May 25, 2023 at 9:55 pm #20232David CrowtherKeymaster
Seven CMC members made their ways to the Little Longstone horse troughs by 11, and we set off in sunshine along the road east to gain the footpath to Dale Farm and Moor Lane. The meet leader had explained to the party that he was at the end of a week of nasty lurgy, and so was sensibly left to lead at a distance.
Black Plantation provided the first steepish uphill section, emerging on Longstone Moor where we paused to appreciate the view south. There was less bird activity on the moor than expected so probably they have paired up and are nesting now.
Moving on over the moor ridge we got our northward views, and stopped for an early break among the violas and mining hillocks to appreciate them. Descending through the sheep pastures we traversed fields of buttercups in flower, leaving our boots yellow with pollen. The westward path toward Wardlow was successfully followed through the minefield (shafts capped off now) but the final pasture before the road contains the nettle plantation, which had grown more than the leader anticipated. The trouser-leg-less members were courageous in the face of adversity though, and we gained the road.
The westward track from the village took us to the edge of Cressbrookdale, with fine views down. We headed south above the scarp, where the cowslips had gone but early orchids were still a-plenty, to the entrance to the nature reserve. The thought of lunch encouraged us up to the trig point atop Wardlow Hay Cop where we sprawled to eat and to admire the panorama.
The belted Galloways that are usually at the bottom of the exit path were absent, so we headed straight through and down to the minor road coming up Hay Dale. A new concessionary path straight across provides a welcome relief from the old dogleg up and right along tarmac, so we plodded up through old lead workings to Castlegate Lane. After only a few road yards we could cross and ascend to the stile to the tree-lined track leading down to Chertpit Lane. The relined pond partway down is holding water, and small newts were active in it.
Right along the Lane took us to the field path back down to Little Longstone, through hay meadows and past horses which did not deign to pay us attention.
Getting to the road at 14.47 a dash was made to the tea room, (3 pm closing) where we relaxed in the garden between amazing orange azaleas before heading home.
A bit under 7 miles according to Dick’s GPS and my legs. Thanks to the six who joined me for the walk, hope the other Thursday regulars heading SW or to the far north are finding easy travelling.
- This topic was modified 3 months, 4 weeks ago by David Crowther.
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