Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Castleton skyline with my brother, Colin

As readers of this blog will know, I used to walk most Sundays with my brother, Colin. Since my move to Bakewell, this hasn't been possible so we earmarked a date, Colin came over to stay with us, and we did a walk of his choice. He wanted to 'do' the famous 'Castleton Skyline' walk, which takes in Mam tor and Lose hill.

We parked up outside the YHA building in Castleton, and walked up cave dale, under Peveril castle, the structure that gives
Castleton its name.

A smiling brother
At the top of Cave dale, we turned right and walked across the fields, over the tops and ascended Mam Tor. This is the view across to Winnats Pass from the top of Mam Tor.
Colin and Sue, at the summit cairn of Mam Tor.
There are lots of embedded artefacts, or replicas, in the
stonework around the summit. They are worth looking at.
The old Mam Tor road, which collapsed several times.
You can read the history here;
The road is now only passable on foot, with some VERY severe
'steps' where the road has just slipped.
Treak cliff cavern in the hillside, one of three tourist caverns
at Castleton.
Looking across the Edale valley from the skyline.
Looking across to Win hill, from the
topographic plate on Lose hill.

A small tortoiseshell butterfly on a log.
(Click on the pic for a larger version)
....and on a thistle.
But what's this orange bum poking up here????
Just another bug, getting his share of the nectar on offer!
We dropped into the Hope valley and made our way, via a few stiles,
back towards Castleton.
Busy bees, milking the Meadow Cranesbill flowers.

We had a well-earned pint in Castleton, before setting back off home.
Colin enjoyed the day, and was not at all stiff the following day.
I hope we can do this again soon.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

A few sunsets

Sue & I often go somewhere to watch the sunset after work. We have about an 8 - 10 week 'window' this time of year where we can get to see it after we've finished at the cafe.

Here are a few we've seen recently, but you really have to BE there for the full effect.

Click on any picture for a larger version.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Padley Gorge, Surprise View & Higger Tor

Today we parked at the famous grindleford station (famous for the cafe and the bacon rolls). There's lots of free parking on the lane down to the cafe.
This si the start of the Toltley tunnel. It's the longest non-electrified tunnel in the UK, and you can read more about it here; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totley_Tunnel

Now we're full into summer, and the show of flowers by the path side reflects this.

On the climb up the north west side of Padley gorge, we came across this rock.
What does it remind you of?
Well, Sue soon got the idea!
.....and if you can't beat 'em........
Woodland paths are great at any time of the year, but this really
was a JOY to walk up, and it smelt as good as it looked.
We were grateful of the shade, as the sun was REALLY strong now.
Looking down into the gorge we could see various small
waterfalls. This was the place I came to when I first got my
new digital SLR camera.

One of my favourites, digitalis (the foxglove), is well
on its way to flowering now.

Another old millstone, abandoned when the French ones took over
Fabulous, clear, uninterrupted views today
A look up saw this guy in the sky.
Surprise view quarry. When I first began country walking in 1986, it
was the result of going on an outward bound course in Castleton, Derbyshire.
This quarry was where they brought us to climb.
The view from the top of the quarry is second to none!
This collection of rocks is known as 'mother cap'.
Sue admires the view......
.....but keeps well away from the edge!
We next walked a path neither of us had done before - Millstone edge.
This is 'over Owler tor' rocks.
The path through the new growth of bracken was a delight to walk,
but we could really feel the heat of the sun,
now we had lost the shade of the trees.
These little butterflies fluttered all around us.

Looking up to our next goal - Higger tor.
We were soon on top, reaping the rewards of our efforts.
Happy man!
Happy lady.
The short path to Carl Wark iron age fort.
This curlew was buzzing us noisily.
She must have a nest nearby.
All I can do is be thankful we were making her call,
it was divine to listen to.
Smiley face.
There were lots of small flowers among the grass.
This delicate little thing caught my eye.
Burbage brook. A quiet, tiny backwater now,
as we haven't had any rain for WEEKS.
The top of Padley gorge.
This is where we started back to the car, choosing to
walk down the north eastern side of the dale for
a different perspective.
The dappled light looked lovely in the woods.
Yet another abandoned millstone.
It looks complete too.
We just followed the stream back down, criss-crossing the path
until we reached the station again, and the car.
A hot but lovely walk of just 5.5 miles - PERFECT for a
warm summers day.