I walked the first 5 miles of the Derwent Valley Heritage Way on Monday 1 August 2016 – if you want to find it on northernvicar, click on Derwent Walk on the right hand side of this screen. 8 months later I walk the next 3 miles. I will make no comment. On Tuesday 25 April 2017 we had been to Sheffield. I gave platelets, Julie had coffee with Harry. As we drove over the hills into the Peak District it started sleeting.
We parked at the Plough Inn, on the B6001 at SK234804 – website – and it was blue sky there. They got a ramp out so we could get the wheelchair in, but they don’t have a wheelchair accessible loo. I left Julie with a white wine and big sandwich, and went for a walk.
I crossed the Derwent at Leadmill Bridge, originally an C18 packhorse bridge, and turned right along the north side of the river. Apparently the rather exotic pieces of stone come from a large steel plant in South Yorkshire. There is a sewerage plant here, but it doesn’t intrude. It is a very well signposted trail.
After the cottages at Harper Lees you walk across the meadow – and a lovely meadow it is too. The clouds were going grey.
I entered the National Trust Longshaw Estate, Coppice Wood – the estate has a website. I was very glad to enter the woods as the heavens decided to sleet. Later I looked it up. According to the Met Office “Sleet is a type of solid precipitation that occurs during winter weather. Sleet has no internationally agreed definition but is reported in meteorological observations as a combination or mix of rain and snow. Essentially, it is frozen precipitation that partially melts as it falls and has begun the melting process before it reaches the ground.” I have decided we should stop worrying about Brexit and commit to finding an internationally agreed definition of sleet. There are the remains of several weirs across the river, an indication of its historic importance for fishing (or so the book says).
I reached the B6521, only about 2 miles from the Plough. I debated moving on and then bussing back, but decided a circle would be easier. It’s a nice notice from the Sir William Hotel – unfortunately when I wanted to leave Julie there on another day and do the next stretch of the walk we found their toilets are accessible to all … as long as you’re not in a wheelchair. St Helen’s Grindleford is 1910, but I didn’t view it today, nor visit the Community Shop.
I walked past the Maynard Hotel, then down to the station and café. I love the way the accent has been added to café. It was closed. The station dates to 1894. They started boring the three mile long Totley Tunnel in September 1888. It was a very wet tunnel, and they didn’t finish it until 1892. There is a photo of it being dug here.
I walked along the footpath on the north side of the track, past Brunt’s Barn (a Peak Park Volunteers’ Centre – website) and a nature park for schools. Padley Chapel is a Grade I building, Former gatehouse and chapel, now a Roman Catholic chapel. C14 and C15, with later alterations, formerly part of a quadrangular house, the foundations of which survive to the north east. Sadly it was locked, but there are decent photos here. According to the Hallam Diocese website the Chapel is open on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons, or perhaps we could take a group from church here as part of our Reformation commemorations.
I crossed the line and looked back to Grindleford Signal Box. I will walk and get a closer photo at some point, but in the meantime look at this chap’s flickr site.
Then down to the river and back along the valley. I must have done about 6 miles by the time I got back, but I’d managed to turn Strava off. I had an excellent suet pudding in the Plough – not the cheapest pub, but the food is gorgeous. It had been a lovely afternoon.