Walk Diary Wednesday 21 February 2018 Weather, 8°C. Fine.
Rivendale Holiday Centre Depart 10 a.m. 7 ¾ miles Leader: Gerry White
No. on walk 33
A tremendous turnout for our first themed walk of the year and we certainly had our fill of these little white pearls in a natural habitat. Great to see and I think, although I a few still had a way to go for fuller fruition, in the main they were just simply great, a joy to behold. Being an early flowering plant, has great benefits for these delicate dainty flowers, beating the brambles and other vegetation to the new light of spring. You will see from some of the pictures where any later they would have been choked, but cleverly have used their competitors last years dead foliage as shelter.
The glaciers of past ages has made this area great for walking, allowing us both good scenic and panoramic views at almost every turn. Unfortunately the camera doesn’t capture all that we saw and experienced and words, at least my words, cannot adequately convey the sheer beauty of this area. The River Dove of course an attraction in itself, it is only when looking down from on high that it pales into insignificance with the grandeur of the limestone hills through which it runs.
We set off from the holiday centre car park, crossing over one of their paddocks to reach Crosslow Lane and after passing a row of cottages we took the right hand path, up and over walled grassy pastures to eventually stand upon the crest, looking down on the magnificent small hamlet of Aslop-en-le-Dale, comprising of an early Norman church, St. Michael and All Angles, a Manor House, Manor Farm and attendant cottages, nestled near the valley bottom. We were quickly through and then began the climb up to the former rail station of the same name, but now just a picnic site and car park beside the Tissington Trail.
We quickly crossed over the busy A515 taking the path to Green Lane, Shining Tor being our destination for our first break, great views over to Alstonefield, but far below us the Dove rushing over the many small weirs along its course. With the break over we descended steeply into Milldale, Staffordshire, passing through on this occasion to ascend the road to Hope. At Dale Bottom we stopped to admire the many Snowdrops and even more as we ascended the track to Stanshope. Snowdrops all the way and of particular interest the large hose at the top, where every year we stand awestruck and the sheer quantity and quality of these little white darlings. It was now time to return to Milldale, eastwards by the most direct route, the last part of which drops steeply down over Limestone rocks, very slippery at this time of year, into the village. Lunch was taken in luxury, sitting by the babbling waters of the Dove, with many ducks all too keen to get a bite of that which we held. We fended them off well when they became a little too enthusiastic.
With the lunch over we strolled along the road beside the River as far as the bridge beneath Shining Tor. Here we had another fill of Snowdrops, probably more here than anywhere, appearing at the treeline and cascading down the far riverside bank, almost to the waters edge. We now walked beside the Dove as far as Coldeaton Bridge and here we turned away from the water, walking the one mile up to Lees barn, along a rocky path in the ‘dale with no name’.
It was now nearing two and just a few hundred yards back to the Centre, where we found the cafe invitingly open. Eighteen of us piled in and were refreshed with extremely good fare at reasonable prices. A great walk and no doubt one we will do again when spring has sprung with its new offering for us to once more savour and enjoy.