Walk Diary Wednesday 9 May 2018 Weather, 17°C. Fine.
Darley Dale Depart 10 a.m. 7 ¾ miles Leader: Gerry White
No. on walk 25
A day to overload the senses of sight and sound, an overindulgence in the natural beauty and wonderment of our surroundings, how fortunate to have been on this walk today and good weather too. If all that was not enough, we had a couple of fly pasts as well. The first was a squadron of five of the fearsome looking Apache Helicopters, flying northwards and later in the day, a C130 Hercules plane that banked heavily above us and headed south towards Matlock. I did get a picture of the Apache but the Hercules had powered away from us before I even had the time to say camera.
Anyway, more about today which was advertised as a Bluebell walk and didn’t disappoint. Our leader certainly had us guessing, to which way we were headed as we followed him away from Whitworth Park towards the Peak Railway down the road. Our route twisted and turned so much, at one point meeting those at the front coming towards us, only on the other side of a wall. Long story short, we eventually gained the Derwent Valley Heritage Way at Darley Bridge and continued to follow this all the way to the Shopping outlet at Rowsley. Along the way we stopped at Church Town, to allow some of us to go into the churchyard of St. Helens’ to view, what is claimed to be a two thousand year old Yew Tree, it certainly looks the part. We stopped on the bank of the River Derwent, just near to Peak Rail station for our morning break with great views across the river. A little later after the break we passed by the confluence of the Rivers Wye and Derwent, the water from the Wye seemingly blue against the browner waters of the Derwent, which has its source in the peat lands up north.
At Rowsley, we crossed over the A6, to walk along the Chatsworth Road for a way, taking the footpath up into Rowsley Wood. Here we witnessed much forestry work, a large machine felling some of the pine trees of the Haddon Hall Estates. I am sure that in future years Bluebells will spring forth in these clearings. After crossing Chesterfield Lane we entered onto the delightful path in Copy Wood, the path bordered by Yellow Archangel, the brilliant white Stitchwort, Dandelions and of course Bluebells.
At Tinkersley we joined the road and walked through the hamlet towards Northwood Carr, stopping just before entering the wooded area for our lunch break, spending it as we have many times before, seated on a grassy bank just above Tinkersley Farm, with stunning views across the A6 corridor to Stanton Moor beyond.
With a good lunch break under our belt, so to speak, we entered the adjacent woodland, where there were more Bluebells than you can shake a stick at. The path follows through the woodland along the contour of the hillsides, whether you look up our down, it’s just a blue haze or cloud if you will, of these emblematic bells, so much part of the richness and heritage our countryside.
Into and through Northwood now, following the road until turning off to walk the path downhill by Stancliffe Hall and out onto the foot way alongside the A6. We crossed over this near the quarries to pick up the line side, new cycleway path, following this back to Churchtown and continuing on back into Whitworth Park which now hosts this part of the National Cycle Way. Of course at this point we could see the cars and the cafe, the group splitting for a while, but of course we had to get to the cars first and then to the cafe where we enjoyed fine refreshments seated on the outdoor patio. An excellent walk that will live on the memories of many, I am sure.
These five pictures by James W.