White Peak Walk
Meet Leader: Lorna Marsland
Members Present: Jim Gregson, Sandy Gregson, Roger Dyke, Dave wiley, James Meakin,
Guests: Margaret Baldock, Joe Dugdale, Callan Dugdale (the dog)
I had chosen a fairly modest distance and level of terrain to accommodate the bad weather I expected on this meet which is why the advertising blurb included copious references to cake by way of an incentive to participate. It was therefore with much surprise, not to say elation that I arrived in Longnor in glorious sunshine, which accompanied us all day. I had no idea who would be on the meet and was pleasantly surprised to see a respectable number of stalwart walkers who had seen the weather forecast and realised that it was a day not to be missed.
We left Longnor at 9.45 am on schedule in the direction of Pilsbury Castle, which is not a real castle but marked on the map and evident on the ground as a half-hearted gathering of rock. Iain McCallum was not there to provide any historical context and no absence note had been received, so we forged past it in search of drier ground. At this point the route rises from the valley bottom towards Carder Low, where we circumnavigated a field for no reason other than the meet leader was talking and failed to observe that the path veered off to the right. However, not being impeded by high winds or heavy rainfall, we were walking at a cracking pace and reached Hartington before noon, for an earlier than planned lunch stop.
Having taken in the ambience of the village, bemoaned the fact that the village provided 4 pubs in 1969 which had been reduced to one by 2016, visited the conveniently placed conveniences and ignoring the cheese shop completely, we set off on our return journey, via Sheen and Brund. This route followed the path of the River Manifold for most of the return leg to Longnor, which did not disappoint in its provision of soft squelchy mud, but we were able to follow the path without repetition, hesitation and deviation (almost) and it was just as the afternoon sun was beginning to drop away that we tramped into Longnor considerably dirtier than when we had set off.
We all piled into the cafe and ordered copious amounts of tea and cake which Roger has immortalised on the website. Thanks to all who made the effort; who resisted the temptation to turn over on that cold Sunday morning, who scraped the ice off the car to get out on the hill. I hope you’ll all agree that it was worth it.