A walk in the Peak District
One of the best things about going to stay with Andy is that he lives on the edge of the Peak District in a little village called Broadbottom. There are lots of opportunities for interesting runs (even the short ones) and big walks, right on his doorstep. After Christmas I sat down to amuse myself with Andy’s truly enormous 1:25k waterproof map of the area. I call it “Andy’s” rather loosely, as I always seem to find it just where I left it on the previous visit 😀
I came up with the following route, which was perfectly executed.
Catch a train to Glossop, as early as you can. This involved me getting out of bed, so we set off just before 10am. Walk up “Doctor’s Gate” assessing it for mountain biking suitability on a later date. It’s a bridleway but I fear there would be rather too much pushing for my liking, in both directions! Stop out of the wind for a pleasant first sandwich and piece of homemade fudge brownie.
At the top, where this Roman Road joins the modern Snake Pass, turn left and follow the Pennine Way through a peat bog. You go from a rocky little climb to an engineered walking highway, which still has its charms as the path literally bounces, you splash through rivers and stare down into dark little pools.
At Bleaklow Head, bear left into a biting westerly headwind. Stop to put on spare jumper, even if it means taking off two other layers first. Get to where two rivers meet and the path crosses them in a little gorge. Take shelter and eat second sandwich and brownie as quickly as possible. Stop every 10 minutes for the next hour to re-tie shoelaces, because hands are too cold to properly carry out a task requiring such fine motor control!
Locate the left turn-off from The Pennine Way, which starts with an exceedingly deep boggy bit – let someone else find that out first! 😀 The map gives clues to the terrain … all those spidery blue lines on a flat moor! It is wet, but the path is punctuated by helpful wooden bridges and walkways.
Cue your best Billy Goats Gruff impressions; “Trip trap, trip trap! Who’s that trip-trapping over my bridge?!” Try not to jump too far out of your shoes when someone sneaks up behind and says “Boo”!
Descend back towards Glossop on a double-track, taking a shortcut to Swineshaw reservoir that gets you stuck at the top of a small quarry. Really, either the ground did not match up with the map here, or I was too fuddled to figure it all out. Allow Andy to take one last photo – this time of a pig. Get back into town just before dark and grab a sweet hot drink and emergency third sandwich in the café before heading home to tea and curry*.
* I had made a tasty shepherd’s pie but confused the paprika and chilli powder – oops! Second mealtime around with all the (non-spicy potato) gone, it went well with chickpeas, a tin of coconut milk and plenty of rice!