Sunday, 14 February 2016


We're keeping to roughly the same area this week, but parking up on the road that runs from Grindleford to Fox House at a roadside space next to the stile leading to Burbage Brook at Lawrence Field. There is a bus stop across the road, and a barn which may or may not be a shelter.

Once again we have failed to make any detailed plans, other than where to park and meet, so we're pretty much making it up as we go along.

Mollie doesn't like the road very much, some of the traffic really whizzes past, so we make haste to get our gear on and cross the road. The gate is next to the bus stop and we walk up the slight slope to the barn. A couple of ladies are trying to get into it; we don't bother.

We're on a path in Longshaw and despite the confusion of paths on the ground and on the map we find we are successfully heading towards the pond (or Lake as it is grandly termed) at the top of Granby Wood. An information point shows an old photo of WW1 soldiers boating on the lake. As PC pointed out, they wouldn't be rowing very far! The lake is built up, it is higher than the path, but that doesn't seem to bother the ducks.

Instead of following the path around which leads to the house we veer off on the right hand path, which isn't actually visible on the ground, and head through the sparse plantation on the springy grass. Before long we reach a 'proper' path and follow that a little way, forking right when we have an option.

Soon we are in woods again and quite high up. We can see Padley below us. It is rather muddy in the woods, hardly surprising given the amount of rain we have had, so when it looks as though our way is down on a very slippery slope we look around for an alternative. Luckily we see a gate to our left in a stone wall and we head towards it. It brings us out above Oak's Wood on some rough scrub. There are some soggy patches, and a fast running stream to traverse. 

We look around for somewhere to stop that isn't heavily waterlogged, and in the end we manage to find a large boulder. Out comes the coffee and sandwiches and the buns. Oh yes, the buns. PC's turn to choose them today and she has excelled herself. They are fresh cream chocolate muffins - with spiced orange. Delicious and worth every calorie!

There is a light rain falling, the kind of drizzle that you barely notice until you are soaked through, so we pack up, recross the stream and head downhill. This looks as though it could be a bit precarious with all the mud, so Mollie is let off the lead so she doesn't drag me downhill faster than I want to travel.

Eventually we reach the bottom (we have done this in reverse some time ago and it was a lot easier going uphill than down) and the road, the last few 'steps' being a bit on the steep side. We're at Nether Padley now (more or less) and a short distance from Grindleford railway station.

We cross the road with care, cars can take you by surprise on here, and go down the walkway towards the station. No trains just now, we pass the station platforms and reach Burbage Brook. We choose to cross rather than take the footpath up the eastern side, and admire the garden and properties on the other side.

From here the route is familiar. We turn right up the rough road, at the top of which an extremely impressive dwelling is being constructed. We go through the gate at the top and are back in woods.

The first bit is uphill but it eventually levels off. The water below us is running fast and there is an impressive waterfall running into the brook. It is surprising how quickly we reach the top of the rise and the boulder strewn moorland of Lawrence Field. We are tempted to linger, the sun is making a brief appearance for the first time today, but we decide to return to the cars instead.

It appears we made a good choice, once settled back at the cars the soft rain that has been on and off all day decides to come down a little heavier. 

We're missing next week, but hopeful that we'll be able to make it the week after.

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