Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Thursday 12 August 2010

A Short Journey in the Peak District - Part 2

The beautifully manicured surface of the High Peak Trail

Yesterday’s return from Bonsall to Marple was as enjoyable, if less eventful than the previous day, which featured sections of bridleway almost impenetrable by humans, let alone a human with a bike.  The bike was slimy from the all over spray I’d applied before setting off from Graham’s house in Marple, and the act of lifting it over gates and fences, together with having to deal with the disintegration of my front mudguard, transferred much of that slime to my body and clothing.

So I hope I didn’t transfer too much grime to Ken and Anne’s house in Wensley, or to Sue and Phil’s in Bonsall.

Yesterday’s route saw me flying down the hill to Cromford on a steed cleaned by the grassy meadows north of Tearsall Farm the previous evening, and with no technical problems at all I remained pristinely clean until I had to load the bike into the car at the end of the day.

Intake Lane took me up to the incline plane that marks the start of the High Peak Trail.  Up the incline, and two further inclines, and along the trail for about 10 km (pictured above) seems easy enough.  But a moderate head wind made sure that I worked hard to make progress, even on this easy terrain.

Leaving the trail by Minninglow Hill, I pottered along country lanes to Biggin Dale, and through lots of gates to Hartington.

The Beresford Tea Rooms provided coffee and a huge piece of chocolate cake.

A mixture of quiet lanes and enjoyable bridleways drew me north west over undulating terrain.  A band of rain enabled me to test my waterproofs.  The trousers ripped.

The day had started in bright sunshine, but by the time I came into view of Shutlingsloe gloom prevailed, though by 4.30 pm I was enjoying tea in the sunshine in Graham’s stunning garden.

Here’s the first view of Shutlingsloe, as it appears from Tagsclough Hill.

Shutlingsloe, from Tagsclough Hill

Today’s bridleways were a delight compared with some of yesterday’s; all good fun, especially the swooping descent on the edge of Macclesfield Forest to Trentabank.  Just beyond here I stopped for lunch at 2.15 at the Leather’s Smithy Inn.  They had no food, so I zoomed on down to join the Macclesfield Canal at Gurnett.

A leisurely pootle up the towpath to Marple concluded this enjoyable two day outing.

The route is here.  A slide show (61 images) is here.

On the towpath near Marple

Here’s the route – approx 50 miles each day, 2200 metres ascent on the first day, 1800 metres on day 2.  Day 1 took 10 hours (including over 2 hours of stops); Day 2 took a little over 8 hours (including about 1 hour of stops).

The two day route - 100 miles with 4000 metres ascent

Wednesday 11 August 2010

A Short Journey in the Peak District - Part 1

Just a taster tonight, as it has been a longish day.

Setting off from Graham's house in Marple worked well (Roman Lakes having refused to accommodate the car for a night) and by 9 am I had joined a local postman in admiring the canal in the morning light.

Then it was down past Roman Lakes to Strines, before heading up to join the Peak Forest Canal.

Swing bridges and the sweet aroma of the sweet factory graced the route to Furness Vale. Up and over then, to Whaley Bridge, before rising to Taxal, from where a steep path leads up the Goyt Valley.

The route to Derbyshire Bridge was closed, so I headed up the footpath directly to the Cat and Fiddle Inn, not bothering with Shining Tor on this occasion. ("Wimp")

Three Shire Heads proved a good venue for lunch (part 1). The extra calories were soon used in reaching Flash - a tedious walk on a path of soft sand strewn with small boulders, then a horrible descent to an alpaca farm and then an energetic hill to Flash.

Waylaid by a café that provided a welcome mug of tea. Then on along undulating lanes with fine views towards Chrome Hill and its mates (pictured) to Glutton Bridge, beyond which the duck pond at Earl Sterndale proved an excellent venue for lunch (part 2).

Over the top, with more fine views, before heading on to the busy High Peak trail at Sparklow.

Easy going, with refreshments at Parsley Hay, to Friden, then fun along Long Dale and Gratton Dale before a stiff ascent to Elton.

Another hill led to Upper Town, before a relaxing descent to Darley Bridge.

Tea and cake with Ken and Anne in Wensley. Thank you, it was great.

Over the top via a wayward bridleway to Bonsall, near Matlock.

Too late to get home from there today. Anyway, after washing off a bit of perspiration and enjoying food and wine in good company, it seemed foolish not to succumb to Hospitality and accept a bed as well.

Thank you, Sue and Phil, you are stars.

75 - 80 km today, with 2200 metres ascent.

Just as well I brought a bike...

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Monday 9 August 2010

Sunday 8 August 2010 – A Bimble around Tideswell

On the path to Foolow

Sue W organised this bimble (thank you, Sue), and nine of us turned up reasonably on time at the car park just south of Tideswell.

Sue and Phil eventually arrived, church bells being utilised as today’s excuse.  No matter, Sue and I had enjoyed a coffee at the Vanilla Kitchen (for sale, a fine establishment) in Tideswell, and Andrew had held court during the ‘wait’, from the boot of his car.

The path down Miller’s Dale to Cressbrook was lush and dry, with coots and a heron busy on the river; then we rose steadily up Ravensdale before pausing for elevenses with a fine view of Tansley Dale.

Looking down to Tansley Dale

Chatting as we tottered along, the time flew by.  Before we knew it we had for some reason passed the Bull’s Head and were lunching beside the duck pond that graces Foolow’s village green.  The Aylesbury ducks weren’t interested in our sandwiches, preferring to dunk themselves in the oily green water.  The ducks were two tone – white above, fluorescent green below!

Lunch in Foolow

It was a short walk, so the Bull’s Head did receive some business before we staggered off to Peter’s Stone.  It’s a scramble up to the summit, so some staggerers became more like crawlers.

Sue and David on Peter's Stone

I was trying out a new camera (a basic Canon Ixus) that I’ve got for wet weather, mountain biking and ‘shirt pocket’ use.  Today’s images were taken with that camera.  It’s not a patch on the G10, but does seem fit for its intended purpose.  Practice shots included the Harebells and the Six-spot Burnet moth included below.

Harebells Six-spot Burnet moth

We strolled slowly on, through Tansley Dale, Litton Dale and Tideswell Dale, before a lovely avenue of trees led us back into the car park at around 4pm.

An avenue of trees near Tideswell

Here’s the 16 km route (500 metres ascent, 5.5 hours), and very good it was too – award a route planning medal to Sue W!

Our route - 16 km, 500 metres ascent, 5.5 hours

A full slide show is here (23 images).  The title caption is ‘waiting for Sue and Phil’.