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Amber Valley Ramblers, Derbyshire

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Home Diary Walks Thorpe Dove Dale 14 June 2017

Thorpe Dove Dale 14 June 2017

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Walk Diary Wednesday 14 June 2017 Weather, 19°C. Sunny
Thorpe (Narlows Lane) Depart 10 a.m. 6 1/3 miles Leader: Gerry White
No. on walk 26

Summer has returned with a vengeance, a very sunny day for the most part turning muggy towards the end of the walk. A shorter walk than usual and a good job too as our total ascent was recorded at nearly two thousand feet and for those, like myself, who think they are carrying too much weight, I think we may have shed a few pounds today, although the cake in the Old Dog pub where fifteen of us ended up after the walk, did look very tempting!

Our leader's intention was to walk over Thorpe Pastures, but had to change this, as the red flag was flying. For those who don't know, Thorpe Pastures is also used by a shooting club as a rifle range, the Buts lying in the middle of the valley. When the red flag is flying, indicates that they are shooting real bullets, so stay away, as we did. We left the car park and made our way climbing up along Gag Lane. Interestingly, in the meadows to the left of Gag Lane is a round stone building, pictured, this used to house the explosives when there were quarries in the area. Its round shape was a so called safety feature that in case of accidental detonation the blast would go upwards instead of outwards, thus minimising the danger to those on the ground, it's still intact so it didn't get tested. We left Gag Lane and followed a farm track to Moor Barn, then making our way on the eastern edge of access land, heading north with Dove Dale well below us. It is also good to note that along this track we were higher than Thorpe Cloud, a place where many thousands come to visit and climb, you'll see from the picture that we were actually looking down on it and them.

We stopped for our morning break, along this high ridge with wonderful views of Air Cottage on the opposite side of the dale with Tissington Spires somewhere below us. After this we walked along the eastern edge, following the contours, steeply down and then up and so on, until eventually we dropped down to Dove Holes. We heard it before we saw it, as a party of school children were using them as echo chambers or so it seemed. It was at this point, we turned sharply and headed south along the riverside path. We walked beside the River Dove for some way passing yet more school groups, who respectfully stood aside for us, we also met many tourists, perhaps visiting the area for the first time, I hope they were made to feel welcome with our cheery 'hellos' as we passed them by.

After climbing the limestone platform, that is Lovers Leap, we headed for the 'stepping stones' corner where we stopped for our lunch. Some, even taking their shoes and socks off to dip their toes in the cooling waters of the Dove! The rest of us consumed our lunches whilst watching the toing and froing of others, a continuous stream of people intent on enjoying the area.

With lunch over we made our way up the long sloping pastures of Lin Dale, on one side a small stream flowed down, its shallow banks covered in a bright yellow flower, which I am told is called Monkey Musk! If someone was pulling my leg, then I apologise for misleading you, there is a picture of these lovely flowers. We continued around the bottom of Hamston Hill, the red flag still flying, one or two shots were heard and after a couple of fields we were back in Gag Lane with just a short way to go to the finish. A great day out with wonderful scenery, little wonder this place attracts the enormous numbers of visitors that it does. Yet I wonder if they really see it as we do, from the tops. Many seem content to follow the river and look up at the soaring cliffs and rocks, very few, I would suggest, come equipped to follow the route that we took, not suitable for sandals and flip flops. Perhaps, being a little selfish, I'm glad they don't so we can have all the peace, quiet and views to ourselves.

JW1JW2JW3JW4JW5pictures by James W.


F1F2pictures by Frankie


Last Updated on Thursday, 15 June 2017 14:19