Monday, October 16, 2006

Hayes vs Haze

  • Walked: 16th October 2006
  • Distance: 17.4m
  • Terrain: flattish
  • Summary: Ashby to Calke, Ticknall, Melbourne. Across to Foremark Reservoir, straight down to Daniel Hayes and back to starting point via Smisby.
  • Time: 6.5 hrs
  • Notable views: Daniel Hayes!!
  • Note to self; For a slightly longer walk, include Anchor Church Caves.

In this post I'm going to reveal South Derbyshire's best-kept secret. The veiws from Daniel Hayes. There - I've said it - if they dig up my remains in a few weeks time then you'll know why.

No, not the opinions of one Mr Hayes .... I've no idea why a geographical feature has a human's name, but it's a high point which has lots of history and the best views of South Derbyshire. To top that, lots of it is National Forest which means open access within those areas - pith helmets on, explorers!!

This walk is pretty much the one that I wished I'd done last week, but didn't have time. This time I started and finished from home, didn't visit the farm shop and managed to cut out most of the road.

It's going to threaten my 3 viewpoints walk as my favourite circular walk! It'll only be improved by including Anchor Church Caves which are close to Ingleby.

As always, the description below isn't intended to guide you around without a copy of Explorer 245 and the ability to read it.

The Ivanhoe Way conveniently takes you from Ashby de la Zouch to Calke. The Abbey still looked good despite the grey backdrop. In the foreground is a haha, which is a way of building a wall without spoiling the view from the house.

There's a nice path which runs parallel to Calke's long approach from Ticknall. At Ticknall take paths towards Melbourne, skirting Robin Wood. On Sunday I intended to walk straight long the path by Robin Wood, but daydreamed my way to St Brides, which is worth a look as a historic building. The map at the bottom of the post shows my actual route taken.

A road, then a track, then a footpath take you past Seven Spouts and then Bendalls Farm. A favourite lunch spot is Lamont Wood beside Foremark Reservoir. No-one else seems to know about it. Compare the grey photo below to the similar one on my 3-Viewpoints walk. Note the grey horizon, the gaitors and wet, muddy boots. Hmmm. it'll be Autumn, then.

I was curious about this (still quite short) tree and its green pom-poms, which on closer investigation turn out to be sweet chestnuts. Beautiful.

After walking the length of Foremark, cross the Hartshorne -Ticknall road and bash through some very nice woodland to Daniel Hayes.

Unfortunately, the aforementioned spectacular views weren't quite so spectacular on Sunday, on account of the haze - the kind of haze which turns the sky and distant views into a very flat grey - the kind of day that prompted Bill Bryson to describe England as 'like living inside Tupperware':

"For months the sky had remained a depthless grey. Sometimes it rained, but mostly it was just dull.... It was like living inside Tupperware" - Bill Bryson

This poor photograph (including water bottle and my very tatty Explorer 245) just doesn't do the place justice.

The route above was generated using Meander.

Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service. Map image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.


dive said...

Wow. That's beautiful.
Textbook rolling English landscape.

And you used the word "pith", too!

peahen said...

.. and helmet.. fnar!

dive said...

… and Wood … g'yak!

Robyn said...

Oh, Peahen--find this fascinating even though I live in the middle of the US. Besides a train ride from London to Blackpool, Jude the Obscure is the only source I have for the English countryside. I am eager to read about your next walk.

What a great idea for a blog!

peahen said...

Thank you, Robyn. For a long time I've wanted to publish some of my favourite walks, and (because of a shocking memory) to keep a personal walking diary. Blogger is a great tool for doing both of these things!

I find walking truly uplifting, and would recommend it to anyone with mood problems. It doesn't cost anything and is great exercise!

A fellow Thomas Hardy fan? Isn't 'Jude' a particularly black one? My most recent is 'Return of the Native', which I found very evocative in its descriptions of south-west England and changing seasons. If you've not read these; 'Far from the Madding Crowd' is a captivating story, as is 'Mayor of Casterbridge'.

Robyn said...

I have both the Hardy books you mentioned but haven't read them yet. Jude is my most recent to finish (for the second time), but my favorite so far is Tess of the d'Urbervilles.

dive said...

Tess is good, but Casterbridge was always my favourite (though I haven't read Hardy since college) … and not because he sold his wife!