Sunday, April 26, 2009

Eight miles of loveliness

A lovely morning dawned for our day off. I said to Sue; "where would you like to go today". Her one word answer was; "high". So, with Kinder Scout on our minds, we set off on this glorious morning, passing this tree just outside our cottage. It's only like this for a few days every year, then it loses its blossom.
My plan was to park at Fairholmes visitors centre, next to Ladybower reservoir, and do a route from there. I couldn't resist this arty-farty shot though, as I noticed the view in my door mirror.
My planned walk was just under eight miles, but in this terrain, and on the route I'd chosen, that also meant we'd be doing more than 2,500 feet of ascent. A hard but rewarding day lay ahead.
Show me a wood in the morning, and I'll show you heaven!
We both LOVE woods at this time of the year. The light is really great on the stark trunks, but there's a promise of life. A few tiny shoots or buds, a lift in the greenery. Whatever, it certainly lifts us!
Already we were being treated to a great variety of birdsong. Only a few hundred yards from the car, and we'd heard many, many varieties.
Also, just a little further on, I saw a little lizard scurry away in the undergrowth. I whipped out the camera, but the morning sun made him much too fast to catch.

This wood sorrel wasn't going anywhere though, and it looked so lovely, leaning against the step.

Lockerbrook outdoor centre.
One of the things they teach at Lockerbrook is drystone walling.
Here's a fine example of before, and after.
We passed Lockerbrook and pressed on up the track, heading S/SW.
When we topped out, we got this super view of the Lose hill to Mam tor ridge.
Now, after all that climbing, we were going to drop right down to Hagg farm, another outdoor centre.
This is a bad picture of a Willow Warbler, but his melodious song deserved a shot. Just after I took this picture, Sue excitedly said; "LOOK, LOOK!". When I looked, there was a deer in the undergrowth. I didn't get time for a shot before it bounded away.

I wonder if they also teach 'observance' at Lockerbrook?
It would be a crime not to see things like this wood violet, which are all over the place, if you just look.
The rocky track, through the dappled shadows, up to Crookstone.

At the top, we were again treated to a lovely view.
So Sue stood awhile to admire it.

Me too.
In the middle of this picture is Jaggers clough, which leads up onto the Kinder Scout plateau.
THAT was where we were heading next, but not before dropping DOWN into the valley in front of us. NOW can you see why there is so much climbing involved today?

Lots of little lambs about this week.
There were lots of these green beetles about as well, but they weren't annoying, preferring to fly away from you, rather than into your face etc.
Quite a pretty thing, with iridescent green wings.

After a while, and after a stop to eat, we reached the top of Jaggers clough.
A look back saw where we had come from. See that U shape? That was where we left the track to start the climb up. The big hill is Win hill.

We skirted around Kinders Eastern edge, then followed round to the Northern edge to see the Alport valley come into view. What had been the perfect day was now turning very cloudy and cooler. Great walking temperature, but would we get wet?
The path lay down into the valley, and yes, you guessed it, UP again over that ridge, and back to Ladybower.
Come the 'glorious 12th', this will be the killing fields.
For anyone who's never seen one, this is a grouse butt, where the shooters lay in wait.
And this is Jubilee shooting hut, where the shooters and beaters gather.

We reached the point where it was all downhill to the car. As you can see, it was getting really cloudy now, and although we felt the odd spit of rain, it came to nothing and we remained dry.
All we had to do now was get back to Bakewell and light the barbie!
A great end to another perfect day.

No comments: