Friday saw our last full day in the Derbyshire Dales. We finally did the walk around Hartington we were supposed to do on the Monday. The day was beautiful, clear blue skies and quite mild. We parked the car in the side of the road high above Hartington village and walked through a little lane between fields edged with dry stone walling, whereupon we immediately met the River Dove tumbling down and through Wolfescote Dale.
We follow the river through the dale which is flanked either side by huge limestone crags and pasture with cows and sheep perched precariously, grazing the still lush green grass. After a little while we turn up through Biggen Dale where the once path is now a small fast flowing stream, so we have to pick our way from slab to slab and tufts of not too wet grass and eventually arrive at a huge slab of limestone which lies conveniently by the path as if to welcome weary walkers to have a rest. We stop for a coffee and mince pie break. Tillie immediately gulped her pigs ears down and waited expectantly for any snippet of mince pie she could get.
We then move off and meet a very muddy lane where there is ample evidence of some newly herded cows, eventually meeting the road we drove up earlier and gently climb up this back to the car. The little stone walled lane we started from is now filled with naughty sheep that have pushed their way through some wire and are now happily munching grass.
We head back to the cottage where the owners are busily putting up Christmas lights around the farm which once it gets dark twinkle prettily in the dark. Later on Nigel drives to Sheffield to to pick Sam & Sarah up and then drives back for me and we have a hugely enjoyable meal at The Ashford Arms. We drive back once again to Sheffield to drop our guests off and drive back in some rather nasty fog to the cottage and by the time we arrive it is past midnight and all is very quiet in the adjoining cottages.
This morning sees us pack all our gear up and head one last time into Bakewell for a cooked breakfast before heading home to Norfolk. The day again is bright with blue skies but the sun lays quite low in the sky and Nigel dons his sunglasses to drive the 4 hours journey home. Its a quick unload of gear and then immediately out again to drive to Norwich to pick up Rocky from his holiday foster home where we are glad to hear he has behaved impeccably.
Nice to be home and looking forward to my own bed tonight.
Lovely drawings by Nigel.