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May 2002


12 May

A superb day with the Ramblers – a tough walk, super scenery, good weather and keeping the best bits to last. Do you need more? It has taken over from the Clun walk as the best of the year (and I did say this nicely to John Rhodes who led the Clun walk)

It was a long drive up to the Dark Peak and the blossom was out on the trees. Ros who was in the car with us was raving about the spring time which got me into quoting Houseman (or rather misquoting)

Of my three score years and ten 
There’s fifty will not come again

Well the poem is about the delights of cherry blossom. Actually the sentiment gets even more poignant with my adaptation.

Loveliest of trees the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide
Now of my three score years and ten
Twenty will not come again
And take from seventy years a score
It only leaves me fifty more
And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty Springs is little room
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

The walk was one of John Merrill’s peak district walks; I used to do a lot of his but I’ve tended to look more to Shropshire and mid-Wales for special days out. We parked at Mam Nick before skirting around south of the Castleton road, finally emerging at Bradwell. Pleasant scenery with views of Eyam Moor and Stannage Edge. However the real walk only started after we got past Bradwell.

First there was the big pull up on to Win Hill. This comes in two stages separated by a contour path which looks down on Ladybower Reservoir and Yorkshire Bridge. This view was stunning with the sunlight on the water. The final pull through the woods takes you up to the rocky pinnacle of the hill. This is a highlight of the local scene. Most of Win Hill, like the surrounding ones, is rounded and green but there is this triangle of rock at the end of the ridge. It really stands out so you can always pick out Win Hill. We had lunch sat in the rock ledges immediately below the summit. The sheep here know how to scrounge left-overs.

The path off plunged steeply down to Hope. We still nevertheless passed people running up. When I’m feeling charitable I think “Isn’t it wonderful how God made us all just a little bit different” More often I think “Nutters!!” This steepness in the descent lead to considerable aching in the shins. The reward was to have to climb all the way back up again to Lose Hill. Then there was a much easier mile or so back along the ridge to the cars via Mam Tor  

19 May

Well I did go out today but I'm not going to say anything about the walk (other than it was very good). This is partly because I forgot to change the batteries in my camera so I didn't get any photos. More importantly I was prewalking for the Ramblers and I don't want them to see where I'm taking them. So look again in the middle of June and all will become clear.

26 May

This should have been a really good day’s walking with the Ramblers. The walk was advertised as Wigmore which I recognised as being in Herefordshire. That seemed a long way, but it was only about an hour and a quarter from Newport to Wigmore. The area is lovely, even though I am not greatly familiar with it. The day’s enjoyment was much reduced by the amount of rain.

I can’t describe the walk in great detail. Much of the early section was on the Mortimer Trail from Newport to Mortimer’s Cross. There we picked up the path that we used at the start of the Ludlow coach ramble a couple of years ago. That involves a big climb up through woods. It was pouring it down at this point (a big contrast from the coach ramble) and we took shelter in a barn to have lunch. Once again thanks to the National Trust for this – it is part of the Croft Castle.

We had a brief burst of afternoon sunshine with some splendid views. However when we dropped off it started raining again and we cut off the final section, walking back on the road.



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