Eleven walking stalwarts gathered at the very civilised time of 11am in the centre of Millthorpe for this New Year’s Day walk. Another walking group seemed happy to shuffle their own cars closer, so that all the Castle cars could also be fitted into this conveniently situated layby. Then off we set, heading uphill towards Holmesfield before taking a traversing path southwest to Unthank . As usual the walk had not been recced [?spelling] so the map was checked fairly regularly by the meet leader when she didn’t recognise the field/path/stile/stream, having not led a walk here since last March. A coffee stop was taken in Meekfield Wood, and later on, having passed through Moorhall we had lunch, sheltering out of the cold wind behind a thick band of trees. Two decided to have a shorter walk and peel off at Barlow Grange. The rest of us continued up to the highest point of the walk near Grange Hill, with disappointingly minimal views today, before heading down out of the wind now, through Oxton Rakes. There was no sign of the two peacocks that lived here, but several friendly dogs seemed to want to join us on our walk. An unfamiliar path was safely navigated, and another stretch of road taken, before we were back on very familiar territory, passing through Rumbling Street northwards back towards Millthorpe. Noteworthy aspects of the day were repeated appearances of a police car [? the same one], numerous horses, some with winter coats and stylishly plaited tails [!] and much MUD in all its different forms. Slightly disappointing on the entertainment front was that no-one fell over in it, but there was a general agreement that the bar has now been set particularly high for the rest of the year for measuring the ‘mud-ness factor’ on future walks. The meet lead’s suggestion of being awarded bonus points for providing TWO fords for boot washing just before the walk ended, disappointingly didn’t go down as well as she’d hoped for.
But as usual thank you all for your company, especially the workers amongst you that we don’t see so often [Leon, Josie and Rosa] and also Alice from the Brecon Beacons in Wales, staying in Sheffield, whilst waiting to become a grandmother for the first time, who’d heard about the Castle through Dave Crowther.
According to Andy’s GPS we walked 7 and 1/2 miles.
Many thanks to the 4 who joined me for this rather impromptu addition to the meets list. A lovely day for a walk, we set off from Glebe Road and headed over Crookes and down to the Rivelin valley. Many dog walkers were out, as were runners. We stopped short of the Rails Road car park for a coffee before continuing on to the path up just past the waterworks. Unfortunately one or more of the stepping stones now seem to be missing here….
Anyhow, all crossed without problem and we ascended to the valley-edge track. The chosen lunch stop was rather windy, so we headed to the bank before the stream crossing and ate lunch in a sheltered and sunny spot. Onwards behind the golf course to Manchester Road, then a short bit of tarmac before skirting behind Crookes cemetery and back to the road. Gill D joined us at my house, and daughter Jenny’s Christmas cake was consumed, along with mugs of tea. I was treated to a spirited rendition of Happy Birthday – thank you! Dave.
and the non-stepping-stone
Thirty six club members met up in the (slightly modernised) Kingsway Centre in Teesdale for this year’s dinner meet.
Saturday dawned fairly bright and cold as different parties headed off on foot and on road and mountain bikes. No matter what activity everyone enjoyed a great day with some fantastic cloud and sun effects. Though reports from individuals differed slightly the mountain bikers had a great ride/push/slip up the flanks and over Cross Fell and the road bikers escaped with only one fall. No one sustained any damage. Walkers enjoyed the moors above the centre with the larger party dining on the rocky summit of Monk’s Moor in warm winter sunshine.
After members had spruced themselves up the evening got off to a great start with delicious cakes and fizzy wine to celebrate the birthdays of Mary and Sue M. A table tennis tournament started but had to be abandoned as all the balls cracked (lesson for future never leave home without a ping pong ball). Once again the cooks prepared a delicious three course feast with all dietary preferences covered which was followed by homemade chocolates in honour of the birthdays. Once the washing was done the club’s new president (Chris) rose to give an entertaining speech and give out awards. The president then showed that speeches were not his only skill as, along with the new first lady, he mixed two large jars of cocktails.
Sunday was an even better day with at least one club member starting the day with some of the previous evenings cocktails -mistaking them for fruit juice. A large group walked from the centre enjoying far reaching views over the Tees valley before following the river back to the centre. The mountain bikes were out again with one biker managing to fall off and plunge her face into mud – no injury sustained. Coming back from a walk one member felt the need to revive herself before going home and sampled a couple of glasses of cocktail. Five minutes later she declared ‘I feel p…..d’!
Eight members stayed on in either the centre or the village. Those in the centre set to with the challenge of finishing off the cocktails – my headache on Monday morning was testament to their seductive power.
Thanks again to the cooks and all the rest of you who came and contributed in whatever way and helped make it a great weekend. Now where to next year …
On the Sunday four of us managed the Macclesfield CLASSIC and I make no apologies for adding the classic bit even if it is the third time I’ve done it. Dry and warm all day stopping at the cafe, not really necessary as had been a couple weeks before, below the Cat and Fiddle which was very accommodating seeing the muddy state we were in, Hugh couldn’t understand why i turned down free food for Scout.
Monday the soothsayers were correct about the weather although I had a good morning and hopefully David did as well, we lost the way a bit trying to find the cycle path out of Matlock and ended up walking across a field, it was warm again though!
Three of us met at the appointed time (10am) at what we thought was the appointed place (layby on the A57 below the Snake Inn). There was no meet leader, so after waiting a while we set out leaderless. It later transpired that the meet leader led a party of 6 plus a dog from a different layby, but we never saw them. The usual path down through the forest from the Inn is now closed and the forest has been felled, so we took a lower path from the road down to the footbridge over the River Ashop, leading into Fairbrook. The rain was already giving way to drizzle. The delightful path up Fairbrook eventually steepened below the temporary fence which keeps the sheep off plateau, thereby allowing the growth of several trees which were not there before. At the top we were in mist, leading a cautious member of our group to recommend keeping together. We soon reached Fairbrook Naze and the start of a path back down to the start, but we decided instead to continue as planned along the north edge of Kinder. We had occasional glimpses through the mist into Ashop Clough below. There were a few boggy/peaty sections, mostly avoidable. We had our picnic sheltered from the cool north breeze by the “Boxing Glove” stones. Pressing on, we soon reached the Pennine Way. Up to this point we had seen nobody else but there were a few on the Pennine Way. Dropping down the stone steps, we soon came to Ashop Head and turned right onto the Snake Path, which was followed back to the Snake road. The usually boggy sections were no boggier than usual and by this time the drizzle had stopped and we had a pleasant walk down. We saw nobody else after leaving the Pennine Way. The Snake Inn was closed, so we returned to the cars to finish. It was a pity we did not meet up with the others but we enjoyed our walk, an old favourite. 8.8 miles; 1600ft ascent. Andy.
I was very pleased that we had 10 people, no dogs or other pets, for my first meet as leader. The weather was OK, no rain at all but a bit cloudy. We saw a cloud inversion on the way there over Hathersage.
We set off at 10 o’clock but weren’t sure if it would be possible to get up Red Brook because of all the rain on Saturday, but it was quite alright.
I soon got wet feet when I jumped into a stream by accident, but soon everybody else got wet as well. When we got into Red Brook it was very slippery in some bits, but we all got up with a bit of help.
At the top there were no views because of cloud and it was too windy to stop so we went down hill for a bit for lunch. Later on we went through a field full of cows who ignored us. We stopped near the end for a sit down on two benches. When we got to the car I realised I’d left my walking pole at the benches so I had to run back and get it. Then I looked at the Tresspass memorial and learnt all about it.
Thank you to everybody who came. There are some photos on Facebook from Chris and Jo. Grandad Paul will put some more on later.
Jaycee-May Gibson x
Jun 26, 2014
Another walk starting from Millthorpe, but a different route from the very wet one I led in January. This time we did a long loop south through Rumbling Street, Oxton Rakes and Pratthall towards Linacre reservoirs before heading back again through Barlow Grange, Moorhall and Unthank. As usual, there was no previous recce of the walk, so the unexpected delights were a surprise for all of us – some very beautiful and obviously extremely expensive houses [one complete with a strutting peacock on the front drive] a drinking trough for cattle, away from any houses, with goldfish swimming around in it, flower-filled meadows with orchids and iridescent-blue damson flies, and the sound of kestrels and a yellow hammer. There was only one slight ‘deviation/detour’ when we initially ‘ignored’ the correct stile [although there had been several unnecessary offers of help from complete strangers early on, when I’d just been checking the map. As one of our party of five was heard to comment: “We’re not lost – yet!”]
Duffy the dog kept us all nicely together, but occasionally caused us some anxiety when going through fields of overly-interested cows [and for me personally, there were also too many fields we had to cross containing very large and friendly horses]. The weather was good, and likewise the views, especially from the high point of Grange Hill near Barlow Grange. Thank you Sean, Caroline, Dave and Sue for your excellent company. Distance approx. 7 miles over 4 and 3/4 hours.
Jun 20, 2014
Indeed we did, 6 at the start plus Sue A and Duffy who caught up while we detoured to look at Boot’s tower. Cloudy start but brightened up nicely for the second half. In Linda’s absence the group decided on just a 2 stop strategy, refuelling by Dale Dyke dam and on the Stake Path. Back to the cars by 3pm after a pleasant walk.
Jun 12, 2014
A lovely sunny warm day with clear air and great views. Nine
of us met at the car park near Fairholmes. We took two cars
to transport us all up the Derwent Valley to King’s Tree
where the walk began. We walked to and crossed the old packhorse
bridge at Slippery Stones. Then it was up the bridle way of
Cut Gate, with a coffee break at the top of the steep
bit. On to the top of the pass where we left Cut Gate
at a large cairn and followed a thin and slightly boggy path
to the trig point at the top of Margery Hill, the highest
named point in South Yorkshire. One of the bogs swallowed
the tip of a walking pole, but it was soon retrieved by
dint of a bit of boggy scrabbling. Margery Hill: what a
delightful place to have our picnic lunch! At 546m (1791 ft),
the summit is reputed to be a Bronze Age burial mound, and
has been designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument by English
Heritage. Brilliant views were to be seen all around.
After lunch we headed south past a small cairn marking the
highest unnamed point in South Yorkshire, marginally higher
than Margery Hill. From here we could see Howden Reservoir
and dam. The path headed down to Nether Hey, and an old
shooting road took us right down to the edge of Derwent
Reservoir. We enjoyed a tea break at a bench overlooking the
reservoir, in spite of being pestered by a greedy duck. The
final leg took us along the track to Derwent Dam and
Fairholmes. After agreeing that we had all had a jolly good
day out, some departed to sample the delights of the new cafe
at the Anglers Rest, Bamford, while others went to retrieve
the cars from Kings Tree.
7.5 miles 1360 ft of ascent.