Thursday walk 3 October 2019 report

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    Andy SmithAndy Smith

    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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