A fairly grim day today with overcast skies and the promise of rain. So much for summer weather!
We had decided on Derwent, it is pretty much our fail-safe walking area and even on such a drippy day we knew we would find somewhere good to go.
What did surprise us when we arrived in the Fair Holmes car park was the number of cars and the amount of people. But, of course, it's the summer holidays and the Peak District is definitely on the tourist map - something we tend to forget with it being on our doorstep.
We take the path at the side of the reservoir after moving away from the main car park. The trees are in full leaf and it would undoubtedly be dull even if the sun was shining - which it most definitely isn't, and clearly has no intention of doing so.
We cross the road just before the cattle grid and start to climb up the bridleway. It's rough underfoot but the views soon start to open up behind us.
However, we are walking up into low cloud which clings to the tree canopy like shield of smoke from a camp fire. It is decidedly atmospheric, if a little chilly.
At the top of the path, which we have reached with less effort than anticipated, we debate for a moment before deciding to turn right along the ridge. We hope, briefly, that the views may suddenly appear for us, but the cloud and the first drizzle of rain put paid to that. A family are sat huddled together facing the non-existant view, but give up on their vigil as we approach.
We continue along the path until it splits, with our path turning right around the woods. Here we decide to find somewhere sort-of sheltered for lunch, since it's now raining as though it means it and the breeze has become rather keen.
We find some shelter amongst the trees with a tumbled stone wall for a comfortable seat. Lunch, buns and coffee are given our full, undivided attention.
We don't linger, it's too damp for that, so we head back to the path and continue on the slight downward slope , passing the outdoor centre on our right before climbing gently again.
The rain has made everything lush and green, and let's be honest, soggy! On the descent, where the path becomes steep and heavily eroded, we meet a gentleman toiling upwards. Naturally we pause to chat, he's scouting out a route for a walking group and has the unenviable task of making it suitable for all-comers as well as being interesting and accessible without cars! We hope he succeeded, he was a very pleasant man.
We're close to the bottom now, and the road which, at this time of year, is (supposedly) closed to all traffic other than residents/staff, but there's always someone who doesn't think it applies to them. So, yes, a few too many cars pass us, but we keep to the path at the side and enjoy the last of the views.
We're soon back at the cars and the walk is over. In fact, walking for a while as PC is away again.
PostScript: apologies for excessive delay in posting, life just gets in the way sometimes. And no, nothing much has been going on with our ramblings, PC has had many home issues to be dealing with as I finished off my summer revising for exams. PC is still juggling with family illnesses and although my exams are over I'm back to studying. So, although we've managed to meet up a handful of times we haven't really walked anywhere worth a blog post. Bear with us though, we'll get around to it eventually.