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News Archive (February 2023)

The Ramblers

Saturday 25 February

Wirksworth Wander

Bolehill, Midshires Way, Alderwasley Hall, Ashley Hay

Leader: Isobel   Photos: Mel

Trig point above Black Rocks

Heading for Alderwasley, with Crich Stand in the distance

A group of 12 set off from Wirksworth on a chilly grey morning, with the route starting with some sleet on the steep climb up to Black Rocks, via Bole Hill.
Fortunately, the weather improved for the coffee break taken on top of the Rocks looking across to Cromford, Willersley Castle, the Heights of Abraham and Riber Castle.
After a descent, the walk ran parallel to the High Peak Trail until it joined the Midshires Way, which it followed past Hollybush and Watergate Farms. Lunch was eaten under a blue sky overlooking Crich Carr and Whatstandwell, shortly before reaching Alderwasley.
From there it was uphill again across fields to Bents Lane and the inelegantly named Knob Lane.
The walk then descended to New Buildings Farm before running parallel to another inelegant name of Pratthall Lane.
At Gorsey Bank the route was temporarily blocked by a runaway calf. Luckily it decided to dive through a fence and back into the fields.
We finished with a stroll back to Wirksworth town centre on the path beside the railway, behind Anthony Gell school.

Distance 8.7 miles.

Wednesday 22 February

Around Hathersage Hills

Padley Gorge, Hathersage, Stanage Edge, Burbage Bridge

Leader: John   Photos: Simon


High Tor, Riber, Cromford Wharf, Heights of Abraham

Leader: Val   Photos: David

A classic Matlock circular with excellent views for eight bus walkers – outward from Matlock via High Tor and Riber to Cromford ; a return via the Heights of Abraham.

Saturday 18 February


Bradford Dale, Lowfield Farm, Anthony Hill, Elton, Limestone Way, Robin Hood’s Stride,
Lower Greenfields

Leader: Mike   Photos: Mel & Mike

Another good turnout of 19 walkers set off from the Coldwell End car park in Youlgrave – including five guest walkers and one lady trying out the walk as a ‘taster’.
The weather at the start was mild with sunny intervals ; some cloud and spots of rain did make an appearance at lunchtime, but it soon cleared.

The group slowly descended via the narrow footpath behind the miners’ cottages to reach the clapper bridge over the River Bradford.
Here, the walk leader explained to the group some local history of the Dale and a brief introduction to the extent of the river, its source and eventual confluence with the River Lathkill at Alport, and onwards joining the River Wye and then the River Derwent.

The group walked upstream along the footpath on the south bank of the river to reach the path junction to Middleton. This area is known as Middleton Gooseholme, originally common land to graze geese and in later years, pens added to allow the washing of sheep. The river here was dammed over 200 years ago to provide water for a mill which in its time manufactured ‘red tape’ and then moved to the production of cardboard pill boxes.

We then followed the path across the fields below Hopping Farm to eventually reach the track to Lowfield Farm, where a coffee break was taken.
After the consumption of various chocolate biscuits the group walked up and past Lowfield Farm to reach Gratton Grange Farm and Rock Farm. Continuing on through a series of old paths and fields to the old quarry at Anthony Hill, looking south west, we had excellent views of Gratton Moor and Gratton Dale ; both are catchment areas providing water to the River Bradford.

From Cliff Lane we made the steady climb through the fields to reach the village of Elton and the highest point of the walk at 904 ft. Here we took advantage of the many benches provided at the Church and had our lunch stop.

After lunch, the group left the churchyard and proceeded on the paths to reach Dudwood Lane. Unknowingly the leader had accidentally left one member of the group, Colin, in the Churchyard. Thankfully, being an experienced walker and leader, Colin knew the route and caught up with the group at Robin Hood’s Stride. (A training need for leader of this walk I think!)

After the leader had extracted various members of the group off the high rocks at Robin Hood’s Stride, the group continued on the Limestone Way veering off through Spring Wood to head to Harthill and the track past Hollow Farm.

Here the site of the old Mawstone Lead Mine was pointed out, with its subsequent decline and closure following the disaster and loss of life in 1930. This mine is now permanently flooded and provides one of the main water sources for the Youlgrave Waterworks Ltd, which supplies the village.

The group continued down the track to reach river again at Bradford. Here we headed west upstream crossing Mawstone Lane and taking the uphill path back to join the main street at Youlgrave and a return to the start point at Coldwell End.

A quite varied walk along some new and old paths. Good views throughout, enjoyed by the group.

Distance: 8.0 miles   Elevation: 1020 ft

Wednesday 15 February

Ogston to Ashover

Woolley Moor, Holmgate, Ashover, Ambergate Quarry, Overton Cottages, Ashover Hay

Leaders: Gavin & Rhona   Photos: Mel

Hasland & Calow

Chesterfield, Hasland, Calow

Leader: Andrew   Photo: David

The final leg over Tapton Golf Course

Saturday 11 February


Ault Hucknall, Hardwick, Holmewood

Leader & Photos: Mel

Commencing from Heath Church, the first section of the route required a rather meandering walk around the tunnels and paths of junction 29 of the MI motorway.

From here things were definitely on the up as we negotiated the tree lined path alongside the embankment, (constructed from the tips of Glapwell Colliery), for the A617 access ramp.

Skirting the old colliery village of Doe Lea the route then passed through Bramley Vale, Hollingworth and Hucknall Woods to reach Ault Hucknall Church for a coffee stop in the now warm late winter sunshine.

We then made our way to the Grange on the edge of Hardwick Park. Down then over Broadoak Hill to reach the Visitor Centre between the Great and Miller’s Pond. This was followed by a short climb to Astwith with an opportunity for a group photograph with the old and new Hardwick Halls in the distant background.

Lunch was taken at Astwith with an opportunity to greet another small group of Chesterfield Ramblers out on a recce for a future walk.
We then proceeded to join the Five Pits Trail ; around the edge of Holmewood to its junction with a section of the Chesterfield Round Walk, which was then used for the return to Heath Church.

Wednesday 8 February


Monsal Trail, Little Longstone, Monsal Head, Ashford in the Water

Leader: Steve   Photos: David


Rumbling & Bluster

Cutthorpe, Barlow, Highlightley Lane, Wilday Green, Wigley, Old Brampton, Linacre Woods

Leader: Mike   Photos: Mel

Another good turnout of 21 walkers set off from Holmebrook in the direction of Cutthorpe on a crisp sunny morning ideal for walking.
We made our way our way through Cutthorpe village and followed Common Lane down to the footbridge and over through the fields via Wilkin Hill and onwards to emerge at Rutland Terrace.
Following a section of the ‘Chesterfield Round Walk’, the group continued past Lee Bridge and at the fishing ponds stopped for a coffee break and some flapjack provided by the leader.
Suitably refreshed, the route followed the footpath through the woodlands above the fishing ponds towards Brindwoodgate.
The dry conditions underfoot made this a pleasant part of the walk.
At Peakley Hill the group continued onto Highlightley Lane to pick up a path through fields to Bradley Lane. Crossing this lane we climbed the path through six fields to emerge at Far Lane and Rumbling Street ; good views of Barlow Woodseats from this location.
We then followed the footpath to descend down to Wilday Green and climbed up to the highest point of the day at Grange Hill.
A stiff cool north westerly wind was becoming more evident and it stayed with us at Bluster Castle during our lunch stop with dry stone walls making suitable shelters for us away from the breeze. Bluster by name and blustery by nature!

Dropping from this location, it was down the path to Birley Brook and on to the woodland path to climb up past Wigley Hall Farm, emerging at the cross roads at Wigley.
Going in the direction of Old Brampton the group followed Bagthorpe Lane down to Frith Hall and took the path down into Frith Hall Wood. A gentle climb was made from the wood and through fields to reach the Church of St. Peter & St. Paul at Old Brampton. Here we were able to admire the newly thatched roofs on the church lychgates.
Proceeding through the churchyard we followed the footpaths through fields to reach the dam wall at the bottom reservoir at Linacre Woods. A gentle climb led to paths through the woodland and the group then headed towards the Jacobean Cutthorpe Hall. Passing by Hall Farm and their herd of hungry cattle, we continued on the bridleway into Holmebrook Valley Park to and complete the walk.
The weather stayed bright and sunny throughout, allowing good views. An enjoyable walk for all.

Distance: 11.8 miles Elevation: 1690 ft

Saturday 4 February


Froggatt, Stoney Middleton, Calver, Bubnell

Leader: Mel

An excellent turnout today, 17, with a number of new, and very welcome faces.
Commencing from Baslow, the group made the short climb to Over End to follow Gorsebank Lane to Curbar.
A coffee break was then taken in Warren Lodge before traversing the lower path, through the wooded section beneath Curbar Edge, to reach Froggatt.
From here the route curved around through the woods to drop down to the Derwent Valley Way for lunch, just beyond the Froggatt Bridge.
The Derwent Valley Heritage Way was then followed through Calver and Bubnell for the return to Baslow.