Tuesday, 25 August 2009

On top of the world

The weather forecast is wet and windy for Wednesday, so I thought I had better take myself off for another day out today. I fancied going to Bradford and Saltaire, looks pretty interesting, art galleries etc, but I noticed in the brochure that there is an arts festival on next month, so I think I'll wait till then. Now, where to go where I won't be battling my way through zillions of holiday makers? Derbyshire again? Plenty of big open spaces, maybe a bit further than my previous trip to Hathersage. Studying the Ordnance Survey map I see there is a reservoir with a forest on one side, hilly terrain, and a maze of footpaths surrounding it. Perfect, I printed off the maps.

I arrived at Bamford at 12 noon, and found my first footpath down a lane, then turn left between a big old mill and some modern houses. This is what I found, magic. A pond with ducks, water tumbling over the weir and over the stones, and a footpath through it made of rocks and wooden boards. I lingered a while listening to the rush of the water and enjoying the sun, a great start to my walk. I carried on over the wooden bridge and into a field.

All the signposts were very well marked, I decided to follow the Derwent Valley Heritage Way a short distance past Yorkshire Bridge, to the dam at the bottom of the Ladybower Reservoir. My plan was to walk the route anti clockwise along the waters edge for a while, then turn left through the forest, climb the hill out the other side and return via Win Hill, and the village of Thornhill.

As I stopped for a few minutes at Yorkshire Bridge, dark clouds blew overhead and decided to release a few hundred gallons of water, I dived for cover underneath some large trees. I don't like to be laden with a heavy backpack on a day out so I just take the bare essentials, food, drink, camera, phone, shorts to wear if hot, sweatshirt to put on if cold. I wouldn't go out walking if there was going to be continual downpours, the odd shower here and there is not a problem, I just find some shelter. If I get wet, so be it, it's only water.

The clouds blew over in a few minutes and gave way to brilliant sunshine as I reached the dam over the reservoir. This photo is looking south, down onto the water works, away from the lake.

Then I turned round and took a photo looking to the north over the water.

I walked a good distance following the curve of the reservoir on my right and the forest on my left, then turned left up a steep bank through the trees. I thought I was at the top and my first instinct was to turn left but then after checking the map I realised if I did that I would miss Win Hill, so I climbed even further through more trees untill I reached the open, heather clad hills. The view was fabulous.
There was a lack of signposts up here, maybe the sheep or the wind had knocked them over, so I followed what appeared to be a well worn wide path through the heather, in the direction of a mound of rocks, this looks like it could be Win Hill. Getting closer I could see the path up to the top, wow, how exciting, I was thrilled with a big grin on my face. I looked back to admire the view and savour every moment. Following me up was a couple of young fit and healthy looking guys running after me, I couldn't believe my luck, ha ha. I stood aside and they passed. Alas they were not running after me, but looked like they were on a training programme, they turned round and dashed straight back down again after reaching their goal. My ascent was a lot more leisurely, I ambled to the top taking care not to loose my footing on the uneven rocks, oh dear forgot to pack my crampons :-) Looking down at Lady bower Reservoir.
Looking the other way towards Castleton and Hope. It was very windy, nearly got blown off. I feel like I am on the top of the world :-)

It was downhill all the way now. A couple more photo's before I reach the bottom.
As I got back into Bamford at 6pm I saw a big house with a notice board at the front of the driveway, I stopped for a nosey. It was a Quakers House, and to the side of it was a communal garden I couldn't resist taking a look. It was laid out like allotments, I don't know much about Quakers, but I believe they share their food. It was in a lovely setting, down a private lane.

I don't think I will get another day out for a week or two, I have some dog sitting coming up. Ben is an old dog so it will only be short walks close to home. Still, it will give me a chance to do some research and find more places to visit.

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