Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018
Showing posts with label Peak District. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Peak District. Show all posts

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Saturday/Sunday 7 and 8 March 2020 - A Weekend at Ilam

 Click on any picture to access a slideshow
This was Sue and Phil's 25th wedding anniversary weekend at Ilam Hall, attended by well over 100 of their friends and relatives.
On Saturday morning a sizeable party left the hall, in view of the church that lies within the grounds - pictured above - at around 9.30. Just as Richard and I were finishing our 5 km jog in Derby.
We hastened back to base, and whilst Richard then enjoyed a leisurely day, I shot off to catch up with those who had set out an hour earlier. I was called back by Phil - one of his bellringing fraternity had arrived late and wanted a longish walk.
So bellringer Brian and I set off to cross a tempting bridge from which the next picture, looking back up to the hall, was taken.
We soon realised we'd gone the wrong way. However, our brisk pace brought us to a point near Beeston Tor Farm, where the big group of 27 were sitting around with their flasks open. The drink was most welcome. I'm usually full of coffee by now, after a parkrun!
A rather more sedate pace prevailed for the rest of the day - much to Brian's relief.
The cycle track beside the River Manifold, following the course of an old railway line, led us from Weag's Bridge (below) to the turn to Wetton and Thor's Cave.
There's an information board about Thor's Cave, from where the massive cave is seen high above.

I've written about this spot after previous visits. provides more information, or you could just put '' into the search box on the top left of this blog - always a good way to find things I might have written about.

There were lots of people, in addition to our 27, about today, so most of us didn't bother to go into the steep, slippery, muddy cave. Been there, done that!
There's a fine view down to the Manifold Valley from the cave entrance.
The Royal Oak in Wetton provided another most welcome rehydration opportunity, with the benches in the village centre offering a good spot to scoff some lunch - Thanks to Sue for the smoked salmon and cream cheese with cucumber buns. 
From Wetton, the path down Hall Dale brought us to Dove Dale, the pinnacles of Pickering Tor, and the much photographed Ilam Rock, on which there were no climbers today.
Ilam Rock would have been a very greasy climb today.
Dove Dale has clearly recently seen the River Dove at high levels, but there's no evidence of serious flooding. The duck boards seem to have stayed above the river level.
There's a rocky knoll near Lover's Leap and the Twelve Apostles, on which our motley crew finished off any edible contents of their bags and flasks before resuming the easy walk amongst grockles back to the Hall for tea and (lots of) cake.
Anyone who had stayed mud free so far was to be disappointed as they trudged across a final field beyond Izaak Walton Hotel to Ilam.
Here's our route - 20 km with about 550 metres of ascent.
Later, about 110 guests enjoyed a lavish meal at Ilam Hall. Sue has lots more photos that she may broadcast separately.
As usual on such events, many people went home on Sunday morning, so there were just 15 or so of us on a ramble from the Hall.
The views towards Thorpe Cloud and Dove Dale were illuminated by sunshine today, but after overnight rain everywhere was rather muddy.
We went via Rushley then down a very muddy path to the River Hamps and the Manifold Way, lunching in a churned up field before heading up Soles Hollow.
After crossing a minor road, our path led down a most pleasant valley through Musden Wood to Rushley.
Pleasant, but muddy.
Very muddy!
Then, by mid afternoon, we found ourselves back at the Hall, with just enough time to get to Morrisons in Buxton before its 4 pm closing time to purchase supplies for dinner.
Here's our convoluted route - just 17 km today, with 480 metres ascent. Thanks go to Robin for planning both day's routes.
So, a most enjoyable weekend, away from the relentless news of the spread of Coronavirus, which at the time of writing is starting to threaten many of this year's plans.

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Ilam Hall

Here's where we spent last weekend. A wonderful location in the Peak District.

Monday, 23 December 2019

Friday 20 December 2019 - Shutlingsloe at Night (again)

This was our annual pre Christmas pilgrimage from Trentabank Car Park to the summit of Shutlingsloe and back, featuring numerous people and some terrible photography.
This year Sue and I managed to arrive in plenty of time to greet the other 14 folk who joined us on this jolly jaunt, but I had forgotten to bring a torch, and Sue's torch failed. There was no moon, so we couldn't see much! I blame that for some of the awful pictures, all of which were taken during our half hour break on the summit and are shown below.
It was a clear, starlit night, with good views over Greater Manchester.
The relatively warm night meant that the usual ice on the rocks leading to the top was absent, so it was an easier walk, all 5 km of it, than usual.
On the summit, once the spiced rum, mulled wine, tea, coffee, brownies, stollen bites and other goodies had been consumed, a short carol concert was held, finishing with a rather flaky rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas. I suspect the standard of the singing may match that of these photos, so it's perhaps just as well that (to the best of my knowledge) no recording was made.
We gradually made our way back down to Trentabank from the cool summit, whence a short drive found most of us rehydrating in the Leather's Smithy outside Langley. We were there for some time.
Thanks for coming, everyone - this walk seems to attract a few people rarely seen on my walks, but who are regulars, parkrunners, or in Toby's case a rarely seen nephew who turns up here without fail.
Any better pictures that may have been taken would be very welcome. Other ascents of Shutlingsloe, including previous 'night' visits, are recorded .

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Sunday 15 December 2019 - A Christmas Walk from Bakewell

My 'Christmas Walks' have evolved from being planning sessions for the year ahead into a gathering where we learn of each other's activities from the past year. Having said that, Andrew put me in possession of a weighty tome entitled - which could place our plan to walk the  next year in jeopardy! Thanks Andrew...
24 of us duly gathered outside and inside the Lime Lounge café in Bakewell on a cool but sunny morning. Excellent conditions for walking after a few rather changeable days' weather. It was a shame that Jon had cried off ill, and Andrew would not be joining us until Ashford.
The River Wye was running high, but not dangerously so. (NB Click on any picture for a better version and access to a slideshow.)
After a short stretch alongside the happy ducks in the river, we headed through the town and uphill to the churchyard, and past the imposing spire.
The path undulates (mainly up) all the way to Dirtlow Farm. Today's timings allowed for a leisurely pace.
As we progressed, a buzzard flew lazily away from its perch on a gatepost just ahead of us, and flocks of redwings or fieldfares swirled in the fields as we passed by.
Shortly after Dirtlow, our route headed past a communications mast and down towards Ashford in the Water. Sue noticed the time and demanded 'Elevenses', from where there was a good view down to Ashford, and also up the Wye Valley towards Taddington.
We meandered down to Ashford, where the river was certainly not in meandering mode. The ducks had all gathered in an area of eddying calm beside the bridge.
Our path headed past the bandstand (? - Ashford must have a very small band?), and on around the church to the playing field where Andrew was waiting.
This would have been a good place for elevenses in the bright sunhine, but we'd already had them...
We stopped for a while anyway, whilst many of the party took advantage of the nearby loos.
Onwards over damp ground to the , and an excellent lunch. Some folk also had a go at part of a quiz I'd set for last Wednesday night - the picture section. I'll put it up on these pages shortly, and as it was designed for people from Stockport, those who tried to answer the questions did very well.
It had been sunny when we entered the pub at 12.30 after a two and a half hour walk. When we left, two and a half hours later, we noticed that it had been raining. It was particularly obvious to those of us who had left our boots outside.
My hat seems to have decided to try to impersonate the church spire in Bakewell...
As we crossed the fields towards the Monsal Trail, the light dimmed as dusk approached, and the camera was soon stashed.
Andrew peeled off to recover his car, and the rest of us enjoyed a convivial time on the easy, broad track, past Hassop and on to Castle Hill. I'd planned to continue to the end of the Monsal Trail at Coombs Road, returning to Bakewell through the fields, as on , but the drizzle had turned to steady rain, it was dark, and everyone wanted to go home.
So we did just that.
We walked about 9 km in the morning, and a further 5 km after lunch - the route is shown below. The Crispin did, as they always do, remind me that they are open all year round, and you don't have to spend two and a half hours there - the service is actually very friendly and efficient.
I've added a label to this blog that brings up all the since the blog started in 2007, should anyone be desperate for a bit of reminiscence. And there's a route description for 2006 ! 2005's route is . The best I can do digitally for 2004 and earlier is , but I do have hand written diary entries from 1980! I'm not about to suddenly type them all out, although that might be a fun little project...
Thanks for coming, everyone, and have a great Christmas and New Year.