My walk this weekend was centred on Lyme Park at the edge of the Peak District. I thought it was going to be an easy stroll but it turned out to be quite tough and most of it was outside of the park.
When I got up and looked out of the window the weather looked quite promising but it was not to last. By the time we started out on our walk it was overcast and grey, but at least it was dry.
We left the main car park and headed SW through woodland to exit Lyme Park at West Parkgate. After a short distance of road walking we headed up onto the moor towards Keepers Cottage. We now began our steady climb up to Dale Top and onwards to a junction of paths.
We turned right onto the Gritstone Trail, a 35 mile long distance footpath from Disley in Cheshire to Kidsgrove in Staffordshire.
We continued to the high point on Sponds Hill (1352ft) where there was a viewpoint.
We retraced our steps along the Gritstone Trail. It was really chilly up on the moor. It was what is called a ‘Lazy Wind’, too lazy to go round you, it just cut straight through you. The horses didn’t seem to mind it.
At Bowstonegate Farm we turned left to follow the Gritstone Trail into Lyme Park. The waymarks were a black bootmark and a yellow G.
Leaving the moor we walked through Lantern Wood. Crossing a ladder stile we emerged onto open ground. Across the valley we could see The Cage.
We descended to cross Coalpit Clough and then climbed up again to The Cage. From the 14th century onwards the park was noted for its herd of red deer and hunting was a popular pastime for the nobility. In the 16th century the three story square built tower was built so that the ladies could view the proceedings.
On three sides of the tower there is a sundial, each one showing different hours of the day.
There was no chance to check the time as we had full cloud cover.
The final part of our walk was easy as we followed the main path down to the entrance gates of the hall and on to the car park.
It had been a tougher day than we had expected but our reward was coffee and cake in the tea shop.