CHESTERFIELD: Out and about with the ramblers

Just over a week ago on a damp Wednesday morning, Chesterfield ramblers’ long bus ramble was led by Val Fenton who, together with a group of 17 walkers, took the train to Chinley. They left the station and ascended via the nature reserve to the slopes of Chinley Churn, however on arriving at Cracken Edge the drizzle cleared and there was a clear dry spell. Following lunch and after a pleasant high-level walk, they descended to cross the main road into Hayfield village on to the Countryside Centre where, at this point, there was a change of plan, as the heavy rain arrived at the same time as the bus to New Mills (intended end of walk). On reaching New Mills however, most of the group took the opportunity of descending to the river for views of the gorge and a final walk along the Millennium Walkway to the station.

Gill Stone was leader for the short car walk and despite early rain, her group of walkers started out from Bakewell to Ashford in the Water. The sun came out later as they neared the Monsal Trail and walked up through Crackhole Wood to lunch at the top with fantastic views over Bakewell.

The following Wednesday dawned bright and sunny with the prospect of an ideal walking day and for the long bus ramble Tony Hunt had 19 walkers join him at Brookfield School for a walk over to Linacre and then on to Barlow fishing ponds where, in the sunshine, the group had their lunch.

Tony Doxey was leader for the car walk leaving Crich Market Place with 25 members, with one blind member joining them for a circular walk of 7.5 miles. On leaving Crich, the group climbed to the monument at Crich Stand then made their way back via the quarry into Wakebridge where they stopped for coffee before continuing on to Cromford Canal. The party made their way to the end of the canal then on to Crich Chase and back along The Tors to the village.

Mike Sims had 21 members join him for a circular walk of 12 miles starting from Ashover Village Hall car park. The group started their walk with a climb up to the Fabrik, where they were able to enjoy fabulous views of the countryside in the bright sunshine, and then down into Littlemoor and on to Handley with a coffee stop in-between. They then made their way towards Brackenfield passing Ogston Reservoir and stopping for lunch on the green at Brackenfield, after which they climbed up to Highshoreditch Farm then on to Cocking Tor returning to Ashover via Goss Hall and Butts Quarry.

Although officially the programme of evening walks ended last week, the good weather has prompted the addition of a couple more walks and on Wednesday evening. Fourteen ramblers joined Mike Watson for a walk approaching four miles, starting from Darley Dale along part of the Derwent Valley Heritage Way. They paused at St Helen’s Church to look at the reputed 2000-year-old yew tree and on approaching Rowsley they retraced their steps and followed the route of the railway back. At the end of the walk most of the group retired to the Church Inn where they tried their hand at table skittles.