Thursday, May 24, 2018

My Favourite Places in Nottinghamshire

Although most of my blogposts are about my walks in the Peak District I still regularly visit neighbouring Nottinghamshire, either to go walking, or for trips out in the car with Siobhan, my support worker.
Blyth: Although it's only just over the county boundary and easy to get to I only recently visited Blyth for the first time. The central area is very photogenic, there's a village green, an impressive parish church which used to be an abbey, a large mediaeval building that I'm not sure what it is, and a couple of large, old pubs.
Chesterfield Canal: I've walked along the canal from West Stockwith, where it joins the River Trent, to the county boundary near Thorpe Salvin...not all in one go though. My favourite section goes from Gringley-on-the-Hill to Retford.
Clumber Park: An obvious choice; very popular, and family friendly. An easy, pleasant walk around the lake. Strangely enough, no-one's mobile phone seems to work here.
Everton: A pretty village on the road to Gainsborough.
Gringley-on-the-Hill: A few miles east of Everton. A pretty hilltop village which reminds me of my favourite Doncaster/South Yorkshire village, Hooton Pagnell. Wide-ranging views from the top of Beacon Hill.
Newark-on-Trent: A traditional busy market town, the castle, church, and Market Place are lovely.
Nottingham: I love visiting the castle, but there are plenty of other things to see.
Retford: Apart from Bakewell, Retford is my favourite local town. I regularly visit; the Market Place and King's Park are the best areas.
Rufford Abbey: A beautiful lake, extensive parkland, and some interesting ruins.
Southwell: Absolutely stunning; in summer it's bedecked with flowers. The minster is my favourite ecclesiastical building - totally unique 'pepper pot' twin towers and a remarkable series of minimalist aluminium table-top sculptures depicting the Stations of the Cross.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

My Photograph of Conisbrough Castle

It took me a while to track it down but here's a link to one of my photographs of Conisbrough Castle
which appears on a glossy leaflet produced by Sustrans; at least they do credit me even though I received no royalty fee.

A couple of screenshots of the leaflet:

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Fox House, Longshaw Estate, and then Little Longstone, Monsal Head, Ashford in the Water, and Great Longstone

I arrived at Fox House about an hour before I was due to meet Chris and Maureen, my regular walking companions, and so went for a quick ramble on the Longshaw Estate.

There are some lovely views looking towards the moors, and a quirky little information shed.

One of the hikers who got on the bus as it was leaving Sheffield had clingfilm wrapped round his knees - I've never seen this before and don't know why he will have done it. Anyone got any ideas?

Chris and Maureen were on time; we drove down to Ashford in the Water but the small carpark there was already full and so we continued on to Little Longstone, parking at the side of the road as near to Monsal Head as we could...actually right opposite the small chapel at the far end of the village.

It was only a short walk up the road to Monsal Head. The public toilets are now closed and so Maureen had to make alternative plans a few minutes later. It was nearly midday and very busy and I didn't have time to take any photographs of the classic Peak District view looking down at the river and the railway viaduct.

As we were walking across the fields to Ashford we must have encountered several dozen other people out walking on this fine warm sunny day, and later down by the river in the village there were quite a few people sunbathing and enjoying their picnics on the grass.

There are plenty of pretty cottages to photograph.

We then headed north along the road and took the footpath that goes by Churchdale Hall and eventually we reached Great Longstone, walking through meadows covered with wildflowers, especially buttercups.

Maureen had been struggling all day and I offered her the option of cutting short the walk and heading straight back to the car; she gladly accepted.

A few minutes later we walked past one of the village pubs, the White Lion, and called in for drinks. My glass of Pepsi Max, not even a full pint since the barman just poured in the contents of two small 250ml bottles into my glass, cost me £3.90. This was the most expensive soft drink I've ever purchased; can anyone beat this? Chris and Maureen seemed well satisfied with their non-alcoholic cocktails though. They called them 'mocktails.'

Friday, May 18, 2018

Cromford, Fritchley, Crich, Wakebridge, Holloway, and Lea Bridge

I used Bakewell as a base again today to travel further afield and caught the bus to Cromford.

I called in at the mill, photographed the church just a few yards further down the road, and then walked along the canal towpath almost as far as Ambergate.

There's a small museum set up inside the two brake cars on display at High Peak Junction; there's also an information centre and shop...and toilets.

I passed by some impressive canalside properties.

A bit further south I encountered an unusual hazard on the towpath.

When I reached where I thought Ambergate should have been the towpath was blocked by an industrial unit and heavy plant and the footpath took me uphill through the woods and meadows full of buttercups until I reached a village. I didn't know this place was called Fritchley until I got home and checked because by this time I'd fallen off the edge of my map.

I then continued heading north along the road until I reached Crich.

After visiting the church I chose to continue walking along the road to Wakebridge and then took a pleasant footpath to Holloway rather than going straight back down to the canal and re-tracing my steps all the way back to Cromford.

According to the map there was no easy access to Crich Stand from the south and so I didn't attempt to go there. 

I got a good view of a couple of trams as I passed by the entrance to Crich Tramway Village, the National Tramway Museum.

Florence Nightingale at one time lived at Holloway, the next village I reached.

I continued along the road to Lea Bridge and then walked through a wood and a narrow country road back to Cromford, stopping off at the pretty railway station to take some photographs.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Monyash, Hurdlow Town, Earl Sterndale, and Buxton

I left Monyash and headed north through the village until I reached Blackwell Lane, a track, and then continued westwards along another track, called Hutmoor Butts until I reached a pub that was closed and boarded up - according to the map it was called Bull-i'-th'-Thorn. There's also a donkey sanctuary at this location.

I walked along the road for a bit until I reached a footpath going across the fields to Hurdlow Town. Hurdlow Town isn't a town at all though; it's just a few farm buildings.

A few hundred yards later I was walking across grassy fields again, with my first view of Dowlow Quarry over to my right - at this point on the walk I was no more than a mile from the Staffordshire boundary. As I approached Earl Sterndale two groups of cows were blocking my way and I had to entice them away from the gates they were all standing next to. I bet I looked and sounded a right idiot making 'moo' and 'shoo' noises, jumping up and down, and waving my arms about. They eventually came towards me and I was able to loop round the back of them in stealth mode and reach the gates - there's probably a name for this manoeuvre in American football or rugby league.

The pub at Earl Sterndale is still open - it's called 'The Quiet Woman.' [Look closely at the photograph]

There's also a church in the village.

The next footpath, leading up a steep hill to the rim of the quarry began by me needing to climb up some steps in someone's very well kept front garden.

After walking right alongside the quarry rim for a couple of miles I then needed to take the road for a few hundred yards until I reached the gravel bridleway which would take me up and over the hill and then down into the grounds of the research laboratories of the Health and Safety Executive.

Next up was a walk through an industrial estate consisting mainly of scrapyards and hauliers, certainly not the most scenic approach to Buxton, although things did improve a lot as I started the climb up to Solomon's Temple and then the descent into the town.

The bus back to Sheffield took nearly two hours so I had plenty of time to enjoy watching the countryside pass by through the window. As soon as the bus reached South Yorkshire none of the South Yorkshire only passes would scan and so this slowed us down by quite a few minutes, even though the driver explained what the problem was and was just letting people get on.