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Alternative Pennine Way - Part 1
by icemandan » Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:47 pm
Date walked: 24/07/2010
Time taken: 9
Distance: 29 km
Ascent: 400mRegister or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
One of our hobbies is to do long distance walks in bits. I've had 'The Alternative Pennine Way' by Dennis Brook and Phil Hinchcliffe on the bookshelf for years (I think its out of print now). The route is 431 miles long and goes from Ashbourne to Jedburgh with a short extension to Melrose. I'm not sure if we'll do it all - the Northumberland leg involves an awful lot of forest.
Anyway we booked ourselves into a hotel in Biggin and set out from Ashbourne. A nice old chap at the tea shop made us some sandwiches and wrapped them in silver foil. The first three miles were along the Tissington Trail, an old railway path. We had the company of some friends with a nine month old baby who enlivened this rather dull stage by trying to eat an apple - if you've ever seen a dog trying to bite a football you get the idea. Leaving them behind in Thorpe, we headed into Dovedale - still ravishing despite the crowds - the river is perfectly clear, the valley sides are covered in lush woodland and there are numerous spectacular rock pinnacles and caves. Stopped at the little shop in Milldale for a cup of tea. North of Milldale, the crowds dried up and the scenery became less dramatic. Passed a heron at close quarters and headed up the dry side valley of Biggindale where a hare ran out in front of us. The climb up to Biggin is barely noticeable. Fiona stopped at the hotel whilst I cycled back down along the Tissington Trail for the car. Gradual downhill all the way. Bliss apart from the slower traffic and being nipped by a dog at one point.
Next day back on the bike again. Took the car over to Youlgreave and cycled back. There was a vintage car rally and cycling down into Biggin village, I got into a race with an Austin 7 (it won (just!)). Walked back up the same road and over the rather bleak limestone uplands. A short stretch of the High Peak trail (nicer than the Tissington - a much earlier railway - narrower and with more curves), down into the silent empty valley of Gratton dale and through Bradford Dale - another beautiful valley - this time the river has been dammed into a chain of small lakes - originally for growing cress. Again lush woodlands and caves before climbing out of the Dale to Youlgreave.
No peaks of any kind in this section of the Peak District but a nice weekend all the same.
by fedupofuserids » Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:08 am
- Posts: 835
- Joined: Mar 24, 2010
by icemandan » Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:42 am
I wouldn't think of doing it in one go either - if I were able to get three weeks off work, I'd want to go somewhere a bit more exciting than Derbyshire. So we'll do it a bit at a time, probably over a period of years.
The glory of the white Peak is the limestone gorge scenery. The central dome is very bleak and dull. Dovedale, Lathkill Dale, the Wye Valley and the Manifold Valley are all worth a look. There aren't many interesting tops although little overcrowded Thorpe Cloud has a fine profile and at the other end of the valley, the reef knolls of Chrome Hill and Parkhouse hill are very steep and pointy.
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