Wednesday, 2 September 2015


I can't believe how long it has been since we managed to get out walking. It has been a pretty grim summer for me and this walk, now that PC is back, is the chance for us to catch up and for me to breathe a little. We have a vague plan in mind and meet up at Cutthroat Bridge where, after confusion and discussion, we decide to do the Bamford Edge walk using two cars - one at either end. It's so long since we've walked we both doubt our fitness.

So we pile into my car (I know the way to the parking!) and drive back down the road and turn towards Bamford before taking a left turn and winding upwards on the small road to the pull-in place. Here we have some excellent views of the valley and the hills beyond.

The stile to the start of our walk is immediately on our left and we are soon over it and heading uphill. We have a choice of paths but the 'straight and true'  is the one we choose. We like to get the climbing done early while we still have breath and energy.

The bracken is high but the views are starting to open out. There's a slight haze but we can still see a long way. And we have plenty to talk about.

The heather is in bloom and the hills are swathed in purple. The rugged gritstone of Bamford Edge is ahead of us as we climb a little higher onto the ridge above it. We walk along a little way before descending through the heather and onto Bamford Edge itself. The views from here are spectacular.

Despite it still being the holiday season we have the whole ridge to ourselves and can keep stopping to admire the views, at least, we do when we stop talking for long enough! The purple heather reaches right up to the edge and we soon have views along the reservoirs.

The further we walk the more we can see of Ladybower and of Crook Hill in the distance.

The path dips and starts to fall away from the edge, at the same time becoming narrower and less distinct. There is no proper, official path here, but it is access land and we know where we are heading, more or less. There are a few sheep here too, but they aren't particularly interested in us.

The path takes us to a wall and whilst there is a track beyond it we stop to take stock. It does look vaguely familiar, but not in a good way. We decide to have a quick scout on the path to see if it is the one we want, but we don't have to go more than a few yards to find that all it does is take us across the moor and through thick undergrowth. We back-track and take another narrow path continuing in the direction we had initially been heading. Again, we cross a wall but this time the path is much more promising. Still narrow, and cutting through very high bracken, we follow the line of an unnamed stream that has cut deep into the moor and flows a way below us. We find a crossing point over some stepping stones and head towards what is marked on the map as Pillars. All we can see are two stone built pillars, neither very tall, and a rocky ridge suitable for our lunch stop. We have made much better time than we had expected, although it is starting to drizzle. 

Our course, no walk is complete without buns, and this week, for our first walk back, it is fat choux buns oozing with fresh cream and topped with a swirl of chocolate. They go down extremely well with our coffee after the sandwiches.

After lunch, with the soft rain barely making any difference to us, we continue on our way. The bracken is, if anything, even higher here and the path less distinct. We follow the line of a drystone wall then, at last, it becomes a little clearer. The path keeps to the contour line of the hill, passes by a lone tree, then starts to descend to Jarvis Clough. 

It is a little slippy here, and once we reach the stream we have to make a long stride (with the help of walking poles) to get across. 
Then it is uphill for a short stretch to reach the wide, easy path which will lead us back to the road. It stops raining as we walk along and soon we are at Cutthroat Bridge heading back to the car. All we have to do now is drive back to join car number 1.

The walk has taken far less time than we had anticipated, but it has been an excellent one nonetheless. We are eager to plan for next week too.

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