|Sheep grazing above Wyedale|
Last Friday I undertook Walk 13 from my White Peak Pathfinder Guide. Today it was the turn of Walk 10. This meant driving out of Sheffield through Grindleford and on to Stony Middleton, then along the Buxton road till I saw the turn off for Litton - a beautiful limestone village in the High Peak. Through Litton and then down to the minor road that runs between Tideswell and Miller's Dale. I turned left for Miller's Dale, parking at the old station where I ate my ham sandwiches and sipped hot coffee from my shiny black flask before setting off.
Although the weather was dry, a milky cloud blanket meant that any photography would not be brilliant so please forgive me.
For a hundred years, a railway track joined Matlock and Buxton. It was the Midland Railway Company's main line between Derby and Manchester. How ingenious and daring those Victorian railway engineers were - to build a track through such difficult upland terrain. It meant there had to be several tunnels and viaducts - and in its day the project would have been outlandishly expensive. This track closed forever in 1967 leaving Miller's Dale's sturdy stone platforms redundant. Nowadays only walkers and cyclists go there. I think it's great that the scenic track remains an attraction. and has not been destroyed or fenced off to keep out those dangerous creatures known as "the public".
I passed Victorian lime kilns, an old limsetone quarry and then dropped down into lovely Cheedale where an old woman was being led by her son along a path that became inreasingly problematic. This wasn't an easy riverside stroll by any means. By the River Wye, I spotted a child's plastic toy house - just sitting there on the river bank - leaving passers-by like me to wonder how on earth it got there.
Back up to the railway track, through Chee Tor tunnels till I reached the view over Blackwell Mill. Then up the gorge side and across the fields to the hamlets of Blackwell and Priestcliffe before following the long Limestone Way track back towards Miller's Dale Station. 9.5 kilometres in total and a vigorous, enjoyable walk. Driving home, I stopped just once to take a picture of "The Red Lion" in Litton - a pub I last entered almost thirty years ago.
|Stepping stones in Cheedale|
|The incongruous plastic toy house|
|Chee Tor Tunnels|
|"The Red Lion", Litton|