Walk Diary Monday 1 Jan 2018 Weather, 9°Fine.
Derwent Street Belper Depart 11 a.m. 7 1/4 miles Leader: Gerry White
No. on walk 33
A great turn out for our annual Chairman's New Year Day walk and it was not only us who had been encouraged to get out in the fresh air. We also met many smaller groups along the way, some obviously family and friends others of a more organised nature, but it mattered not where they came from but just the fact that they were out to enjoy this lovely countryside of ours.
Gerry had pre-walked the planned route yesterday, but unfortunately found many paths impossible for a large group, such as ours to pass over safely, so we relied on his plan ‘b’ and it turned out to be great. Although I don’t know what plan ‘a’ was, this one would take some beating considering the recent weather conditions.
From the free car park in Derwent Street we walked along the A6 to cross over the raging River Derwent at Bridgefoot and then to climb, along the foot-way the extent of Bridgehill. From there we traversed the Dalley, joining Dalley Lane, stopping along the way to view the restored Dalley Wash, pictured. There are many thoughts as to what this site was used for, it’s too steep and deep for a sheep wash, so the most likely use would be as a watering stop for passing stage coaches and travellers as it is by the side of what was once a turnpike.
We turned left after passing the former St. Faith’s Church, now Belper Lane End community rooms and then zigzagged our way up the hillside to eventually go south past Hillside on the path to Handley Grange, stopping just before this for our one and only break of the day. We continued south to Blackbrook crossing over the A517 and the ford to follow the line of the Mid-Shires Way, until reaching Chevin Mount.
Here on the Farnah Green end of Chevinside we stopped to view the new sign, produced by the Peak and Northern Foo[path Society on our behalf to mark the fortieth anniversary of the formation of our group (1976). We returned to the road and walked northwards along Farnah Green road taking the first path off to the right, following it all the way to the river bank. We ventured onwards to cross the bridge over the river near to the Sewage Works, returning to the car park via the foot-way alongside the busy A6.
Many of us met again later at the Railway Inn at Cower’s Lane for a comfortable meal and get together in a warm and friendly atmosphere. A great walk and well done to our leader for avoiding most of the seriously muddy spots.