Away weekend in Derbyshire

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On Friday 22nd October, 21 members of the Grantham Ramblers’ Group met at the Horse and Jockey pub, Wessington, Derbyshire,  for a “Walking-Away Weekend”.

The Group had visited the area previously in 2019 and found the accommodation and food excellent. We were not disappointed! The pub staff bent over backwards to accommodate our needs with plentiful breakfasts, a packed lunch on Saturday and evening meals.

On Friday evening I arranged a quiz after the meal which was won by Eileen and Paul.

The walk on Saturday started out sunny with the whole group walking the same route for the first few miles.  In the first quarter of a mile one of our group managed to “snag” his knee on some barbed wire on a stile.   Luckily we had a retired nurse in the group who administered first aid with 3 triangular bandages and a plaster! We carried on downhill to the Derby to Manchester railway line through a field of cows and a large bull! (who ignored us).

 

Through the fishing lakes and back over the railway bridge to a pretty spot  by a brook where we had a coffee stop. On up the hill to our parting of the ways where Peter led the 5 milers back to Wessington via Brackenfield, Lindway Spring and Wessington Hay, a distance of just over 5 miles.

Meanwhile, the longer route group, led by myself, walked through Brackenfield and as we turned off down a footpath we met a couple with a dog who greeted us with, “ I hope you like cows!” Obviously they knew something we didn’t!

We carried on and could hear mooing in the distance. The path ran parallel to a field with lots of Hereford cows and calves  who were walking in the same direction as us but on the other side of the hedge. We came to a ‘pinch stile’ in the hedge and proceeded across their field followed by the herd, mooing with some prancing.  They were very inquisitive and tame as some of the calves allowed us to stroke them. On reaching the gate and another ‘pinch stile’ we left them to it.

Further walking took us to Ashover Hay and an upward path to Coldharbour Lane. Yes, it was certainly upward, especially the last section.  We negotiated a paddock with 2 large sows and a boar who were at the far end, unlike when we recced it they investigated us for food!

Once on the road it was a short uphill walk to the viewpoint where we had a panoramic 360 degree view of the surrounding area. Lunch was taken here but it was quite chilly with a strong breeze and no sun. But, at least it stayed dry!

After lunch we continued downhill through a farmyard, then uphill where I startled a hare from literally under my feet! After crossing the main road we headed up Dewy Lane to Wheatcroft. Then down a recently resurfaced track and across several fields to Lindwaysprings Brook.

The final stretch of the walk (also followed by the five milers) was UPHILL back to Wessington, a total distance of 9.3 miles. After dinner on Saturday evening Paul gave us a Ding Bat quiz which was won by Diane and Peter.

 

On Sunday we travelled the short distance into Matlock accompanied by a very heavy shower and sun resulting in two full rainbow arches. This walk, led by Peter, took us along the River Derwent to Darley Dale, where we stopped for coffee.  Continuing back to Matlock, we crossed the now-repaired bridge over the river to join the path alongside the heritage railway. We were treated to the nostalgic sight of a diesel locomotive pulling the carriages and the steam engine enroute to Darley Dale.  Sadly we did not see the return journey with the steam engine pulling the train.  By now the rain had returned and as we retraced our steps to the carpark it grew heavier, sadly preventing our fond farewells at the end of a wonderful weekend.

Grateful thanks to Peter for organising yet another successful walking weekend and we look forward to our Walking Weekend 2022.

Andy C