First of all Happy New Year to all. For the last CMC walk before Christmas, 13 members and 2 guests met near Fairholmes. After greetings from several excited dogs we set off, ascending the woods onto the edge. We continued along Rowlee Pasture to the formations of Alport Castles and strode to the end to admire the views. Cutting underneath the crag we escaped a blustery wind and enjoyed lunch and drinks on a grassy slope in the warm winter sunshine. After a descent into Alport Dale we followed a broad track to the River Ashop. Then a muddy walk along the picturesque valley ensued before ascending over a shoulder and back down through the woods to Derwent. Some went onto the cafe at Bamford and then made an interesting river crossing and an ascent of Win Hill for the winter solstice. Total round of posted walk about 8 1/2 miles or 13.5km with 1950 feet (595m) ascent. Thanks for great company and an escape from all the festive preparations!