Friday 23 February 2018

Stanton Moor and Oaker Hill

We'd originally planned to go to Wales overnight last weekend, lured by the forecast of fine weather, but car trouble put a stop to that. Assured the repairs would be complete by Saturday lunchtime, we scouted around for a short walk locally and settled on Stanton Moor, which we'd never visited before. I plotted a circular route from Rowsley which would take us up and over the moor, with an easy flat return journey along the Derwent Valley - although I couldn't resist tagging on another little hill at the far end before we'd begin the walk back.

Crossing the Wye.
As you travel along the A6 from Bakewell to Rowsley, there's a side road on the right, just after the Grouse and Claret, which gives you access to a free car park. Seemingly managed by the council, it doesn't appear on the OS Map or Google Maps but it's very handy, a decent size and well-worth making a note of if you're planning a walk in the area. We parked here and set off back along the main road, before taking a left turn opposite The Peacock, a handsome old inn that was originally a seventeenth century manor house. Walking past the village school and Caudwell's Mill, we crossed the River Wye and finally found ourselves on a lane surrounded by farmland.

Wednesday 14 February 2018

The High Peak Trail

The High Peak Trail runs for around 17 miles, from Dowlow, just outside Buxton, to Cromford in the Derwent Valley. Like many such trails around the country, it follows the course of a defunct train line, in this case the Cromford and High Peak Railway, which connected the Peak Forest Canal in the north west of Derbyshire with the Cromford Canal in the middle of the county. You can see evidence of the line in the Goyt Valley as well as across the moorland above it, and the trail had been on my to-do list since I first visited that area last year.

Having walked on similar trails before, I was aware that long stretches can become somewhat routine, especially when they've been lined with bushes and trees or pass through extended railway cuttings. I decided to save this day out for winter, on the basis that a dusting of snow would lend some visual interest to even the most mundane of surroundings, and I also added on a few diversions from the trail - my feet certainly felt the effect of this by the end but each one was well worth the extra effort and mileage.