Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Monday, 8 December 2008

Sunday 7 December 2008 - A Stroll by the River Dove

Today Sue and I managed to escape from our sick beds (well, Sue has 'flu, I just have a bit of a cold) to join Julia after her annual trip to the Backpackers Club's Christmas celebrations based at Biggin, where they rent the village hall every year at about this time.

0702settingoff By 9.30, after a difficult journey into a blinding sun with failing brakes, balding tyres and frozen windscreen washers, we were stepping out along the path towards the Tissington Trail.0703tissingtontrail
The winter sun was warm in the clear still air, but the path of the old railway remained frosty, firm and deserted.

After a while (and a judicious CCS/flapjack/tea break in the sun) we descended steeply to join the infant River Dove at Fishpond Bank in Wolfscote Dale. Thick hoar frost in this deep cleft hadn't yet been touched by the sun's rays.

Surprisingly, we did move in and out of the sun as we progressed up the dale, with people around now, but incredibly few considering it was an immaculate day in one of the most popular parts of the Peak District!

A kingfisher flew purposefully past, its back gleaming brightly, and a couple of herons sunned themselves lazily whilst a platoon of mallards floated gregariously, trying to avoid a bevy of dogs that were intent on a swim.

Hounds howled in the distance (on the near line of hills to the right) as we enjoyed lunch on a sunny bank with a fine view west towards Hulme End.

0705lunchview 0706lunchers
Passing through the pretty village of Hartington, we managed to dodge the hostelries (though the slide show does portray these and much more) and walk past this magnificent manor house, dating from 1611, where a bed for the night still costs only £15.

Hartington Hall

For a fuller photographic record of today's amble - just over 30 images - click here.

Here's a rough outline of our route - 16 km (10 miles) with about 600 metres of ascent. It took us around 4½ hours including stops.


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