Walk Diary Wednesday 17 January 2018 Weather, 5°C. Sun/wind.
Bonsall Village Depart 10 a.m. 6 ½ miles Leader: Gerry White
No. on walk 17
We left home with a light covering of snow over gardens and on un-walked foot ways, with the thought in mind that there would be a good deal of snow up and around Bonsall, being that far further north and higher than we are. But, it was quite the reverse, as we neared Cromford there seemed to be little snow at all, we did find some however, as we gained altitude, even some small drifts close to walls.
A good number of hardy souls out today and we were all in for a good walk in the wintry sunshine. There was a strong wind as we neared some of the ridges, but we were all prepared and well padded for that. There seemed to be a great deal of climbing, some fourteen hundred feet in total, this offset, in physical terms, by the shorter six and a half miles.
From the car park near to the ‘Fountain’ we walked downhill along the Clatterway to cross over the Via Gellia, at the mill, the water from the header pond overflowing over our path. We then took the lovely wood side path, under Slinter Wood, walking beside the fast flowing brook to Cromford, crossing over the A5012. Starting the first climb of the day, of one mile, some five hundred and fifty foot up to Ember Farm, passing by the top of Ball Eye Quarry along the way. Near to Ember farm we found some good stacks of logs and tree trunks which we utilised as makeshift seats on which to sit and take our first break.
From here we took the track below the farm, taking the first northward path to go over Masson Hill, turning left to the road and on to Jugholes Wood. More snow here to walk upon as we followed the wall and path under Lea Wood to Brightgate. Here we stopped for our lunch break and once stopped it became bitterly cold, I suspect it had been the same temperature all the time, but stopped and hands removed from gloves, gave a true impression and not one for sitting about for too long.
We took the path through the gardens of Bright Gate Farm to head south east, crossing Moorlands Lane and on into Upper Town. We took the field path east, dropping down the walled path into Bonsall, exiting onto the street near to the Monarch's Head pub, can’t quite remember whether it’s a King or Queen!
Pleasingly, downhill now to the Fountain Cafe, where fifteen of us piled straight into the thankfully near empty cafe, plenty of seats to spare and orders placed for refreshment straight away. It was warm and cosy and soon the room was full of noisy chatter and glowing faces, whilst outside a wintry heavy shower descended on the village, we had made it inside just in time. By the time we emerged the sun was once again shining and all was right with the world, well our bit at least. A great walk, much enjoyed by all with that great feeling of being able to hear the crunch and feel that certain grip of boots walking on pristine snow.