Saturday, 1 September 2012

Derwent Edge and the Walking Forum

One of the reasons I joined the The Walking Forum was to find company for walks when Peter is working.  I was hoping that I could enjoy walks that I wouldn’t normally attempt by myself.  Herewith another one of those walks.

On this occasion, I’d travelled down and stayed with Peter in a Sheffield hotel overnight – (he was exhibiting at “Art in the Gardens”), so it was easy then to drive from Sheffield to the start point of the walk – The Upper Derwent, or Fairholmes, Visitor Centre at the top of Ladybower Resevoir.

On arrival, I met Tracey and introduced myself.  But then I realised this Tracey was not the Tracey organising the walk, and I thought I’d best explain that I wasn’t the organiser either.  Luckily, this first Tracey already knew, because she’d met the organiser Tracey on an earlier walk.  Organiser Tracey appeared a few minutes later.

So there was Tracey the organiser, (Tracey 1), me, (Tracey 2), and the Tracey I’d just met, (Tracey 3).  We were joined by Caroline and Carolyn and four guys whose names are not as confusing, Andy, Simon, Pete and James.  Last but not definitely not least, was Aiden.  Aiden is 10 yrs old, can out walk the majority of us, and definitely out talked all of us.   Fortunately, he is a social butterfly and skilled in the art of networking.  We each got a share of his attention and conversation. (Phew!) Actually, he is a delightful boy.  He and the whole group were excellent company, I was very pleased to meet them all, get to know them a little, and put faces to names from the forum.

So to the walk then. Well, it started grim and overcast. Derwent Reservoir was the colour of steel as it reflected the grey clouds. We walked alongside for a while before turning right to climb the 880 ft ascent needed to reach Lost Lad.
As we climbed, the landscape changed. First we walked through the thick green of the bracken growing on the steep banks until the ground starts to level out. As we got higher, the sky brightened and the air grew warmer.
Then, as we got to the top, the moors spread out around us. The bracken had stopped and the heather was in full flower, purple amongst the greens and browns of windswept grasses.
The creases and folds of the cloughs give gentle flowing movement to the landscape and with the blue sky and gusting wind, it was exactly as I like it. Wonderful.
Under the lovely warm sun, the walk moved on: Lost Lad, Back Tor and along Derwent Edge. I’ve been here before with Peter, but last time it was very wet and we didn’t get to see and photograph as much of the rock formations as we’d have liked.
This time was very different and the camera clicked away. I am in awe at the power of wind and water, and how it has managed to carve these amazing shapes out of the rock. I wanted to climb, but that will be for next time I think. 

A really lovely walk along the edge until the The Wheelstones
Shortly after, we turned left to walk down into the bracken of Derwent Moor, taking a loop round past Cutthroat Bridge (brilliant name, conjures up all sorts of images), towards Ashopton.
Ladybower Resevoir glinted in the sun on our left and I loved how green that bracken was around us.
From there, another climb to with more views of Ladybower,
and to complete the loop before descending towards Grindle Clough under blue, blue, skies, finally reaching Ladybower Resevoir and ultimately the car park at around 5pm.
We sat together among the ducks to enjoy ice cream and coffee before all going our separate ways. It was an excellent day which I thoroughly enjoyed. Thank you to Tracey, Tracey, Caroline, Carolyn, Andy, James, Simon, Pete and Aiden for making it so.
Actually, very special thanks to Tracey (1) and Aiden for making it so. J

To read about a previous walk along Derwent Edge click this link.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the photographs! Ladybower has special memories for me. Just loved those rocks!