Monday, 26 October 2009

The Peak District - Sunday

It was a peaceful drive home. Most people still in bed presumably, on a clear, dry day with the sun dazzlingly low on the horizon. I was content to have had an enjoyable short break away from home. There had been a couple of surprises too – The Pennine Bridleway being the main one.

I'm prejudiced. It’s the sort of route that I would avoid, especially so given the statement in a National Trail website that it is a “purpose-built long distance bridleway for horse riders, mountain bikers and walkers”. I don’t see how it can be considered “purpose-built” if it makes use of existing highways. Admittedly, I’m splitting hairs, and I accept that some footpaths may have been converted for other users, but the implication is that it was built for horse riders, mountain bikers and walkers – in that order; sufficient to ward me off.

That's because, regrettably, some mountain bikers bring out the Grumpy Old Man in me. It’s hardly relaxing walking a path with the threat of one or more cyclists bearing down on you at speed. I could go on, but I won’t, other than to say that I suspect few cyclists are aware that (as well as it being good manners and a safety issue) in law, they can only use a bridleway provided that they give way to walkers and horse-riders. Rant over, as they say.

There was no need for a rant in this case anyway because there were no cyclists on the sections of The Pennine Bridleway that I walked. None on the Monsal Trail either although I’m sure that that route would attract many, quite rightly, in finer weather.

The Monsal Trail - Chee Dale

In fact there was hardly anyone around at all, which was the other surprise to add to that of my enjoyment of The Pennine Bridleway. It was almost exclusively just me and Holly. I hope it wasn’t because it had been put about that a Grumpy Old Man was visiting the area.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

The Peak District - Saturday

Holly was reluctant to leave the pub this evening, or rather, once out she wanted back in again. It was blowing a gale with lots of water in it. I was of the same mind as her but it was time to go and our campsite was a 20 minute walk away.

You'll not want to hear about the weather but it has dominated the day so I have to mention it. It's been all kinds of wet.

Despite that, my thoughts while walking today have revolved around the potential for a long distance walk through this area. It's beautiful walkng country. I'll need a more suitable tent though so I was thinking about that too.

"Footpath" beside/in the River Wye

Tonight however, given the weather, it was a comfort when leaving the pub to know that we were walking back to a campervan rather than a small tent.

Friday, 23 October 2009

The Peak District - Friday

In my youth, someone enquiring where another was going, may well have been told "There and back to see how far it is!" It was a gentle way of saying "Mind your own business!". Today though, "There and back to see how far it is." would almost be the right answer; I wanted to know if The Peak District was within a satisfactory range for a weekend of walks. At 130 miles (under 3 hours) from door to campsite gate, it is.

From what I've seen so far it's well worth the drive too. I'm in limestone country and it's lovely.

The Pennine Bridleway - Chee Dale

Following Holly's wagging tail, I've wandered along parts of The Pennine Bridleway, The Monsal Trail and The Limestone Way. More of the same tomorrow.

The Waterloo - where I'd recommend the Robinson's Wags and Witches

Thursday, 22 October 2009

The Peak District Tomorrow

Googling last week, my computer mouse whisked me away to The Peak District. I was dreaming in cyber land rather than walking over land because I couldn’t afford the time to get away. A pity really, and frustrating given the fine weather recently. The weather is on the turn now but so is my luck – I’m off to Derbyshire tomorrow.

It’s just for the weekend but that will suffice to contain a couple of circular walks each followed by dinner and drinks in a pub. If the weather forecast is to be believed, then it may be a bit damp. However, I’ll be living in comfort – meet the Grampavan:

The Grampavan

She (I know a Grampavan shouldn’t be a she but “she” is what I think of her as despite my Granddaughter Tara coming up with “Grampavan”) is an elderly VW T4 Campervan who found her way to me via eBay. This weekend she can park, and hook up to the electric, at a campsite between Buxton and Bakewell for £10.00 per night which will allow me some of the overnight comforts of home.

Back to the maps and googling in the meantime – where to walk ....