Sunday 16 July 2017. The weather wasn’t too bad when I left my caravan site this morning but it deteriorated rapidly as I skirted around Buxton on my 30 mile drive to Lyme Park. There was a heavy drizzle and low cloud. Normally, I would have been tempted to turn around and go back but I had arranged to meet Jacqui for the walk today. I had given myself plenty of time for the drive which was just as well as the A6 was closed at Disley just 2 miles from Lyme Park. This meant that I had to find an alternative route. My first attempt failed miserably taking me through Whaley Bridge. This was entirely the wrong direction. Eventually I found my way through New Mills and Marple adding 8 miles or more to my journey and making me late for my meeting with Jacqui.
Things could only get better from here and, as forecast, the weather steadily improved and it turned out to be a warm and sunny afternoon. Our route headed south-westerly to Harrop Brow before turning east for a steady 600ft climb to Dale Top. Thankfully, the climb was broken for a much-needed coffee break on Moorside Lane. I really am out of shape as the sweat was pouring off me by now. When I say that Jacqui seemed “unperturbed”, it wasn’t that she didn’t sympathise with my condition but her recent Park Runs seem to have given a level of fitness that I can only dream about.
Much of the walk was level or downhill from here, stopping for lunch near Dissop Head before heading back into the grounds of Lyme Park. We looked in for a post walk cup of tea but, as with most NT properties, the queues were far too long. All that remained for me now was to find my way around my diversion for the drive home. The walk was just 7 miles with a total ascent of 1,000ft.