. I ended up chattering to the woman in the shop for ages, she must have been a bit bored, can't see that she would have many customers, not many people about.

I'm going to end this first part here, and post the second part of the walk tomorrow. Thank you for joining me, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Hello. Just popping in.

Hello. I've walked 11 miles today, not many, but there was a lot of ups and downs, a lot of slow trudging uphill through rough rugged tracks strewn with rocks. I have taken a lot of photo's which takes time to sort out, so I am calling it a day and I'm off to bed. I'll finish the trip report when I get back tomorrow. Good night.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Bimbling around Cromford

Hello. Welcome to foggy Cromford. I did a six mile walk today and couldn't see any nice views, just skeletal trees looming in the damp mist. There was a couple of high spots which would have been lovely if it was a clear day. 
The Willersley Hall Hotel is right next to Cromford Mills, which was Richard Arkwrights first Mill complex. It is now a Unesco World Heritage site. Click on the link for the web site to tell you more. There are cafe's, retail shops, arts and crafts, vintage, flowers and plants, antiques, and conference facilities. 

I spotted this display outside the Antique and Vintage shop. Glassware items which have been glued together and stuck on the end of a metal rod to put into the ground among the plants. Easy to make if you have a hot glue gun. 

Time to have a walk along the canal. This is the Derwent Valley Heritage Way. 

This is where I came off the canal and took a path to Holloway. It was time to start making my way back. 
It was a particularly steep climb up to Long lane and when I was passing Lea Gardens I spotted this war memorial in the woods.

I was now mindful of the time, as well as the fog it wouldn't be long before it started getting dark. Some of the footpaths were rocky and covered in tree roots, also some steep ascents and descents. At one point the path came to a dead end, but then I saw a gap in the wall to my left as the only way to go. I was expecting to go straight forward but this was taking me left, through a wood with a steep bank. I was glad to find another gap in the wall into a field.

I heard a train, that was a good sign as I was heading for Cromford Station. At last I came out on a road, it wasn't far back to the hotel. I arrived at 4.20pm. Boy was it lovely and warm when I walked in the door.

I have a very nice room on the second floor, dinner was served at 6.30pm and I had a lovely vegetarian meal, with fresh broccoli, salad and potatoes.

The clock is chiming 11.00pm so I'm off back to my room. Wifi is only available in the lounge, and I have to turn the light out when I leave. I think the staff have gone to bed, ha ha.

Catch you soon. Toodle pip.