Richard and Jenny chose this venue - one of their favourite places, and Sue and I and Sue W (Phil is out of action with an Achilles problem) were those honoured to accompany them today under the 'Rule of Six' constraints.
We made our way from the car park past the Farmyard Inn, which would be seen to be heaving with people when we returned later, and descended to a bridge over the heavily managed (by way of weirs and ponds) River Bradford. Then it was uphill for quite some way, past bright yellow Marsh Marigolds, and a dipper that posed just a bit too far away for a decent picture. Grey wagtails and nesting coots were also making themselves very obvious from the river bank.
After a while we reached an enclosure, the wall around which has been subject to a novel form of repair.
A little further on - a wild camper's dream, lovely filtered water in abundance from a spring. You might even expect to find a water bottling business hiding round the corner!
We re-crossed the river via the stones pictured below, on which the following inscription has been carved:
"Consult the genius of the place in all that tells the waters or to rise or fall"
Soon afterwards, Sue spent ages setting up this self-timed photo that was cleverly photo-bombed by a dog walker.
A beautiful tree-lined path led up towards the hamlet of Middleton.
Elevenses were taken at a lovely spot in the sunshine above Long Dale, to which we then descended.
Another small enclosure bore three decorated rocks, two of them with symbols and birds, and the one in the foreground exhorting these most pertinent words: "We meet to create memories and depart to cherish them".
The march through Elton Common is on a very straight, and neatly gated, path through nascent crops. As on the previous day in the Wirral, I wondered what this path would be like when the crops are fully grown?
The graveyard of All Saint's church in Elton was chosen as a suitable lunch spot, where Phil took a break from stripping and joined us for a leisurely stop.
After that, the route to Robin Hood's Stride was adorned by meadows full of glossy petalled Lesser Celandine.
Beyond the Stride, the sight of a nearby stone circle reminded us that this place is full of antiquities.
Near Hollow Farm, the clock struck 3 pm and we paused for a minute, in time with cricketers across the valley, to mark the death of Prince Philip, at the good old age of 99.
Soon afterwards, a cleverly carved gatepost offered us a nod of approval as we passed by.
On the descent to Alport we visited a memorial in a field which reads "Behold the man - John Roger Harrop - 1942 - 2019 ... Gone from our home but not from our hearts". We assume he is buried inside the enclosure that's in front of the massive headstone.
Beyond Alport, the River Bradford, at one point managed sufficiently for an area to be deemed appropriate for swimming, rises slowly back to Youlgrave, passing at one point a cliff that looks suitable for climbing.
Back at the car park - a birthday presentation in honour of Jenny's garden.
Here's our route, superbly navigated by Richard, with occasional
assistance from Sue W - 19 km with 450 metres ascent.
What an excellent day out. Thanks for inviting us.