Derbyshire Dales Dawdle

As a small group we rarely exceed a dozen on our walks, so it came as something of a shock to discover 18 folk waiting to be taken out for the day. Likened to the Mass Trespass by Helen who then kindly agreed to take some photos. After a suitable warning from the leader that racing off would be frowned upon (it was advertised as a slower paced walk), and hearing the grumbles from the majority about the cost of car parking (£4.50) at Hassop Station we ambled off in the direction of Ashford. Two new people were trying us out (Phil & Robert) but they looked like regulars from the start, and we also attracted around 8 guests from other groups. The route was gentle mainly following the dales north & west of Bakewell including several tourist traps such as Monsal Dale. Shortly after leaving Monsal Head viaduct a new opportunity presented itself. One of the old railway tunnels has been reopened and half the group opted to explore somewhere new rather than go the scenic route round the hillside. Tideswell Dale, Foolow & Eyam soon followed and the attractions of the various cafes and inns had to be resisted, despite pressure from several quarters. We had to be back before 5pm as the car park would be locked. A sharp climb out of Stoney Middleton followed into Combes Dale where a gradual climb brought us out on Longstone Edge with views for several miles in all directions. Just a gentle descent now back to the car park with enough time to enjoy a refreshing cuppa before the journey home. A special mention for Phil who had never walked more than 14 miles before so the 21 miles walked was well outside his comfort zone but he coped as if he was a regular.

along monsal trail Andrea, Neil, John & Robert approaching Wardlow Mires Dave & Julie stride out descending Tansley Dale May Blossom in Millers Dale striding out time for a break toward Tideswell Dale typical Dales scenery