1 October 2014

Test

Another day for knee-testing. Westwards to the Pennines. From Hope there's a road that leads to the Vale of Edale. If you have been following this blog for a while you will know that it is one of my favourite places on Planet Earth. Once a secret agricultural valley in England's uplands, till the railway arrived, it is still beautiful - nestling amidst formidable hills.

I parked near Barber Booth, by the lane that leads to the hamlet of Upper Booth. Here a small railway viaduct whisks trains towards Cowburn Tunnel. This three kilometre feat of Victorian engineering was finished in 1891 - a key feature of the most direct railway line between Sheffield and Manchester.

The walk took me past Highfield Farm (see above) and then to Dalehead - once a farm but now a bunkhouse for city people and parties of school children seeking refuge in the great outdoors. From Dalehead and sweating like a pig I ascended the slope to Colborne Moor where the steep gradient eased and I found myself on a moorland plateau. Thankfully September has been exceptionally dry this year so the moor was not as boggy as it might have been. 

After photographing a ruined stone sheepfold, I arched round  towards a ventilation shaft I had only seen before from afar. The weather appeared to be changing with rain clouds looming over Rushup Edge and a thin drizzle beginning to fall. The ventialtion shaft is of course linked to the Cowburn Tunnel and it stands on the moors like a sturdy stone fortress with trains trundling by a hundred feet below.
And then I followed the remains of an old stone wall that leads all the way back across the moorland to a track known as Chapel Gate. This takes you back to the Vale of Edale. By the side of the track there was this little mushroom:-
 A short distance further on and I was looking back into the valley towards  Dalehead:-
Once again the knee hardly complained on this walk and my confidence in it is increasing.

12 comments:

  1. It is a wonderful area. Grand pictures for early autumn.

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    1. They say that our autumn will begin this weekend but what a lovely September we have had.

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  2. If your knee handled the steep downhill sections it must really be on the mend. Glad it hasn't stopped your rambling. That last photo is wonderful !

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    1. Thank you Helen and you are right - it is the going down that is the most testing challenge for knees.

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  3. Wonderful countryside which would be even more wonderful (for me) if it was even more remote from everywhere else. However if I had to live in a city having that within a stone's throw would be my idea of a heaven (being remote and by the sea being almost perfection).

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    1. On country walks I have often passed remote and lovely houses but I couldn't live in them. For me I think the best place to live would be a fairly big village with useful facilities like a pub, a shop, a bus service, a village hall etc.

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  4. Looking at your pictures makes me want to pack my little red suitcase and board a plane this very instant, even considering the very sudden, inexplicable and rather irrational fear of flying I have developed in the past 3 years or so (I still hope it will go away as suddenly as it came).
    When my sister and I travelled from Sheffield to Manchester Airport on the train this past summer, we have probably been on that same line you have described here. Strange to think of the air shafts in tunnels - it is something I usually don't think about, but of course I know there must be some way of ventilating.

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    1. It is most likely that your train took you through Edale but as you and your sister would have been chattering away as usual you will probably missed it! Of course those air shafts date back to the time of steam trains. Even now it is remarkable to see them on cold wintry days when smoke or steam rises from the bowels of the earth.

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  5. My knees and back are complaining just looking at that walk!!

    Wonderful pics of a beautiful area, Yorky...thanks for sharing. :)

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    1. If you weren't so far away Lee I could offer a free massage!

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  6. What beautiful, beautiful countryside. I'll have to tell my new English coworker about it. I love telling him about my blog friends in the U.K. :)

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    1. If he is from London or The South he may never have ventured UpNorth Jennifer.

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