Gendney Drove End or the back of beyond? To paraphrase Sir Steve Redgrave, “you have my permission to shoot me if I ever think about going there again”. I think it’s fair to say that this isn’t my favourite place to go for a walk and on a wet & windy day it certainly doesn’t make it any more appealing. Whilst I may have been insane in turning out today, I joined 7 other members on a near 6 mile walk on the edge of the Wash and very near to the RAF firing range, as can be seen from the picture of the control tower. The only good thing that can be said was that it didn’t rain all day. It was that fine drizzly sort of rain that whilst not too heavy is still very wet. When it wasn’t raining we could almost see across to Heacham & Hunstanton – perhaps we should have gone there instead!
Today’s walk was the anniversary walk and meal.The weather as we left Wisbech was not very promising with intermittent showers.
On arrival at the car park at Deeping the rain had stopped but was still windy. A change was made to the planned route as we would not make it back in time for the booked meal.The start of the walk followed footpaths between housing estates followed by crossing muddy fields as can be seen in the photos. The reward of the 3 course lunch at the end of the meal at The Bull was very good and we were all glad that we did not need to continue a walk after this ( well except back to the cars)
Given that the weather wasn’t that great during the latter part of this holiday (strong wind and heavy showers/rain), it was a little surprising that I walked on 9 days out of ten covering a total of 58 miles with 9,900ft of ascent. I was able to do many new routes and to recce a post-Christmas walk. The company of Bea and Amanda in the middle of the holiday made for an interesting diversion and I think that we all enjoyed our walks in Monsal Dale and from Eyam. The totals for the season have now risen to 377 miles with 70,600ft of ascent. The challenge will be to exceed these totals next year but as I will be doing 192 miles on the Coast to Coast next June, then this shouldn’t be too difficult. I left Castleton for the return home at 08:00 but got caught up in the rush hour traffic around Chesterfield and it took me 45 minutes to do less than half a mile with congested traffic light junctions and roundabouts.
After the high winds and rains of recent days it was a pleasure to walk today in much calmer and sunnier conditions. On reflection, I decided that the Moneyash walk wasn’t ideal for a post-Christmas trip to the Peak District and instead I went back to the Longshaw Estate to see if I could extend my 5 mile walk on Burbage Edge from earlier in the week to make it a more worthwhile. I found a really nice 2 mile extension which passed through Yarncliff Wood and followed the flow of Burbage Brook to join up with my original walk on Burbage Edge. This extends the walk to 7 miles with 1,300ft of ascent and will make the trip to the Peak District after Christmas more enjoyable. It has the added advantage of flexibility in case of bad weather. The recce of Yarncliffe Wood and another visit to Carl Wark to find the right path from there to the Sheffield Country Walk (part of the Burbage Edge route) meant that today’s walk was 5?? miles with 1,000ft of ascent. Another visit to the caf?? at the Longshaw Estate for a bowl of soup was well earned. It’s a pity that there is some uncertainty over whether the caf?? will be open over the Christmas period but at least the toilets can be accessed from the outside and Hathersage is only 4 miles away for post-walk refreshments.
For once the weather forecast for today proved to be correct with heavy rain from around noon. With this in mind I made an early start to recce a potential post-Christmas walk starting from Monyash near Bakewell. I started walking at around 09:00 and 45 minutes later came to potential coffee stop at the now disused Magpie Mine. From here I passed through the village of Shelton before going on to a potential lunch time stop at the car park/toilets that we had used for our Monsal walk at the weekend. Needless to say, I stopped at neither of the potential rest spots and pressed on almost to the top of Deepdale before taking a 5 minute break. The weather was starting to close in by now with a steady drizzle and I therefore decided to take a short cut rather than completing the intended route of 8 miles. My shorter 7 mile walk with 1,000ft of ascent was completed by noon and the weather steadily got worse from then on. I’m glad to say that I was able to take refuge in the Old Smithy Caf?? in Monyash before returning to the caravan to write this blog.
After the disappointments of yesterday, I’m pleased to report that today was a better day – that wouldn’t be too difficult. I was camped out at the Vauxhall dealers in Chesterfield in time for them opening at 08:00. I left the car with them and went off on foot to a nearby Morrison’s for a coffee and some essential shopping. Returning to the garage an hour later I was pleased to learn that they had fitted a new boot lock motor and that the car was fixed at no charge to me. The cost of ??120 being covered by the Network Q warranty provided when I bought the car. The warranty has proven invaluable as it recently saved me a bill of ??370 to replace the alternator. Not wanting to waste the day, on my way back from Chesterfield I stopped off at the National Trust Longshaw Estate to recce a potential post-Christmas walk on Burbage Edge and Higger Tor. This walk of just under 6 miles with 1,150ft of ascent was okay but perhaps a little too easy/short to make the journey from Cambridgeshire worthwhile. There was an almost gale-force wind blowing but luckily it didn’t start to rain until the last 20 minutes of the walk. A bowl of soup at the NT caf?? was most welcome on my return. I think that I’ll try to find another post-Christmas walk before I return home.
A day of disappointments! I set off early today to do a short walk before the forecast rain started to fall. It was only a short drive to the start point for the walk on the Longshaw Estate but when I got there, before 09:00, the weather didn’t look too good so I went on into Sheffield to look for “Footlose” a Paramo clothing stockist. I found that it was in a seedy rundown part of the city with shutters on the doors and windows and didn’t open until 10:00. I decided not to wait and went on to Bakewell instead. Despite having said the Mountain Equipment shops sold down-market products, I bought two base layers at ??10 each. From here it was back to the caravan site to take down the awning before the rains came. It was when I came to put the awning in the boot of the car that I found that the boot wouldn’t lock. I called on Green Flag who sent a breakdown van from Grindleford and was with me within 30 minutes. The mechanic decided that the boot lock needed a new motor and we made an appointment to take it to the Vauxhall dealer at 08:00 in the morning. I hope that they can fix it while I wait. The final disappointment but one that was more easily rectified was to find that the gas bottle, used for early morning heating, was empty. I was able to purchase a replacement from the caravan site office for ??22. I’m hoping that the repairs to the car will be covered by warranty and won’t add further to the expense of the holiday. ??