Sue kindly organised this walk. She managed to attract a good turnout of 16 random bimblers on this sunny, summery day, despite a few dropouts.
The Trading Post café in Buxton proved a good place to assemble for a leisurely start well after 10.30am. Colin and Paul had walked to the start, and between them exercised the necessary local knowledge to extricate us from the pleasant town and into the countryside along ‘Green Lane’ towards Tunstead Limestone Works.
We soon paused for tea and cake – the latter being in limited supply as we had only expected ten people.
A nearby blast shelter would hardly have fitted all of us – just as well blasting doesn’t take place at weekends!
The Works were bisected by our path, which led down into Great Rocks Dale and across a long bridge.
The ascent towards Tunstead meandered pleasantly out of the dale and up a zigzag path.
From Tunstead, a high path took us past summery Peak District scenes like this one.
We passed farmers chatting in the sunshine outside Hassop Farm, before being drawn through Chee Dale Nature Reserve.
The path led down to a bridge across the River Wye, where Paul sighed with relief when he realised that his recommended lunch spot was indeed the idyllic location that he had predicted.
We lingered whilst a skinny mallard bravely sneaked what scraps she could scavenge. A couple of noisy young goosanders then joined the party, and a dipper busily scouted the river. Several buzzards watched attentively from high above.
A steep path then led south towards Priestcliffe, and on across the main A6 road. Local knowledge rumoured that the footpath through Fivewells Farm may be something of a mud-fest, so we by-passed that, and the Waterloo Hotel, and took the Senners Lane/Pillwell Lane route to join the Midshires Way for our journey back to Buxton in the continuing glorious weather.
Colin paused to re-fill his flask with Illy-Willy Water, reasoning “I fancy a day off sick tomorrow”.
Several of the party walked past the Church Inn in Chelmorton before returning to it whilst the rest of us finished off the refreshments we’d been lugging round all day. Meanwhile, Sue was composing artwork with her camera:
We then set off at intervals, several of us chatting sufficient to miss the Midshires Way path and inadvertently head along Caxterway Lane to what appeared to be a dead end. The hillside did however provide some reassurance as to our location!
So by the time we reached Deep Dale, we were a bit spread out, with one group leaving the western lip of the cleft as the backmarkers were reaching the eastern lip. You can just see them in the distance. (If you know where to look.)
We didn’t go into the small cave to the left of the path in the bottom of the dale today, but I understand there is a much bigger cave, worthy of exploration, with a large chamber, just off the path to the south. I think this is Thirst House Cave, an obvious entrance on the east side of Deep Dale that after about 20 metres drops to a second chamber that allows those with head torches to explore the cave up to a length of nearly 60 metres underground. Worth remembering for next time.
We bimbled on, soon reaching King Sterndale’s reverberating chapel.
Amongst the worshippers’ cars, Sue spotted a nodding sunflower in a campervan.
This was the highlight of her day. Some folk are easily pleased!
A field of cows and an unhelpful farmer confirmed that we had entered Cowdale, heralding the outskirts of Buxton. “We can make a living without having to put up with bimbling ramblers meandering across our fields” he muttered under his breath.
Soon Buxton’s railway viaduct lured us through one of its arches,
and onto the A515 road for an increasingly urban stroll back to the fleshpots of the resort, where the café had shut about five hours earlier.
So we went home, having enjoyed perhaps our last ‘summery’ walk of the year.
Here’s our route – about 22km (14 miles) with 600 metres ascent, taking us about 6.5 hours including breaks.
Whilst composing this ‘trip report’ I received a request from the marketing agent who has in the past provided me (and hence some of you) with Berghaus kit for review, to “publish an infographic that Berghaus have produced about 'The Ultimate Trail' which one of their athletes (Philippe Gatta) is in the process of completing”.
I’ve not come across either ‘The Ultimate Trail’ or the term ‘infographic’ before, and I suspect Philippe Gatta would feel as out of place on one of our bimbles as most of us would do on one of his days out. But it may be of interest, and whilst basically being an advert for Berghaus, there are links to other similar ‘high energy’ escapades which may be of interest. Click here for the link to the ‘infographic’, and here to ‘follow the trail’. …Enjoy!?
Here are the links (click on the underlined text) referred to in the comment attributed to Paul F:
"Infographics" - this Wikipedia article explains in the overview.
This recent cartoon (from the popular xkcd blog) satirises the trend nicely.