Recent Trips to whet the appetite...

Walking aound the Edale Valley - 5 Hours, without stops

From a base in Hope Village, just east of Castleton, we took the road towards Edale as far as the Cheshire Cheese Pub. It really was too early to stop so we took the lane opposite and paths to Fullwood Stile Farm. The lane past the farm continues into a track which flanks up the hillside to join the ridge above the Ladybower Reservoir and gives fantastic views of Loose Hill and the Edale Valley. The train between Sheffield and Manchester rumbles below. This is an ancient route previously used by the Romans but now the province of Walkers and Mountain Bikers.

When you reach the cross roads the path continues north into the Snake Pass but our route turns east into Jaggers Clough by a well made up track dropping down to a pretty stream crossing and gate. We continued on after the gate to the first sharp bend and then left the track to follow the stream uphill. This rarely walked route gives plenty of opportunity to route find and experience the ever changing views around each bend. Eventually we saw a nick in the skyline, up the path made by the water going down, which gave us access to the southern edge of Kinder Scout.

The going was now easier as we followed the paths west. Our goal was to find Ringing Roger but the mist closed in and we had to find it by feel! In good visibility this prominent spur overlooks Edale Village and is a good place to open the thermos.The wind was buffeting us so we chose to pick our way down below the cloud layer to the Village and a warm welcome in the pub. Good food, coal fire and dogs accepted!

After lunch we headed through the village and just after the graveyard took the lane to the east which crosses the river. Here we followed a footpath across the fields south to cross the road and ascend the track and path to Hollins Cross with views in every direction encompassing the Edale and Castleton Valleys, Winnats Pass, MamTor and, if we could see, up to Jacobs Ladder. The ridge path to the east took us to Back Tor where we chose the lower path to avoid climbing Loose Hill. The visibility was poor again and the tea stop in Hope was more inviting! This is an interesting path which lead you through everyone's back garden to emerge by the school.

We were now back in Hope but you can't finish this walk without visiting the Woodbine Cafewho serve fantastic treacle cakes and will let you have cream and ice cream as well but only if you've earned it!click for bigger picture

A short cycle in Derbyshire - 2 Hours, without stops

We started, despite the distinctly damp conditions, in Ashford in the Water on the A6 west of Bakewell. We knew that the trip was in three parts and part 1 was the big effort uphill up the B6465 to Monsal Head. Every cyclist must go here at least once, not only for the fantastic views of Monsal Dale, the viaduct, the cafe and the pub, but also for the exhilarating descent into the dale. You can let yourself go.

Having got to the bottom it was flat alongside the river with steep slopes either side and the disused railway line clinging to the other side. At the mill, which is being converted to luxury apartments, the road to Litton was up through woods with glimpses of limestone deep in the dale below. We couldn't find a cafe so took the lane to the right at the west end of Litton, which climbs the hill and drops dramatically down into Tideswell, 'Derbyshire's best kept secret', which has a friendly cafe, bakewell tart with icing and coffee with hot milk!!

Climbing north to the A623 we turned east and raced to avoid the busy road quickly turning south to Wardlow. The first lane east had deep puddles and took us over White Rake and Waterstone Rake to Longstone Edge. In good weather this gives views down the river Wye past Bakewell and all is revealed as you turn the corner. Despite two of our group having lost their brakes we enjoyed the road down into Great Longstone without mishap. Avoid the signpost and take the turning to the 'Harry Potter' look-alike Thornbridge Hall, with it's fine old railway station and access on to the line for walkers and cyclists returning to Bakewell.

We continued on down hill and finished in Ashford on the old bridge with it's sheep-dipping pens before retiring to the pub to dry out and plan the next venture hopefully in the dry!