Sunday, 1 December 2013


After the week's birthday celebrations (PC is another year older and my daughter turned 18) we really need to get out to walk off the excess cake and wine. We've not done very well with planning these last few walks, and this is no exception. We wait until we meet in the car park at Calton Lees (no man in the hut mid-week at this time of year, so we don't have to pay for parking) before we plan our route.

We set off out of the car park and through the park, following the line of the road towards Edensor. In the park there are herds of deer, far enough away not to be troubled by a couple of walkers.

The House looks quite splendid today, the Emperor fountain is running and the mist that has been clinging to the valleys and hillsides is still there giving everything an ethereal glow. Sadly the picture doesn't translate well to photographs as it makes everything seem a little murky.

When we reach Edensor we eventually go through the person gate which is actually hinged centrally, top and bottom, so that it swings around. Quite a surprise!

Edensor is a very pretty village, relocated to its present site by the 6th Duke of Devonshire and with each cottage built in a different style. We walk up the main street, passing the church on our left hand side and admiring the cottages. They must look lovely in Spring and Summer when all the gardens are in flower.

At the top of the street the road gradually peters out and turns into a broad track which is accessible to traffic (evidenced by the deep ruts at various places along its length). It is a steady uphill walk, and we pause to enjoy some chocolate and admire the view over a field gate.

At the top of the track it rejoins a narrow tarmac road which eventually winds its way down to Bakewell. We walk along the road, crest the hill and can see the distant hills and edges bathed in late autumn light. The road dips and eventually we come to a left hand path. It is a bit muddy around the gate but we go over the stile and follow the track ahead.

Another stile and we are in a field of sheep. We head uphill towards a small stand of trees (Moatless Plantation) where there is a conveniently placed inviting bench facing down to Bakewell. We walk across the grass to it and settle down.

We haven't been sat long - in fact, we're only just starting on our nip of Ramblers - when we notice PC is playing host to a cluster of spiders (the collective noun for a group of spiders is cluster or clutter). They are only small and at first we think she must have disturbed a sac but then, when the sun shines on the grass in front of us we can see thousands of criss-crossed webs amongst the green. They are incredibly beautiful but so fine that it proves impossible to photo them. The small spiders have probably hitched a lift, or drifted to us on the breeze. We don't mind them at all, and carry on with our lunch.

Coffee, sandwiches for me, leftovers for PC, then the buns which are puff pastry mince pies with added fresh cream. Maybe a bit early for Christmas, but they do taste nice. We follow with our second coffee then prepare to leave.

The path goes downhill and heads towards a pond which, once we are on a lower level, we can no longer see. We almost walk off course when we see a glint of water and spot the footpath sign on a narrow gate. We go through the gate, cross a small field and go through a second gate which takes us onto the broad expanse of Calton Pastures.

This is a steady, easy stroll and we are very soon on the path above Calton Houses. Before we go through the gate and down the lane next to the houses we spend a little time trying to get some good photos of a tree which has a broken trunk but is still sprouting. Sadly the light isn't brilliant.

We walk down the lane past the houses then gradually descending down to Calton Lees village. The sun has gone now, and it has turned very chilly. Also the light is fading even though it doesn't seem to be particularly late.

Not far from the village and we are back at the car park, pleased that we have had such a good day out. The weather has stayed in our favour, but we're wondering how long that will last.

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