Winter ramblings around Buxton

It’s been a long winter.  The weather has not been that harsh, just a constant wave of wet, windy and snowy weather.  It’s certainly not been inviting enough to get me outdoors.  For some reason I seem to have hibernated this year, and I must say I really don’t like it.  It makes me feel old and I’m not!  So, this weekend it was all change and even though the weather forecast was not great I was determined to get out on a little local walk.

The forecast was for heavy snow showers and for once the forecast was correct, we set out in a blizzard with cold snow splattering the face – why is it whichever direction you walk, you are always walking into the wind?

As this was a local walk for me it was in Buxton, Derbyshire.  Setting out from home took me first through the Victorian Pavilion Gardens, and then up through the woods of the Buxton Country Park to Solomon’s Temple.  From Solomon’s Temple you get magnificent views of the surrounding hills in every direction.   I was hoping once we got to the top the low clouds would have cleared, and luckily they had. Here are my snaps along the way.

Mr Husband walking ahead as usual

Join me on a walk in the snow up through Buxton to Solomon's Temple. See if you prefer the snow in the clouds or in the sunshine

Nearly at the top

Join me on a walk in the snow up through Buxton to Solomon's Temple. See if you prefer the snow in the clouds or in the sunshine

Low clouds over the tops

Join me on a walk in the snow up through Buxton to Solomon's Temple. See if you prefer the snow in the clouds or in the sunshine

Through the woods on the way back down

Join me on a walk in the snow up through Buxton to Solomon's Temple. See if you prefer the snow in the clouds or in the sunshine

You’ll notice there’s no picture of Solomon’s Temple, sorry about that.  I’ve seen it so many times I forgot to take a picture, so here’s one I took today from the window of my home, it sits high on a distant hill.

Join me on a walk in the snow up through Buxton to Solomon's Temple. See if you prefer the snow in the clouds or in the sunshine

You can find out more about Solomon’s Temple if you follow the link.  The 20ft (6 metre) tower was restored by the Victorians in the 1890s.  Spookily, over the years there has been a number of reports of dogs leaping from the top of the tower, which takes a bit of effort as there is a high surrounding wall.  In fact, a dog I know recently did this for no apparent reason, luckily she was not hurt.  Very strange – don’t you think?

During the night Buxton had another fall of snow, which was accompanied this morning by bright blues sky.  So on went my boots and here are a few more snaps I thought you might like to see.

Blue sky over Buxton Opera House

Join me on a walk in the snow up through Buxton to Solomon's Temple. See if you prefer the snow in the clouds or in the sunshine

The River Wye meandering through the park

Join me on a walk in the snow up through Buxton to Solomon's Temple. See if you prefer the snow in the clouds or in the sunshine

Buxton Pavilion

Join me on a walk in the snow up through Buxton to Solomon's Temple. See if you prefer the snow in the clouds or in the sunshine

Icicles hanging from the tunnel

Join me on a walk in the snow up through Buxton to Solomon's Temple. See if you prefer the snow in the clouds or in the sunshine

I think the ducks like the snow

Join me on a walk in the snow up through Buxton to Solomon's Temple. See if you prefer the snow in the clouds or in the sunshine

Hope you are awakening from your hibernation, outside is much better than inside in don’t you think?

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A circular walk in the Peak District – Buxton via the Goyt Valley

This is a walk I’ve done quite a few times as it starts and ends in my adopted home town of Buxton.  I like the walk as you get a mix of terrain, a few steady climbs to challenge the heart rate and of course some stunning vistas.  It’s also long enough to give the excuse to take a flask of coffee and a few sandwiches, which always appeals to me. The walk is ever changing depending on the weather and seasons.  I’ve done it on a foggy frosty day, a wet day but unusually for October this time it was blue sky most of the way. You can see the Autumn colours in my pictures but towards the end of the summer you would have seen purple heather everywhere.

For me this Derbyshire walk of course starts from my front door, but for you I’ll start it on Bishop’s Lane on the west side of Buxton.

Goyt vally - Bishops lane

Follow up the  increasingly steep lane road passing the houses and up into the countryside. You will pass what looks like an equestrian centre on the right after which you will soon come across a footpath on the left. Take the footpath up a steep hill via a few steeps.  Up and up you’ll reach a gate at the brow – don’t forget to turn around and take in the view.

Goyt valley - view over buxton

After catching your breath carry on up to the summit, which has appeared as they always do just when you think you’ve got to the top. You’ll be walking in a slightly right veering direction picking your way through some boggy ground, the theme of the walk. The next part is my favourite part of the walk as it is a leisurely stroll down into the valley, keeping the dry stone wall on your right.  Again there is an abundance of muddy stretches, but that’s the fun of the walk.

goyt valley - mud at top

A small climb up will take you to a cross-road with an old disused railway path, but go straight across  and continue down the other side. Keep waking down the valley for a little while following the track as it gently bears to the right.  Eventually the path widens and gently rises up hill and you are rewarded with an impressive view of the Errwood Reservoir.  Take the time to soak it in.

Goyt valley reservoirs

And then you’ll get a view of both Errwood and Fernilee Reservoirs.  You’ll later be walking along the road that divides them.

goyt valley two reservoirs

The path drops downs before it cross the open ground, still in the direction of the reservoirs, and very gently rises until it pops out on the road, where you then follow it downhill between the two reservoirs.  Continue along the road keeping the Errwood Reservoir on the left-hand side. There are a number of bench opportunities on this stretch of the walk and it’s a good place to have a sandwich while looking out across the water.

goyt-valley-reservoir-1.jpg

Continue along the quiet perimeter road for sometime as it rises uphill, leaving behind the reservoir and tracking the pretty stream in the valley below.

Goyt valley - looking down to stream

Take the path down to the second wooden footbridge you see.

goyt-valley-bridge.jpg

Once you cross the stream turn right and carry along the path in the direction of Berry Clough.

Goyt valley - signpost 2

The stoney bracken-engulfed path takes you up hill again through the moorland, sometimes it feels like your walking up a river bed. And don’t forget to look backwards sometime to take in the view.

goyt valley - lookig backwards

Up  and up you’ll eventually reach the summit and a signpost.  Carry on straight ahead in the direction of Burbage.

Goyt valley -signpost

You will next reach a field boundary where you need to take the path bearing right diagonally across the field, which you guessed it can be a little boggy.

goyt valley - top view

When you get to the other side of the field turn left down the track, which takes you back into Buxton.

goyt-valley-burbage.jpg

Follow the road through the houses and to the main road, which you will lead you back into Buxton town centre with its multitude of cafes and bars to revitalise your soul.

Hopefully my route description gives you an idea of the walk but as always plot it out on a map before hand, and make sure you have some study walking boot and warm clothes as it can get jolly cold up on the moors. You really should try the walk, you won’t be disappointed.

The walk is about 9 miles and took me about 4.5 hours including stops along the way.

Feature Image Goyt Valley walk

A walk in the Derbyshire dales, Wye Dale and beyond

Ever feel you need a bit of an uplift, I sometimes do, and going out into the countryside never fails to do the job, rain or shine.  It was an exceptionally hot weekend up here in the North of England. Being out in the garden or the local park is great but getting into wide open spaces is even better, and living in Derbyshire as I do there’s a lot of open space right on my doorstep.  So, I thought I’d share with you a favourite walks I did on the weekend in case you’re craving a bit of open space too.

Now I’m not difficult to please when I go out for a walk:

  • I like a few ups and downs in equal measures.  Not so fond of flat walks.
  • I don’t like to see a soul, except for Mr Husband of course. The odd passing walker is absolutely fine but being in a long line and waiting at stiles is not good in my books. OK, I concede I may be a bit selfish when it comes to walking.  I avoid the popular walks especially on the weekend, when it’s just too busy for me.
  • I also love a walk  long enough to justify a bit of a packed lunch.  A couple of homemade sandwiches, yum.

So you see I am easily pleased…….wouldn’t you agree??

This walk I’m going to share ticks all those boxes.  I’ve walked it a few times but on the weekend I decided to walk it backwards, you know starting at the end and ending at the start.  It’s funny how different a walk is when you walk it in the other direction. I’ll give location and stats details at the end, but for now just enjoy the walk.

The walk begins in the Topley Pike layby overlooking Wye Dale and Chee Dale. Why I love this walk is it has huge variety of terrain and generally…. stuff.   Much of the walk is high up on the hillside where you have far reaching views over rolling green fields divided by grey dry-stone walls characteristic of the region.  Very inquisitive black and white cows are dotted throughout.

Soon the walk took us across a wildflower meadow, which a couple of weeks ago was full of buttercups but this weekend a variety of flowers, grasses and cow parsley had taken over.

wild flowers

We were next walking through sheep territory, too steep for cows

…….before a sharp decent into Chee Dale.  A perfect setting for a sit and a drink while spotting the wildlife.  There’s something so soothing about a running stream, don’t you think?  As I mentioned this was an exceptionally hot day and the large horned cows put on the hillside to manage the grass had also made their way down to the River Wye to have a paddle.

long horned cow in river

A butterfly posed for me on the bridge

butterfly on River Wye

Ducklings played in the gentle rapids

ducks in river

and a Grey Wagtail sat still enough for me to take this picture.

Grey wagtail on River Wye

After a short wildlife spotting rest we crossed the river

river

….and slowly took the path up the other side of the valley.  Luckily this was a shady part of the walk.  Eventually we popped out in the little village of Wormhill.

The walk took us to the rear of the farms of Wormhill, across more high-topped open fields.  We then took a bit of a loop up from the head of Monk’s Dale up the wide grassy floor of Peter Dale.  On reaching Dale Head it was steeply upwards again towards Hargatewell before dropping back down into Wormhill again.

This time we took the path through Old Hall Farm and walked in the direction of the quarry in the distance.  It gives a great view of an industrial landscape. This picture was taken from the starting point of this walk.

quarry

There was now an overall downwards push back to the Wye Dale with open fields to one side and thankfully tall trees on the other, which meant we were in shade……we were very hot and desperate for a cold drink, I knew we had a steep finish. To be honest my desire to take photos had waned somewhat by this point.

After a steep downwards path we were back at the bottom of the dale and thankfully there was a bike hire hut where they had a few ices for sale.  I can’t remember the last time I had an ice lolly but I was ready for this one.  The final climb up to the top where the car was parked was not as steep as I remember, I think I was in ‘head down and get up there’ mode.  The drive home is less than 10 mins so we were soon relaxing.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my meander and it’s inspired you to get out and explore a remote spot where you live.

Walk in the Derbyshire Dales Wye Valley wild flowers

The details

The walk starts from Topley Pike layby (Latitude, Longitude: 53.249, -1.833) on the A6 heading from Buxton to Bakewell.  Take the footpath to Blackwell, then down to Chee Dale. Ascend up to Wormhill and navigate paths to the meeting of Monk’s Dale and Peter Dale. Head up Peter Dale to Dale Head then navigate paths to Hargatewell before following the road back to Wormhill.  Take the footpath through Old Hall Farm and follow it towards, and then adjacent to the quarry and back to Wye Dale. Finally cross the bridge over the Monsel Trail and back up the dale side to the layby.  This gives you an idea but you will need to fine tune the details on a map. I used OS Landranger 1:50000 Sheet 119 Buxton, Matlock and Dove Dale.

The Fitbit Stats: 10 miles, 240 active minutes, 117 flights of stairs. Total time of walking, stopping and enjoying 5 hours 15 mins.