Back in January I had the opportunity to combine a work trip to Edinburgh with a weekend visit with our good friends who live in the Borders. M & K had confidently organised a nice coastal walk, a confidence that came from the fact that, as seasoned walkers and hikers, they had checked the weather forecast. And we checked again on our devices after dinner that Friday evening. OK, it was going to be a bit windy and maybe it would rain for a bit, and we’d be lucky to see the sun through the think grey cloud. But nothing to sidetrack our plans.
Woke up the next morning and the landscape had turned white.
Give the weather forecasters a break – two out of three isn’t bad. It was (kind of) wet, and we certainly couldn’t see the Sun through the grey cloud (and fog). Wear an extra layer, a thermos for tea and, of course, cake. Ready and prepared – off we went.
Not sure whether this fisherman was having a good time with the fish, but I managed to catch him just about right!
The Monsal Trail was once part of a railway that connected Manchester to London, finally closed in 1968 and restored with a public path in 2011. The tunnels along the trail are a testament to its railway past.
We’ve yet to summit a hill or peak in the Peak District and be disappointed by the views. The anticipation of those views is always palpable as you start the climb. I didn’t expect Mam Tor to be as busy with people as it was on this day. There were dog walkers, strollers, hikers, paragliders and hangliders. Yes, I got those last two right. This peak is especially popular with hang- and paragliders, mostly launching themselves into the air from Lords Seat, a hill just along the east from Mam Tor.
It was later than usual for us when we decided to go for a walk, so we decided to go for one that was relatively short, but also to go into a region of the Peak District that we hadn’t gone to before. So a quick hunt around using ViewRanger and we came across this walk just south of Buxton, starting from the village of Hollinsclough. We didn’t know it at the time, but Chrome Hill and its neighbour, Parkhouse Hill, are quite iconic amongst walkers of the Peak District.
Our walk started in the village of Hollinsclough and headed straight into muddy fields before finding a track. Impressive views of Chrome Hill from the start. Apt that it also known as The Dragon’s Back.
You first come up to Hollins Hill and it tried to tempt us to climb it. It did look like a gentle climb! But we ignored that temptation and kept on our track.
There was another couple that clearly could not ignore that temptation. The views from the top of Hollins Hill must be spectacular, and feeling only a little bit envious of them, we vowed that we would return and do that climb. This would not be the last vow we would make that day.
This describes the second of two walks we went on when Mike and Karen came to visit this August. The first was in the Yorkshire Dales and this second one we arranged for in the Peak District. We would drive to Fairholmes, where the Derwent and Ladybower reservoirs meet and a car park is conveniently placed. This hike is characterised by long steady climbs and quick windy descents, beautful scenery, sheep, landslips, bulls and river crossings.
A circular walk as usual for us, the GPS track of our 8.3 mile hike can be seen on my ViewRanger page.
From the car park we climb through the Lockerbrook Coppice and then head up for Bellhag Tor.
The views are amazing and it takes a bit of time to do the climb towards Alport Castles, not because the track is arduous, but because we cannot help but stop and look about us. Sometimes, the spectacular view is behind.
This was our first adventure into the Yorkshire Dales. On this hike we would see sculpture, lunch by a waterfall, follow rivers, walk past barns in fields and, of course, be studied by sheep.
The GPS track of our (almost) 6.5 mile walk can be found on my ViewRanger account. We were meeting up with Mike and Karen just south of Outhgill to start our walk along a section of Lady Anne’s Way, following the Penine Bridleway.
We start on a gentle incline. The weather was wet – not because it was raining, no – I insisted, it’s just that the clouds happened to be laying quite low on this day.
We made our way into the High Peak of the District for this walk. Our aim was to summit the two peaks, Win Hill and Crook Hill, which face each other from across the Ladybower Reservoir, and this we did via a 9.7 mile hike. We must be getting fitter as it was not as strenuous as we imagined it would be when we set off, although the Kendal Mint Cake did come in handy at one point!
From the car park, we make our way along the reservoir, going past what I can only assume is an overflow system to help protect the local environment from any flooding from the reservoir. In my imagination, however, I believe it to be a cruel Game of Thrones prison for the unfortunate and the innocent. We cross the dam before entering the woods, finding our way through to emerge at the foot of Win Hill.
Enjoy the views for a while – a good excuse to catch your breath before the final push to the summit.