5 of us met in sunshine and clear skies.Were the forecasts wrong?Was this going to be another ace day?
Well unfortunately not-but at least the rain held off until the afternoon.
We completed the initial traverse in the best of the weather walking above Fox Holes Plantation with great views east to Hillsborough & west to the Peaks.Reaching Black Brook we then descended to Coppice Farm and the valley floor near the third Coppice Wheel ( from the valley’s industrial past) and the adjacent “Cryptogram Cliff” with its ferns.mosses,Great Woodrush & Golden Saxifrage.We stopped here to savor the the atmosphere of this beautiful spot over a morning tea before crossing the stepping stones.Onwards and now upwards we skirted the edge of the old Crippled Childrens Hospital (later the King Edward V11 Orthopedic Hospital and now apartment complex) .to join the lower section of Coppice Lane leading to Tofts.From there we rejoined the valley floor and followed it to the old mill dam by the former Hind Wheel where steel strips for ladies corsets were manufactured.
We stopped here for lunch with unwelcome spots of rain warning of the approaching weather system.After lunch we completed the steady ascent below Den Bank with increasingly impressive views up the valley to the west.
Unfortunately the drizzle now turned to steady rain and sleet which rather marred the final section of the walk.
Passing the old “Bell Hagg” Inn we completed the ascent to rejoin Blackbrook Wood which we followed above Bell Hagg Edge.
Arriving at the crossing over Lodge Lane by common agreement ,given the conditions, we opted to avoid the planned finish via Rivelin Dams and Wyming Brook and instead retraced our initial route above Fox Holes Plantation back to the cars.
Here we were surprised to meet Hugh who had just completed a solo walk having arrived 10 minutes late at the start.