Trip Report - Peak District

Wet Wet Wet!

15 messages
01/05/2012 at 16:09

I can't remember when I last wore my waterproofs for five consecutive days, but that's what happened on my mini-trip to the Peak District.

Wednesday - First of all, I had a plan, and I knew where I was going to be pretty much from hour to hour. That's until I got off the train at Buxton and was met by Milly and Skip. I'd emailed to say that I would be in Buxton for 50 minutes between my train and onward bus. However, I was invited to attend one of the Kinder Mass Trespass 80th Anniversary walks. We drove to Edale, where it was wild, wet and windy. Half the expected walkers had cancelled, which was just as well for me, as it was fully-booked and I guess I would have been turned away otherwise. Rangers led the walk, up the valley, up Jacob's Ladder, to Edale Cross. Here, we met another group from Hayfield, but the conditions were horrible and there was no point standing around chatting. Instead, it was a rapid retreat to the cafe in Edale, then to Milly's to dry out, where an offer of accommodation was gratefully siezed!

Apologies for the wobbly camera work, but holding a camera in one hand and sheltering it with an umbrella in the other hand, while being buffeted by wind, rain, hail, sleet and snow is pretty tough!

Thursday - Milly gave me a lift to soggy Ashbourne so that I could continue with my planned route, albeit now one day behind. Given that the weather was still cold, wet and windy, I was glad that I'd aimed no higher than easy railway track walks. First was the Tissington Trail, and I seemed to share the middle of it with map-reading students, possibly engaged in a Duke of Edinburgh's Award practice. Apart from a welcome coffee break at Tissington - a popular village where I was clearly the only visitor - it was a case of measuring the miles and finally reaching the Royal Oak at Hurdlow. They have a sloping campsite, which didn't look appealing in the wet. They also have a really good camping barn, and I had the whole place to myself for the night for £13!

Friday - I doubled back along the old railway track and followed the High Peak Trail. I saw more cyclists on this one, and dared to believe that the weather was improving. I left the line near Cromford and, still being a day behind, wasn't able to walk upstream alongside the River Wye through Matlock and Bakewell. Instead, I caught buses, and got off at Ashford in the Water, to make my way to the Backpackers Club AGM.

I've only been a Backpackers Club member for a few years, and only been to two previous AGMs. It was a case of getting pitched between showers, then meeting the other attendees.

Edited: 01/05/2012 at 16:12
01/05/2012 at 16:09

Saturday - Most people went off walking, but I'd arranged to meet someone in Bakewell. I learned that it's not a Bakewell 'tart', but a 'pudding', and there was a big food festival taking place in the streets. While it was good to graze from stall to stall, I had to maintain a good appetite for later. After the club AGM there was a buffet, and lots of left-overs, despite everyone's best efforts to clear the tables. There was also a talk given by the leader of Edale Mountain Rescue, and he was sent on his way with a big bag of money.

Sunday - Packing up in the cold rain was pretty lousy, but the club chairman offered me a lift to Buxton to catch my train, which avoided standing at the bus stop in the rain. As I've offered to organise the next Backpackers Club AGM in Ulverston, I stuck my neck out and said that I could pretty much guarantee better weather for the event. I really can't imagine it would be much worse!
01/05/2012 at 19:02

Sorry, Paddy

You don't suppose you transmogrified into a "Quasi Supernormal Incremental Precipitation Inducer", having scanned the bookshelves of the witch's abode?

01/05/2012 at 22:07

For tea too!

(Let's see how many get that veiled reference!)

02/05/2012 at 12:52
The answer to everything, I hear
02/05/2012 at 17:09
Nice report and videos Paddy



02/05/2012 at 19:36

"... Edale, where it was wild, wet and windy... the conditions were horrible..."

Paddy, your words take me right back there

But, in hindsight (and typing this in a warm dry house), the day was enjoyable in a masochistic sort of way, wannit?

03/05/2012 at 09:53
Skip... I still get flashbacks... or maybe I just keep watching those movie clips... I'm not sure which!
03/05/2012 at 09:57
Paddy Dillon wrote (see)

For tea too!

(Let's see how many get that veiled reference!)

Now THAT would be a guide book worth buying. Have Cicerone comissioned it?
03/05/2012 at 16:45
Alas... copyright is vested in the great publishing corporations of Ursa Minor!
03/05/2012 at 16:51
06/05/2012 at 22:16

The Monsal Trail was fine but nippy today - first time I've been though the tunnels. I was with the kids on bikes.

Not my cup of tea for a walk, but interesting for a bike ride with children - especially as bits had been pretty inaccessible previously.

Paddy, I hope you don't take this personally, but judging by the evidence, I glad that you aren't in the Peak at the moment: I could do with a dry spell.

I'm sure your talents could be in demand in Dubai, or Australia, or somewhere else with a drought.

07/05/2012 at 08:22

Jim... the bad weather followed me all the way home... but the next day was fine, and it's been pretty good all week. Just as well, because the Ulverston Walking Festival has been running all that time. As all the walks for that event start on my doorstep, it takes steely determination to step outside in bad weather.

Birdwatchers would have been completely gob-smacked if they'd attended a couple of the walks this year. While minding our own business along a short stretch of the Cumbria Way, a few of us met a guy came strolling along with a golden eagle perched on his arm. See here...

Only yesterday, I was able to get people VERY close to an eagle owl. It was actually standing just on the other side of a wall to where the walkers were. It was a bit of a 'cheat', actually, since the owl belongs to someone I know, and I know where they keep it, so I let them all have a peep of it quietly, one at a time. (No video of that one)
07/05/2012 at 08:46

That is a pretty good conversation point for walking. Better than a puppy.

I always like the sound of skylarks as well

07/05/2012 at 09:02

I was so surprised to find myself standing beside a golden eagle that I never asked them who they were. However, someone who was on the walk told me only yesterday that the company was called Predator Experience.

I hope the skylarks weren't unduly inconvenienced!

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