3 of us from Fulwood and 1 from Hathersage travelled together but overestimated the journey time to Longnor “its in Staffordshire you know” but enjoyed a pre-walk coffee in Cobbles Cafe. At 9.45 a car load of Family Smith arrived, more than doubling our numbers and almost halving the party’s average age. It drizzled lightly, as per forecast, and we made our way through fields of long wet grass before crossing the ridge line near Top Farm and descending to cross the infant R. Dove via stepping stones and a rickety hand rail. The precipitation became heavier as we approached Crowdecote and those of us who had not previously donned waterproofs now did so, in the hopes that this would placate the rain gods.(Eventually it did).
Now followed a breezy ascent of High Wheeldon, the first of 4 hills on today’s route. This stretched the party out a bit but all foregathered at the summit and admired the view northwards where our route next lay. Before we had followed it very far we arrived at Aldery Cliff where two men, one carrying a large sledgehammer, were just emerging from the environs of the crag. There appeared to have been a rockfall on the right section of the crag.
After a short walk up the road we arrived at the Quiet Woman and decided on lunch on the village green which allowed access to supplementary refreshment for those who wished. After this fortification we felt able to tackle Parkhouse and Chrome hills in quick succession, although the slippery conditions meant care (and backsides) needed to be employed.
We now had just Hollins Hill left and took afternoon tea in the basin shaped summit tumulus. The weather had cleared up now and the views back were very rewarding. A descent to Hollinsclough and a reascent of a knobbly bridleway led to the minor road back to Longnor.
12.3 miles and quite a bit of up and down. Thanks to all for the company.