9th May Walk Report

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    Peter Hammond
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    A select band of 8 of us left Ashford in the water under a rather grey sky with ominous thoughts of impending rain.
    After crossing the A6 we took the River Wye path where the river was flowing quite fast after Wednesday’s rain. Wild garlic, in full bloom, was in abundance as we entered Great Shacklow Woods along with bracken leaves bursting forth.
    The descent down to Lees Bottom proved rather slippery with one of our number commenting that the leader didn’t have to slip on the dodgy bits just to show the rest of the party where the slippery sections were!
    Coffee was taken sitting on the benches adjacent to the car park where surprisingly the forecast rain hadn’t materialised.
    From here we crossed back over the A6 taking the trail through Monsal Dale. Again we encountered an array of wild flowers, Forget-me-nots, Cowslips, Wild Saxifrage to name just a few. After crossing over the River Wye we saw the extent of the recent rain with huge volumes of water gushing over the weir waterfall. We then passed some rather splendid Marsh Marigolds before ascending to our lunch stop at Monsal Head. The rain had now started but luckily a mere drizzle. Jackdaws in front of us pecked away at the road salt pile. No sign of fish or chips to go with it.
    Our route back to Ashford was rather uneventful apart from the sight of a splendid large brown bull that was thankfully behind a strong fence. Good views over the surrounding countryside were noticed during our journey down Pennyunk Lane.
    We rounded off our walk with 7 of us enjoying teas, coffees, cake and scones in the Ashford Café. Many thanks to all who came and for your wondrous company.
    Pete

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