Tuesday, 17 November 2015


The best laid plans are sometimes thwarted, and such is the case for us today. We had hoped to park in a little turning on a tiny lane, one that we had seen on a previous walk many moons ago and which is even noted in some walking books. So we drive in a convoy of two towards the parking space, only to find that a farmer had made certain that it was unusable. 

A bit of nifty reversing and manouvering before we pull up to discuss our options. There is very limited parking between Hope and Edale, just a few laybys, so we decide to drive to the next layby before considering further.

Quite some way down the road, passing some tempting footpaths but no chance of parking to walk them (we have Mollie with us, and her aversion to roads and traffic makes her a liability on narrow, speedy roads like this), we find a large pull in. Out come the maps, then we're off again, this time to nab the last couple of spaces at Nether Booth. It's a good job we are early today.

It's murky and foggy and not a terribly pleasant day, but we are undeterred.

Once we are suitably togged up we take the path signposted 'Youth Hostel' then off of this tarmac track we turn left through a small gate onto a barely discernible path. We're going through a sheep field in the general direction of Edale.

One or two gates are easily negotiated, and the path appears to be straight and easy. We come to a field, fenced off from the path, with a particularly morose looking ram. He poses for a portrait with extreme disinterest.
The weather is dank, that chilly almost-but-not-quite damp, which doesn't encourage PC to take loads of photos, though it doesn't stop us talking. We pass through a farmyard at Ollerbrook Booth with a very well behaved farm dog - it didn't even bark once at us - maybe it is as miserable as the ram.

As we come to the outskirts of Edale, or rather Grindsbrook Booth, we find ourselves on a little path that leads downhill to a beautiful little bridge over the lower reaches of Grinds Brook. It is only wide enough for one person at a time but we do pause to admire the view up and down the stream.
The path brings us out at the back of the village pub, the Nags Head, where we meet another lady walker who is deciding where to go today. We oblige by taking her photo for her then we head off in opposite directions.
We take the track that is grandly signed as the 'Start of the Penine Way' - not that we have ever noticed the sign before as we usually return this way - and we are under a tunnel of trees next to a stream. Mollie can have a few minutes off the lead - no sheep here - and goes for a paddle.
This is very familiar territory as we leave the shelter of the trees and find the stile on our left which is the well-walked beginning of the Pennine Way, suitably paved with huge flagstones.
It is a very gentle incline up through fields and gates, and we soon come to one of the very few benches on this stretch of the walk. Not noon yet, but we have time enough to sit and enjoy a coffee before lunch, and enjoy the slightly hazy view. But I have forgotten the coffee cups! And a spoon for the sugar. But we improvise, sharing the cup from the top of the flask and stirring the sugar with a fork. With coffee drunk we have managed to spin out enough time to eat lunch, and bun of course. A very tasty fresh cream eclair.
Despite being murky and dank it isn't particularly chilly, but we decide we had better move on. The path is level to begin with, then climbs a little to a viewpoint beneath Broadlee-Bank Tor.
Next we are on the downward slope towards Upper Booth, with Mollie delightfully chasing stones down the rain-rutted track. As we enter Upper Booth we decide to take a path through a gate on our left, and through a field with a couple of horses in. It isn't a terribly clear path on the ground, but it is reasonably straight forward.
The path heads towards the railway line, and when we are partway there it starts to rain with a little more gusto. Not too much yet, but enough to make us zip up. For a short stretch the path runs alongside the railway then goes up and over a bridge before entering Barber Booth. It must be a little disconcerting for the people living in the property facing the path as walkers have a direct view straight into their kitchen.

We now have to wind our way around Barber Booth, avoiding the main road, then take the path back over the next railway bridge. And by now the rain has set in.

We cross fields until we come to a point where the path divides, and choose the bottom path which takes us to Edale.
The path brings us out near to the church with views of the hills behind obscured by the mist. At least the rain has eased a little.

We go up the road a short distance and take the footpath on the opposite side of the road, after the activity centre and before the church.

This is another surprise, a beautiful little path with very pretty views upstream. As we press onwards towards Ollerbrook Booth though it begins to rain again. And this time it really means it.
From Ollerbrook Booth we retrace our steps with a degree of determination. The rain is pounding down now. Further along the path we meet the lady we had spoken to earlier in the day, she on her return journey towards Edale. 

Soon we are back at the cars, sodden but satisfied. It has been a low-level walk, and a soggy one, but a surprisingly good one to say that it was a last minute choice. Certainly one to remember for another time.

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