Walk Diary Wednesday 1 March 2017 Weather, good.
Ashover village 7 1/2 miles Leader: Gordon T.
No. on walk 26
St. David's Day.
A lovely day for a walk.
Coldish wind on the tops, but lots of bright sunshine, it really has started to feel like spring. The springtime feeling was added to on the walk by the sheep lambing shed we walked passed. Also, lots of very early spring flowers including snowdrops, lungwort, azaleas, a few daffodils and some lovely white blossoms we could not identify. Birds were singing their hardest to attract mates and establish their territories. 26 set off from Ashover village hall car park with Gordon leading for a change. We walked along the valley floor for a while to Fallgate, passing the beautiful old quarry filled with what looked like inviting azure water. Where a fatal tragedy took place a few years ago, proving to be a very dangerous place for youngsters to swim, but it looked lovely in the spring sunshine surrounded by bright yellow gorse.
After Fallgate, we climbed up the east side of the Amber Valley on the road. We spent most of the rest of the day zigzagging along the ridge which separates Amber Valley from North East Derbyshire. Firstly northward then turned around and came back southward. This afforded us very good views of Chesterfield, Bolsover Castle, Hardwick Hall, Clay Cross and the villages along the A61.
Our lunch was taken sitting in lovely spring sunshine. It felt quite warm and some of us had just seen a Brown Hare to add to the spring feeling. I always feel that this ridge is the most eastern limit of the peak.
A very pleasant walk across grassy fields and down the ridge to get back to the car park. We passed Eastwood Hall and some of us had an interesting talk with the owner of the cottage on the site. Apparently it was the site of a Norman hunting lodge 1209, demolished by Cromwell and a quite modern cottage is built on the rubble, which had to be archeologically examined before they were allowed to build. Bits of the old building can be seen at the back of the cottage. On over the last field to Ashover to enjoy a brew in the pub. Thanks Gordon for a lovely day. Text by Jane H.
Pictures by James W.