6 of us started out from Litton with sun hats,sun hats,sun glasses &,in some cases ,shorts on a seemingly perfect summer’s day.
The initial stages were soon over & we then headed down Cressbrook Dale past the former Mill and so to the splendors of the high level traverse above Miller’s Dale.The meet leader,engrossed in conversation,missed the normal descent to the Monsal Trail -but,no matter a tea break was enjoyed while the meet leader explored the path he was following discovering that it led exactly to where he wanted to be!
To avoid a trudge up the Trail dodging the army of Sunday bike hirers,we descended to Litton Mill & took a scenic detour up Tideswell Dale and over the fields to Miller’s Dale..Lunch was taken on a grassy knoll above Miller’s Dale Church after which we headed into Chee Dale.
The usual muddy entrance awaited where a slip nearly saw Jenny fall head first into the river.Luckily she stopped inches from the water.Once through the mud things improved & we continued over the stepping stones.The cycle shed& cafe at the end of the Dale provided a welcome tea before the ascent to Blackwell.
An impromptu change to the planned route saw us take the path from Priestcliffe to Miller’s Dale Nature Reserve with great panoramic views in the evening light.A pleasant descent then led back to the Monsal Trail.
We again abandoned the busy trail & descended to Litton Mill again to tackle the final ascent of the day to Cressbrook village,
All that remained then was to take the route through the woods and over the fields back to Litton,where a a pint in the Red Lion rounded off a great day’s walking at ,it seems on subsequent investigation, 15.5 miles.Slightly longer than the advertised 14,but well worth it.