Sunday, 1 July 2012

Derwent Edge

Before I go on to the walking bit, can I just give a "highly recommended" to the Old Hall Hotel, Hope Village.  We ate there Friday and Saturday night, the food was really good and well priced.  Peter enjoyed the beer too. 

I think I should also tell you how we got on with the camping experience this time.......

Well, I slept like a log on my camp bed, so that is a winner.  Sadly though, our little tent, although perfect for camping in the wilds of the lake district, could probably do with being a little bigger if we want to sit on camp chairs and enjoy a coffee in the dry whilst at a campsite.  We've decided to buy a bigger one, and keep the little Vango Banshee for a wild camp or two. 

And so on to the walk.  Sunday’s walk was to be Derwent Edge. So we packed camp and drove to the National Park Car Park and Information Centre between Ladybower and Derwent Reservoirs. Rucksacks and boots on, we set off in drizzly rain with a promise from the forecasters that the weather would improve in the afternoon.

Never trust the weather forecast!

The first part of the walk was dead easy. We went along under the Derwent Dam and then took the blissfully flat gravelled path alongside the reservoir. The drizzle turned to rain.
Just before the Howden Dam, we turned right to walk alongside Howden Dean to Howden Edge and Berristers Tor. I really liked that little corner of the world, all those steep little cloughs appealed to me. Lovely.
From there it was up the boggy hill to Lost Lad and then on to Back Tor – not to be confused with Backtor near Hollins Cross which we visited yesterday.
Despite the overcast skies and the miserable weather, it was dry when we got to Back Tor and we were able to take some photographs……. Well, as long as we held on tightly to the cameras as the wind was hitting gale force and trying to blow us over.  Huh?
Onwards from there along Derwent Edge to see some more of those fantastic rock formations. Thankfully, another paved path through the black wetness along the top of Derwent Edge. But not so thankfully, more rain.  But now the wind was having a bit of fun too, and blowing the rain at us as needles.  Sideways!  I’d been determined that the weather would be better today, and I hadn’t brought my Poncho, or my wetproof trousers, and the zip on my little packaway jacket had bust.  Humph!
Still, walking keeps you warm, the jacket also has a velcro fastening, and I did have my baseball cap on, which meant I didn’t need window screen wipers on me glasses…..See…… There’s always a silver lining. 
So head down, one side wet one side dry (the wind was coming from our right), we plodded on, enjoying those brief moments when the rain wasn't stinging our faces to look around and enjoy the views.   Actually, it was brilliant to be able to see most of our walking route from yesterday, and I did manage again to get a few photographs. 
Then finally it was time to make our way downhill and back to the reservoirs.  And still it rained, and the zip on my jacket opened out even further.  We met a very wet looking family on their way up.  I was relieved that I at least had some form of waterproof clothing at that point.  We reached another Grindle Clough (without the brook this time) which we followed to get to the last part of our walk alongside Ladybower Reservoir.
It was at this point that the weather decided to give the forecasters a break.  The sun came out and the sky turned blue!  My zip was still broken, so I couldn’t undo my jacket, (more humphs!), as we followed the nice easy gravelled path back to the car.  At last we got there, and thankfully, it was full of dry clothes. So we changed and enjoyed a coffee and a bacon sandwich from the little shop at the car park.

The last paragraph of this entry will read like all others. “Another enjoyable day…………..” As I type this, I think, “What! How could I come away from a long wet and cold walk like that and say I enjoyed it?” Well, it’s hard to explain. I think part of it comes from how your body feels. They say exercise releases endorphins, and maybe that’s it. The tiredness of aching muscles sort of feels good, like you’ve actually done something. Then there are the views, and the appreciation of the beauty of the countryside around us, as well as the visiting new places part of the experience. I once read that our childhood memories of long, long summer days and holidays seem that way because all our experiences were new to us then. Perhaps the same applies to these walks out?

Whatever the reason, this last paragraph says, “another enjoyable day”. I did enjoy the day out and I would love to go back again and see it all in the dry. Now, I wonder if I can find a way for Peter to get some more weekends off………


  1. Super stuff!

    As mentioned elsewhere, it's a favourite area of mine. Last time I was on Derwent Edge (which, unbelieveably seems to be over a year ago!) I had similar weather to you - and that was in June as well!

    But, as with you, it didn't seem to matter at all.

    The upshot being I decided I needed a new jacket too!

  2. Yo Dittzy

    another crackin TR! I cant believe you still managed to take photos with that lot going off and the state of your jacket :) Im starting to see the beauty of this area a bit more now and may be heading off down there one day soon - now where ws that bacon butty shop? :) Quite fancy Tryfan too now you ve gone and done it....

    Dave (ex WF AJ)

  3. Thanks Jules, I was looking forward to seeing the rocks, because I'd seen pictures on the forum, we'd have spent a lot more time up there if the weather had been better. Nice to hear from you AJ, and Yes you should have a go at Tryfan, take Rich with you, he'll love it.