This week’s short walk was out of range for the usual suspects, so it was just Sue and I who set off soon after 2 pm from the car park on Goyt’s Lane above the Goyt Valley. Surprisingly we couldn’t find a pay machine; free parking in the Peak District – surely not!
As is becoming customary on my walks, we set out at a 90 degree angle to the planned route, enabling me to take the above picture of the car park from the disused railway line that looks like a good path if you should choose to use it.
After returning to the start, we descended steeply down to Wildmoorstone Brook. A good bridge crosses the brook, beyond which a track leads enticingly down towards Errwood Reservoir. However, our route turned left, steeply up beside the wall on the left in the picture below.
A short thrutch led us to good views on a hazy day across Errwood and Fernilee Reservoirs.
The contouring path across Wild Moor to Goyt’s Moss was thin but easy to follow. Here the heather hadn’t suffered its normal ‘burn’, but instead had been coppiced. This method of securing fresh new shoots for the grouse seems less disfiguring than the ugly burn marks with which we are more familiar.
Coppicing probably also provides some control over the bracken, which can be seen to the right of the next picture, taken in the afternoon sun as we made our way along the fine path up Berry Clough. No coppicing had taken place here.
The path leads up to the crest of Burbage Edge, from where today’s view to Buxton looked, well, gloomy.
A suitable trig point was found on which to rest the camera. We passed only one person on this walk, right at the beginning.
From the trig point the sun was setting behind Shining Tor and the Cat & Fiddle.
We lingered a little while, noting kestrels, rabbits, grouse, pheasants and various LBJs, whilst the sky prepared for sunset. I was surprised not to encounter any hill baggers, as the Hill Baggers’ website informs me that this is Hill Number 7732, a ‘subdewey’. Wow!
A proper photographer would have had the patience to stay high, but we meandered down the edge towards Beet Wood before the best of the colours were concealed from our view by woods and moors.
Below Beet Wood a ‘footpath’ leads to The Beet – a private house with posh cars and a public footpath running through the garden.
Another footpath, a proper one this time, leads through Watford Wood to Watford Farm, the home of two rather sad looking tractors.
The above picture was taken at 1/6 second at f3.3, so I’m lucky it came out at all. We got some lovely sky colours as we negotiated the bogs of Watford Moor and the even worse bogs by Longhill Farm, but by now it was almost dark.
Luckily there was very little traffic on Goyt’s Lane after we had left the wide verge of the A5004. Just as well, as Sue got delayed by a call from work that pinned her to a rare point of reception for quite some time.
Here’s our route – 10.5 km with 350 metres ascent, in rather less than 3 hours.
A nice little outing, and despite the little bit of bogginess on Watford Moor our feet remained comfortably dry.
We adjourned for an excellent meal at Simply Thai, in Buxton, then an interesting evening at the Opera House with Paul Goldstein and Chris Packham. I felt a bit out of place in this gathering for long lens aficionados. The pictures in this posting would all have been deleted by this duo due to their intrinsic flaws, and there were condescending comments along the lines “if you don’t want to be doing this sort of thing you shouldn’t be here” – pointing to a row of freezing cold photographers snapping at some whales’ tails. Actually, I thought, I like looking at the pictures on the big screen at the Opera House, but I’m more than happy to let someone else endure the pain required to take them.