Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Friday 24 June 2011

Wednesday 22 June 2011 – Wheeling and Walking in the Peak District

Today Sue was booked in at a function in Baslow to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Andrew Montgomerie’s ordainment as a vicar.
I decided to tag along, for a breath of fresh air whilst Sue was busy celebrating with the worthies of Andrew’s congregation.

Could these be termed 'medical supplies'?

I managed to find a most enjoyable route, mainly off-road, with no particular difficulties – there’s a link to the route card below.
After the briefest of stretches along the main A619 road, a quiet minor road led up to Pilsley, home of one of numerous ‘Devonshire Arms’ hostelries in these parts, where the Duke of Devonshire – the Cavendish dynasty, has been the principal landowner for hundreds of years.

The Devonshire Arms - one of many hereabouts, this one at Pilsley

The scenic ride took me by mistake to Bakewell, then back to Edensor and a lovely off-road section through New Piece and Manners woods to a major junction of paths to the south east of Coombs Farm.
Here’s the view from that junction.

Looking towards Bakewell from the turn to Coombs Farm

Beyond Coombs Farm, the track passes under a bridge that marks the southern end of the Monsal Trail, six tunnels along which have recently been reopened, making the trail excellent for cyclists as well as walkers.  Previously cyclists had limited access as, with the tunnels blocked for many years, the cyclable sections were linked mainly by footpaths barred to wheels.
My route today didn’t extend as far as the tunnels, but the quiet track made for a very pleasant, relaxing ride after the undulating start from Baslow.

On the Monsal Trail near Bakewell

I don’t tend to rush about on the bike.  It gives me a sore bottom.  Tea/coffee shops do a good business – I can’t cycle past them – as happened at Hassop Station cafe – see above.
After leaving the easy trail near Great Longstone, I headed up to Rowland, and on up a narrow lane to an area strewn with these blue signs:

Scheduled Monument No 31229

This is obviously one of a number of areas in the Peak District where off-road vehicles have caused damage to ancient artifacts and by-ways.  This particular location is one of many being monitored.
I saw no evidence of off-road vehicles today.  There were plenty of signs indicating where they were and were not allowed to venture.  There seem to be plenty of places where they are tolerated, including some of the better surfaced lanes hereabouts.
Here’s the double dyke that is in need of protection.  Exciting, isn’t it?

A double dyke

Just up the lane, Deep Rake becomes High Rake and the track runs beside this deep quarry.  I suspect that vehicles rather more corrosive than trial bikes and recreational 4WDs may have somewhat damaged the fragile double dyke just here.

You would go near this?

Just beyond the quarry, a grassy bridleway leads down Longstone Moor towards a large pond that appears to be a relic of intense mining activity just here.

Meadow by quarry and pits

At another major junction my route led down Rough Side, which is signed clearly as a footpath.  The place was deserted, so I would have cycled anyway, as the surface looked as if it wouldn’t be harmed by my tyres, but another sign, whilst barring anything with an engine, encouraged cyclists and horseriders to be courteous to other users.
The track surface has received recent attention and was excellent to cycle along, eventually turning into a narrow thread of tarmac down Coombs Lane for a quick descent to Calver.

Descending Rough Side

From Calver, another very short section along the main road took me to a gentle climb up the B6001 towards Bakewell, past a lay-by that those wishing to avoid parking charges could use as a base for this route.  A left turn along a narrow lane led to a 30-40 mph sweeping descent back to Baslow.
The route is shown below, and there’s a route card here.  (It prints onto one A4 sheet at 70%.)

The bike ride route - 35km with 800-1000 metres ascent

Fortified by tea in the church hall, and accompanied by a well fed wife, I stashed the bike and proceeded up the hill towards Baslow Edge, past houses you would love to own.

Interesting architecture in Baslow

A few minutes above the village, a shower was swinging in, backed by sunny period.  (Did I mention it was a showery day?)

A view from above Baslow

The Duke of Devonshire’s Chatsworth estate was in clear view to the south.

Chatsworth from above Baslow

Just before the delights of Baslow Edge, we reached Wellington's monument, dedicated to the Duke of Wellington and a celebration of his victory at the battle of Waterloo in 1815. It was erected by a local man called Dr Wrench, who as an army man, felt the need to counterbalance the memorial dedicated to Admiral Nelson on nearby Birchen Edge.

Sue by Wellington's Monument

Once on the Edge, we passed this huge boulder that I can recall trying to ascend on many previous visits.

Bouldering memories

There’s a good view from the Edge above Curbar.  In between showers.

On Baslow Edge above Curbar

Back down in the valley, the River Derwent flows serenely through the village of Curbar.

The River Derwent at Curbar

A pleasant riverside path and a quiet lane led back to Baslow and its noisy weir.

The weir at Baslow

Crossing back over the river by the old toll bridge, we passed a brick booth from which the tolls may have been collected (by midgets?).

The old toll booth on the old toll bridge at Baslow

It’s thanks to Andrew, the vicar of St Anne’s church in Baslow, that we made this trip, and a very enjoyable day out it was too.

St Anne's, Baslow

Here’s the route of our walk – 7.5km, 250 metres ascent, taking less than 2 hours.

Our 7.5 km walking route (250 metres ascent)

A slide show for the whole day can be found here, and the route card for the bike ride is here.

Tuesday 21 June 2011

Summer in Timperley (2)

Back home in Timperley, our swans have produced two youngsters.

Swans and their young on the Bridgewater Canal in Timperley - 19 June 2011

The towpath is fairly dry, apart from at a spot where a water main appears to have burst, but this recently surfaced section of the Bridgewater Way, between Sale and Brooklands, is particularly benign, without so much as a pedestrian in sight on a sunny Monday morning.

On the newly created Sustrans cycle track by the Bridgewater Canal in Sale - 20 June 2011

Anyone for a bike ride?  Tomorrow (Wednesday 22 June) morning at 9.45 am from Baslow Church (SK 251 723) – about 20 miles, of which half will be off road but not technical – at a gentle pace about 3-4 hours.

PS You may have noticed a duplication of this posting and a test posting.  This is because Windows Live Writer failed to transmit the posting and gave me the following error message:

“The server reported an error with the following URL:
405 HTTP method POST is not supported by this URL”

I managed to resolve the issue by uninstalling Windows Live Essentials and reinstalling the software, following this guidance.

(Just in case anyone has a similar problem.)