On the Tuesday of the previous week David Blackburn led the last of the themed walks in Chesterfield ramblers’ current programme taking 11 members, together with a few from the Friends of Dronfield Station, by train to Langley Mill for a circular walk ‘Discovering Canals’ around Awsworth, Ilkeston and Cotmanhay.
They started at the boat-filled Great Northern basin walking on to the Nottingham Canal, which is designated as a nature reserve but only a few managed to spot the kingfisher as it sped by. After lunch, they came to the highest point of the walk - the top of a railway bridge over the busy main line - and joining the Erewash Canal towpath returned to Langley Mill.
On Saturday, David Selkirk had eight walkers, who like more of a challenge, join him for the 21-mile Baslow Rollercoaster. Starting with a steady climb up Bar Road to the Eagle Stone, they skirted along the top of Baslow and Curbar Edges, before dropping down to Froggatt Bridge, climbing immediately up the other side of the Derwent Valley and through Pretty Wood to descend into Eyam. From there it was steeply up again over the top of Sir William Hill, crossing the route of the old Sheffield to Buxton Turnpike, then down and down again to the old packhorse way junction at Stoke Ford. They climbed up the valley to Abney, just to go down and up to Cockey Farm, then deep down into the bottom of Bretton Clough. They followed a little known path up through the Clough before climbing out over the ridge and down to Foolow. Walking became easier across the fields to Eyam, down the ridge to Stoney Middleton, and back to the Derwent, before a sharp up and down to Calver, then for the last time up into Bramley Woods, along the ridge, and the final descent back to Baslow.
Dot and Lol Williams were leaders for the Wednesday short walk setting off with 12 members from Shillito Wood and returning via Cordwell Valley after a six-mile circular walk.
Andrew Tomlin had 22 members join him for the long car ramble aptly named ‘The Windmill Walk’ starting from Crich Market Place and taking in Heage, Ambergate and Whatstandwell returning back to Crich via Edwin Mill.
For the Wednesday car walk Jack Frobisher took over as leader from Jean Allen, meaning that the scheduled walk had to be cancelled and on a warm summer day Jack decided to reschedule with a circular walk of 7.5 miles from Fox House taking 20 members over the moors to enjoy the purple heather, which is at its best at the moment. After walking through the Longshaw Estate they climbed by Owler Tor to Surprise View stopping here to admire the panoramic view over Hathersage. Continuing along Millstone Edge with a climb up and on to the rocks of Over Owler Tor and eventually across a squelchy Hathersage Moor to the base of Carl Wark and then north for a climb and rock scramble to the top of Higger Tor, for a well-earned lunch break. The Fiddler’s Elbow path led them to Upper Burbage Bridge where they walked Burbage Edge and across Burbage Moor to Houndkirk Road and back to the Fox Inn for as well earned pint.
Although the official summer evening walks programme ended last month advantage has been taken of the remaining lighter evenings to organise a couple of shorter walks.
On Wednesday evening, David Blackburn had 9 members join him, setting off from Unstone for a 3.5-mile circular around Dronfield Hilltop, Monkwood and along the Unstone Line. They had a rather scary moment when a large herd of cattle, complete with bull, charged down the hill towards them but fortunately, they were more interested in getting into the next field than the walkers.
The Sunday short walk of six miles was led by Joe and Eileen Clark, who with five members, left the Village Hall in Ashover making their way to Ashover Rock, where they had lunch and enjoyed the extensive views. The group then made their way into Littlemoor and on to Fallgate, passing Overton Hall and Goss Hall then through Butts Quarry prior to returning to Ashover.