Monday, May 25, 2009

The Roaches

Walked: 24 May 2009
Distance: 13m
Terrain: muddy in lots of places, several steep climbs, but the views make it worthwhile.
Route: Starting at Gradback, follow the river to Danebridge, footpaths to Hangman's Stone and Lud's Church, then onto the Roaches and Ramshaw Rocks.

A well-known part of the Peak District, this is a beautiful route, with many points of interest. Today happened to be one of the finest of the year weatherwise, making an amazing day.

The tree under which we're standing, and whose magnificent trunk you can just see on the left of this picture is one of the biggest trees I've ever seen. It's a humbling experience standing within the vast dome that it makes.

Bluebells are still out and looking beautiful.

This is the old bridge at Danebridge

It is possible to nip up and walk out on top of Hangman's stone but I resisted the temptation today.

A very nice spot for coffee and cake.

One of the biggest surprises today was Lud's Church, which is a chasm and well worth taking a detour for.

This is the Roaches itself (themselves?), an edge with a wonderful view each side. From the trig point at its highest point, you can see Jodrell Bank

The water is Tittesworth Reservoir.

This view is looking back at the end of The Roaches. We have descended and are heading for Ramshaw Rocks.

Careful mapreading required here. Many paths head off in all directions, aren't always obvious, and the one we want goes through a couple of farms.

This is Ramshaw Rocks, apparently not as popular as the edge we've just been along, but still spectacular.

Looking down at the winking man. From the road, it's quite a convincing face, and as you drive past, he appears to wink at you. He really does!

The path back to Gradbach is again quite hard to follow, but eventually picks up a bridleway for a pleasant mile back to the start.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Hurrah for Sir George!

Distance: 7m
Walked: 26 April 2009

One of my favourite routes - alongside foremark reservoir, Calke Abbey, Ticknall, back by Scaddows Farm. By Foremark reservoir I saw my first may blossom, not particularly early this year.

The hunter-gatherer in me is really strong, I found this mushroom, which I felt sure was teh cultivated or field type, but it didn't quite match the descriptions in my pocket guide, which takes care to warn you not to eat anything unless it does fit a description perfectly. This one has white gills and no ring. All of the similar ones in the book had brown or pink gills and ring around the stem. I resisted eating it and carried it with me for a bit. When I stopped to crack open my flask, I had another look through the book and found it! The St George mushroom is creamy white, slightly brown top and no ring. So named because it pops up around St George's day, which was a few days ago. So I enjoyed it with my coffee! It has a slightly stronger taste than your usual cultivated mushroom, and I'll look out for these every spring now.

Perhaps the hunter in me is less strong than the gatherer. When I saw this little fella, I could only think 'Aaaahhh'. I did wonder whether it had mixy as it let me stand quite close and didn't seem bothered. But happily not. I tried to switch my camera to 'movie' but he casually hopped away before I got there.

Ash coming out in flower? Not quite, this is Rowan or Mountain Ash, I think, which is similar but unrelated. And flowers much earlier.

And these were my first bluebells, just after leaving the Calke estate to cross the fields to Ticknall.