Sun 22nd Feb, 2015
White Peak walking meet
Members present: Christine Beeston, Trish Cranston, Roger Dyke, Kate Harvey, Al Metelko and Lorna Marsland
Guest: David Swindlehurst
It was a select few of us who ventured out on this cold winter’s day with promises of snow later, in fact it was this promise which enticed Al from the comforts of his house.
The route took us up onto Abney Moor via some very malevolent vegetation which prompted Roger to remind me of one of the meet leader’s most important items of equipment – secateurs. Needless to say I hadn’t remembered them! Crossing the moor was no problem for the intrepid team as the path, unlike recent sorties here, was clearly visible and we made our way across the top of Breton Clough. On the descent to Great Hucklow we stopped in a wood for the required elevenses, despite the absence of Mr McCallum, at which point we felt the first indications of snow in the air. This increased as we progressed through Windmill to Tideswell Rake when over-trousers were donned and the weather began to deteriorate to the extent that the ground took on a winter hue.
Before long the snow was falling thick, fast and sideways. It was after 1pm and I was frantically looking for a place to shelter for lunch. By this time we were on Tideswell Moor and there was nothing for miles but rapidly diminishing paths over undulating hillside with only a farm on the distant horizon. Approaching this I decided we needed shelter. Kate spotted a figure in the distance so I asked him for permission to shelter in one of the unused cowsheds to eat lunch. Not the most ideal location, but by this time we were desperate. He agreed and gave us use of the lambing shed, where Roger made himself at home and even toyed with the idea of forging a channel through the snow, using the tractor idly parked in the barn. We knocked that thought on the head pretty swiftly, thinking it was not the time to allow Roger to engage in one of his disputes with authority.
Circumstances dictated a swifter lunch stop than I had planned and after a short while we resumed our walk through a deeper and less-recognisable landscape. We were all cold and damp and the visibility was closing but this lifted Al’s spirits considerably. He’d only dragged himself out of bed because of the snow forecast and bemoaned the fact that the visibility was not sufficiently challenging. I thought it quite challenging enough, and was concerned not only with being unable to find the paths in the snow, but the condition of the roads going home as it was unlikely there would be any gritting going on on a Sunday afternoon.
We made it onto Bradwell Moor without any navigational problems and from there it was a straightforward if rather slippy route back into Bradwell. By the time we reached the cars the snow had turned to rain and the roads consequently clear. We dried off in the Shoulder of Mutton enjoying comfy chairs, an open fire, tea, ginger pudding and apple pie. It was the warmest I’d been all day.
Thanks to everyone who braved the weather to come along and ‘enjoy’ a route which no one seemed to have walked before, and thanks to Roger for the tea!
This will be a varied and I hope interesting walk around some of the less-trodden area of the Peak District. It’s a circular walk from Bradwell, taking in Abney Moor, Great Hucklow, Tideslow Rake, and Bradwell Moor before returning hopefully for tea and cakes. Distance 11-12 miles but this can be shortened if necessary.
Bradwell is situated on the B6049 between the Hope Valley and Tideswell and is probably best approached from the south, leaving the A623 at The Anchor pub.
Meet at 9.30am for 9.45am start, outside the Shoulder of Mutton pub. This is the pub on the left as you enter Bradwell from the south. It is open all day on Sundays so hopefully we’ll be able to get a cup of tea here afterwards. There is no car park but on-road parking can be found by taking the first left, approaching Bradwell from the south.
For further information please contact me at one of the following:
Landline: 0161 969 4338
Or text: 07919603998
Hope to see you there.