Saturday, December 16, 2017

Stanton in Peak, Winster, Brightgate, South Darley, Darley Bridge, and Darley Dale

As usual when I go walking in the Peak District I caught the train to Sheffield; I then caught the bus to Bakewell and then a local bus to Stanton in Peak. The final stage of my journey, from Bakewell, was only twenty minutes, and wasn't I glad about that because it was colder on the bus than it was outside.

After taking some photos of the church at Stanton I climbed up towards Stanton Moor, initially going the wrong, but soon realising my mistake - at least there was a nice view for me to to photograph before turning back.




My photograph of the church isn't up to my usual standards, but the light was terrible and the church itself and its location aren't particularly attractive either.

As I approached the moor a few snow flurries started to fall; as there was already lying snow on the ground from a previous snowfall a few days ago, today was definitely my first snow of the winter.

I took a slightly different route across Stanton Moor today but still managed to visit the Nine Ladies Stone Circle and the Earl Grey Tower. When I reached the Nine Ladies I was alone...the ladies obliged by posing for me and my camera.




Quite near to the tower I noticed this brightly painted pebble left at the side of a stile...it must have taken quite a bit of time and effort to produce this. I removed it to take the photo...then put it back - maybe it's some sort of pagan good luck charm.



I took the footpath over the fields to Wensley; it would have been very muddy in places if the ground wasn't frozen hard. I didn't take time to explore the village - I've been here several times before. I quickly found the footpath which goes out of Winster just beyond the Old Market House.





The path soon joined up with the Limestone Way, which I followed for about a mile before walking along the road to the hamlet of Brightgate, from where I turned north towards South Darley. I had better results when photographing the church there.





Finally I walked the rest of the way to the bus stop at Darley Dale along the road. As I was passing some of the older houses at South Darley I noticed that they had all been given Welsh names - not the names of places in Wales, but actually Welsh words...most likely descriptive I should think. One of the houses is called 'Plas Newydd' and I can have a guess at its translation: 'New Palace.'

When I got on the bus I placed my pass on the scanner, and it fell off because the scanner had been placed at an angle, at a slope. The driver didn't seem to be surprised or annoyed at all - it must happen all the time. He just bent down, picked it up and handed it back to me.

Everything went well on public transport today and I enjoyed my walk, yet I spent over an hour and a half waiting for buses and another thirty minutes standing on platforms waiting for trains. This a far too long really.







Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Another Visit to Leeds

I met up with a friend in a pub in Leeds today for lunch, an 'all you can eat' or 'all you can get on your plate' carvery - I certainly got my money's worth...even though I wasn't the one who was paying. Thankyou Damo for the meal.

I took my camera along and took some photos; the weather conditions were variable though.
























After our meal we wandered around the city centre; this gave me the chance to take some more photos.

When we walked past the 'Kitty Cafe' on the corner of Fish Street, an establishment where cats are allowed to roam freely, my friend fancied popping inside. After struggling with the complicated and heavy external front door, and reading the strict and proscriptive house rules we weren't actually let inside because we didn't have a booking...although the place looked quite empty, of both cats and humans.

A few minutes later we found some quiet tearooms in one of the arcades; I ordered my usual pot of tea and Damo had a milkshake with toffee popcorn.

We then gradually made our way up to a pub near to where Damo works and had a drink and a chat for about an hour before he had to start his shift.

















Living the high life.


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Barnby Moor, Bilby, Scofton, and Worksop

A last minute change of plan this morning. The original plan was to go to Buxton Christmas Fair with my friend Justin, but after checking the online weather forecast as soon as I'd got up and saw that snow was expected there I changed my mind and went for a walk in Nottinghamshire, in the sun for a couple of hours.

Justin was disappointed, but it would have been dangerous for him with his disability - he struggles enough as it is with walking...even in ideal conditions.

I would have preferred to go walking in the Peak District but by the time Justin had woken up and answered the phone it was too late.

I travelled to Barnby Moor, just a few miles north of Retford. I walked down the Blyth road for a few yards and then took a track leading to the west.


After about a mile I reached the busy A1 trunk road; I timed my arrival perfectly, I got across both carriageways without waiting or even having to break my step. It was open fields for the next mile or so and at one point I discovered a dead sheep at the side of the footpath. I have never seen anything like this before though; the sheep had been totally devoured, everything that could have been eaten had been removed. It was such a clean and efficient job that I can't imagine what animal, or pack of animals, could have done this in England.







I walked along the narrow estate road to Bilby, just a small hamlet.





There's a network of narrow, single track lanes on the Osberton Estate and I needed to check my bearings at every junction or crossroads until I reached Scofton.







It was then about a further two miles along a track and then through a housing estate until I reached Worksop town centre - I did a bit of shopping before heading for the bus station. 

There wasn't a lot to see today but I enjoyed the exercise and the fresh air. 







Friday, December 8, 2017

Lincoln Christmas Market 2017

Another Christmas market to visit today, this time with Siobhan, my support worker. We didn't need to worry about having to find anywhere to park because a 'park and ride' system was in operation at the Lincolnshire Showground, right next to R.A.F. Scampton where the Red Arrows aerial display team is based. Four of the pilots spent several hours practising some of their aerobatic manoeuvres and we got to see them at close quarters both as we arrived in the car, and again before we set off for home.

Fortunately it wasn't too busy when we reached the city; I would imagine it will get a lot busier for the rest of the weekend - we still struggled to find somewhere to sit down and have our cream teas though by mid-afternoon.

The Christmas market was based along several streets, inside half a dozen or so large marquees, inside The Assembly Rooms, within the castle bailey...and there were even a few stalls inside the cathedral. There was also a mediaeval fair inside the Bishops' Palace but we didn't go inside because we had to pay [it was only £1 though]...maybe it was really because we were a bit short of time. We stayed at the top of the hill and didn't go down Steep Hill to the lower part of the city; I think Siobhan's ankle would be hurting her - not just because of the steep gradient, but also the cobbles which she finds difficult to walk on.

The food market was the largest and best by a long way that I've visited: I bought a game pie and a Christmas pie - there is turkey, pork, cranberries and stuffing inside the Christmas pie.

I have never seen such a colourful display of cheeses.


After a a quick visit to the toilets we entered the castle bailey, looked at the stalls there and then left by the gatehouse at the far end before spending some time exploring the area near to the cathedral.























There is plenty to look at inside the cathedral...




...and many different angles for me to photograph of the outside of the building.


   


















On our way home we briefly called at Stow; the church here is quite large and impressive - it's actually an ancient Anglo-Saxon minster.