Walk Diary Wednesday 28 November 2018 Weather, 11° damp.
Tansley Depart 10 a.m. 7 ½ miles Leader: Gerry White
No. on walk 14
We were all prepared for a wet day, although, in truth, to start with there was very little falling from the skies. It wasn’t until after lunch that we encountered any serious rainfall, not a downpour, just steady rain that didn’t impede us, just our pleasure. The overnight rain was apparent, with all streams running down the hillsides to the roadside drains at a fair rate of knots, you could hear it before seeing it.
We set off from outside Holy Trinity church, walking north for a short way to take the first path to the right. We followed this, passing three mills marked on the map. The first is now a farm machinery engineering firm, the second is an eye saw, a partly demolished ruin, the third, near to Matlock Green was either hidden or vanished altogether. It was at Matlock Green that we joined the A615 walking east for a short way, before crossing it to walk up some slippery muddy tracks and paths to Wards End. Here it became a lane and a little later we turned left onto the Old Matlock road. After a short way along this road into Starkholmes, we found a small memorial park with some benches, where we stopped for our morning break, with hindered views of Matlock Bath below.
We continued along the busy narrowing road through Starkholmes, for exactly half a mile, before turning to a woodland path, running south eastwards. As soon as we were out of the woodland we realised where Gerry had taken us, as we now had good views over Cromford Meadows and Rugby ground. We refused the Wood End path, but followed a steeply rising path east to join Hearthstone Lane. A chance here to catch one’s breath as we lined up to climb the wall stile opposite and follow the path downhill now, passing by Coumbs Wood, settling down for our lunch break at the bottom near to woodland below Low Leas Farm.
Some fun here as we watched a farm sheep dog, who had joined us, insistent on bringing us sticks for us to throw and him to fetch, he soon tired and ran off to find some more sheep to worry. Yet more fun as we moved through some lovely, leaf covered woodland paths to reach Littlemoor Brook which was in semi-spate, just a few huge rocks as stepping stones and of course there is always that gap in the middle. We all crossed well, bar one who insisted in putting boot in water not just the once but twice!
We gained the road and walked north west until just before Littlemoor Farm, taking to the fields here. After crossing over Carr Lane, we turned left onto the next track and followed it into Riber, leaving by the north path. At the next path junction, we turned right to keep the height and followed a torturous line, dropping steeply down from Hill Top Farm, which is now being restored. With Tansley in sight below, we stopped our descent and climbed, which seemed like for ever, east, along a good track, finally to descend onto the A513, crossing over this to take the path opposite and make our way with yet another small climb back to Church Street. Once changed, more than half of us made our way to the nearby garden centre for some well deserved refreshment, weary but pleased with the days efforts, having regard that some of the paths found today, hadn’t been walked by us or at the very least if they had, we had forgot about.