October 3, 2019 at 6:52 pm #14429Andy SmithKeymaster
13 members and a dog assembled at Castleton Visitor Centre.
The lack of shorts and sunhats and the appearance of woolly
hats indicated that the summer was well and truly over.
Across the car park a lane led to Hollowford Road which was
followed past the cemetery and Hollowford Centre. At the top
of the road we paused to allow the tortoises to catch up
with the hares. An information board here elicited the
comment: “I’ve looked at this so many times and I always
forget what it says.” In fact it confirmed that we were on
the ancient Coffin Road from Edale to Hope, used before
Edale church was built. The route now steepened as we
ascended to Hollins Cross. Here a coffee break was taken,
in a little hollow overlooking Edale. A couple of mountain
bikes moving unusually fast up the hill to the pass were
correctly deduced to be electrically assisted.
A long but easy walk up the ridge brought us to Mam Tor.
Here we met Sean, to the surprise of some in the group who
had not noticed him slipping away from the coffee break
early. There was a bit of a chilly breeze here, so we
pressed on downhill to cross the Rushup Edge road and reach
the old quarry at Windy Knoll. After lunch we passed the
entrance of the Windy Knoll Cave. A notice advised against
entering due to the danger of rockfall. Archaeological notes
from the National Trust website: “Excavation of some seven
cubic metres of cave deposits in 1874 produced remains of
40-60 Bison, 20-30 Reindeer,4-5 Grisly Bear and 7 Wolves.
Other animals represented were Foxes, Hares, Rabbits and
Water Voles. The remains were thought to have been accumulated
by animals on migration through the Winnats Pass falling
into the fissure. The carnivores presumably accompanied
the herbivores on migration.”
After a walk across field to Winnats Head Farm, we descended
next to the road down Winnats as far as Speedwell Cavern,
where we left the road for a field path past Peak Cavern back
to Castleton. Distance just about 5 miles. Ascent 1160 feet.
Thanks to John M for planning the walk.
Andy & Rosy
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