1st July 2012.
We are now into July and it is still raining. Will it ever stop?
Today I walked with my local rambling club, Crosby CHA. I did the “A” walk led by Martin Murphy. We started from the village of Hartington and climbed up past Hartington Hall which must be one of the loveliest Youth Hostels in the country. From here we made our way south east across fields to reach Biggin Dale Nature Reserve before turning south down the steep sided valley of Biggin Dale. With all the recent rain the path resembled a stream and it made the way difficult in parts.
Upon reaching the River Dove we headed south along the pleasant riverside path. After a couple of miles we reached a bridge on the Staffordshire / Derbyshire border where we paused for lunch. It had stopped raining and the sun actually came out for about 30 seconds. After lunch we had a steep ascent up and over Shinning Tor before dropping down to the idyllic little hamlet of Milldale. Another steep climb followed by field paths led us to the village of Alstonfield. By now it was pouring with rain again and we were all in full waterproofs. Dozens of very narrow squeeze stiles hindered our progress.
From Alstonfield we headed north passing the Tumulus on Narrowdale Hill before descending down through pleasant field paths to Beresford Dale. We were once again walking alongside the River Dove which was in full spate. Crossing the river we followed field paths back to Hartington.
It had been a good day although the weather had been miserable. It had been a case of head down and look where you put your feet. There was only one casualty, and it had to be me. I slipped on a piece of exposed limestone and and banged my arm on a rock before landing on my back. My arm was sore and a bit numb. Would I be able to hold a pint glass?
Back in Hartington I put it to he test. In the beer garden at the Devonshire Arms we had a choice of Marstons Pedigree 4.5% ABV or Cumberland Ale. Why not one of each, after all it was for medicinal purposes!