Walk Diary Wednesday 22 February 2017. Weather, 10°C., blustery.
Middleton Top car park. Depart 10 a.m. 7 ¼ miles Leader: Gerry White.
No. on walk 29
The infant that is set to become Doris gave us a little taste of what might be on the weather agenda for tomorrow. We walked against some quite strong winds that you could almost lean against without falling over. A few spits and spots of rain to start with, merely a light shower but made to appear sharper by being carried towards us on the wind.
We set off south westwards along the High Peak Trail, to the old entrance of intake Quarry, then to turn south across the fields towards Carsington, the wind predominantly from the west. Mostly downhill, but with some twists and turns as we made our way through old spoil heaps from lead workings of long ago. Eventually we reached the outskirts of Hopton Village, to be greeted by a smart stone village sign and a nice planting of Snowdrops, something that over the years Hopton and Hopton Hall especially has become famous for. We walked along Hopton Street, taking note of the many fine 18C., dwellings here, a picture is attached of a row of Alms houses, the plaque indicating that they were first inhabited in September of 1722, probably had a change of tenants since then though!
Further along we came to the hall, notices declaring the gardens open for Snowdrop walks, at four pounds per person, we declined but there seemed to be several takers perambulating around the grounds already, we know this because, being a nosey bunch, we stuck our heads over the wall to have a look. Just down the road we stopped for our first break in a small parish area, with plenty of seating for all. It was just outside St. Margaret's Parish Church, which is the parish church of Carsington. I wandered into the churchyard to take a picture of the church, which is partially hidden from the road and there just around the west end, the graveyard was a mass of Snowdrops that seemed to be flowing down from the tree line above.
It was a very good spot for a break, but all too soon it was time to move on towards our goal of Brassington, this involved climbing westwards with Doris trying to push us back, but eventually we made it to the brow of the hill overlooking Brassington village. The view from here of this typical Derbyshire mining village is amazing, houses clinging to the slopes around the parish church. We followed a narrow, sometimes slippery path down into the village, making our way along the main street. To the picnic site in the old quarry where there were some picnic tables, but not enough for all, there was however adequate seating for all in the form of thick rock walls all sheltered from the wind.
We were now at the turning point of the walk and with the wind behind us we made our way up to Manystones Lane, crossing this to pick up the High Peak Trail, which had recently been resurfaced with fine grit, well laid and akin to a billiard table. So it was, with the wind behind us that we breezed back to Middleton Top car park, arriving there by one thirty. An excellent walk one to blow away any lingering cobwebs, with an added bonus that the car park was free, no one there to take our money, but to the grateful benefit of all the toilets were open.