Saturday, 13 September 2008

In the Dales – Parsley Hay to Fenny Bentley

So lucky to have one of the really lovely days of the year weatherwise – fluffy white clouds and blue sky. Set off early to hit the trail – Tissington Trail – at Parsley Hay. This is one of the several Peak District trails converted from the old Matlock to Buxton railway route after Beeching did his worst in the 60s. It's such a pleasant, slightly downhill, route, passing through the beautiful drywalled farm land of the White Peak.

After a lunchtime and coffee encounter with a longdistance lorry driver who without any reluctance unfortunately showed his injured ankles(?!), and Carol tried to persuade him how much he needed to join a WH group (to no avail sadly), we had a pleasant afternoon's walk along to Tissington and its famous Hall; a 'stunning Jacobean manor house' - a lovely spot to which I must return with husband Neil sometime, not least for the delicious cream tea which to our delight, awaited us when we stopped off for a break. Tissington village is a lovely spot and has one of the Peak's renowned Well Dressing festivals, usually in May each year.

From there it was a short hop to Fenny Bentley, strung out along the main Ashbourne to Buxton road, but thankfully the comfy looking B+B where Carol was meeting Sheila was high above it in a really peaceful spot. We parted there and I made my way back to the main road for the bus back to Parsley Hay, hoping I had done my bit for WHI and Carol this year. Will be back for more (and to make sure Carol and Keith do the 'missing' Hope to Bakewell bit or thereabouts!)

Back over to you Carol...

Successful Walking for Health day in Sheffield – 3 walks in 1 day!

Bit of a drizzly day dawned, but we had big plans…Set off for Grenoside in north Sheffield to meet up with the first of the Sheffield Walking for Health groups. We found Tina and Jim with all the group in Grenoside Community Centre car park, with a stunning view over towards the northeast of the city, Wentworth and beyond. Had a lovely walk through Greno Wood, with Jim telling us details of local history, and everyone keen to hear Carol’s walking experiences and how the Surrey group is organised. Returned to a welcome cup of tea and biscuits in the adjacent Church hall, slightly overlapping with Mother and Toddler group still clearing away.

Decided we had time for a quick visit to town (and shopping, Decathlon very successful last time!) en route to our second walk in the west of Sheffield with the Fulwood group – Whiteley Woods and the Mayfield Valley. I was really pleased as I even got to go down lanes and byways I’d not been down before. Our round walk passed the long-established Mill House Animal Sanctuary, the field opposite full of a beautiful herd of Jerseys with one huge bull! – fortunately we were safely the right side of the fence. Leader Sue Lee chatted at length with Carol about the way different WHI groups were set up and the problems of getting grant money etc, though it seemed reassuring that some difficulties were the same wherever you are in the country!

After another much-needed cuppa in the famous Forge Dam café, it was home for a quick meal and catch-up on the computer before our final walk of the day, with the Center Parcs Six (well 4 of them anyway including me Jane). We walk every week if possible, putting the world and ourselves to rights. Ecclesall Woods is near my home and wonderful for walking; the WHI groups sometimes meet there along with other local groups. We did our usual circular route, under the canopy of one of the most beautiful Ancient Woodlands in Yorkshire; by the 16th century, most the area was coppice woods, part of the manor of Ecclesall, but it was acquired by the City Council in1927 from the Wentworth Woodhouse estate. Wonderful bird and wildlife but not much in evidence this evening. An earlyish night as a much longer walk in the Derbyshire Dales tomorrow.