Monsal Head walk Thursday 30th May

May 30, 2013
Not a very promising start to the day with rain outside in Sheffield, and 3 people had already contacted me with their reasons/excuses for not coming along. But I had Linda in the car, so at least one person for company, and having waited in case anyone else turned up at Monsal Head, the two of us set off in sunshine [and remained warm and dry all day] looping south to Ashford in the Water, where quite unexpectedly, we discovered the village festooned with banners, to welcome visitors to their beautiful well dressings and stunning flower show in the church [eat your heart out Chelsea!] We visited 5 of the available 6 well dressings, which celebrated and marked various anniversaries this year – so many years of Dr Who, the Good Life, children’s cartoon characters such as Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse etc. One of the church wardens explained some of the hard work and careful timing which goes into making a well dressing, and the floral displays in the church told a story of past occupations and activities that had flourished in this village in earlier times. Then it was time to leave, heading north past Churchdale Hall towards Great Longstone, stopping in a buttercup-filled meadow for our picnic lunch on the way, and then up past swathes of dandelions and cowslips to Longstone Edge, with an easy contouring track to follow and stunning views over typical limestone scenery, before descending through more lush meadows to Little Longstone and the car home. Since Linda is away on 27th June and is looking for a volunteer, I have offered to do this walk again, but perhaps as a variation, to do it anti-clockwise instead. Hopefully the weather will be just as fine as today. Vanda Boyd

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