Checking the local maps last night I planned a walk for today that would include an opportunity to bag a trig point. I also noticed there was another trig nearby in the woods on Farley Moor that I could bag on my morning walk with the dogs.
Farley Moor is very close to Tax Farm CL. At the top of the driveway I turn left and walk besides the road for a few hundred yards and then follow a path on the right into the woods. This is open access land with a number of options, I turn right to follow a path through the trees.
On reaching a forestry track I turn and follow it through the woodland. There are warning signs of ongoing forestry work, but there are no sounds of heavy machinery this early in the morning. The track turns to the right and then to the left, a few hundred yards later I am close to where the trig point is located. I have read on a Trigpoint website that it is well hidden in the woods. But experience has taught me that there is usually a well-trodden route to a trig so I look for signs on the right where others have left the track and follow the faint path a few yards through bushes to reach the trig pillar. This is the 64thtrig point I have “bagged”.
I return to the track and retrace my steps back to Tax Farm CL. It is time for the dogs and I to have some breakfast.
Having spent much of yesterday packing up, driving and setting up on the new site I am not keen to drive today so we decide to take a walk from Tax Farm CL. From the top of the drive we turn left to walk down the steep lane, passing the cottage and carrying straight on until we reach a gap in the wall. Here we turn right along the footpath. The path descends and we cross Sydnope Brook on the footbridge.
The path then climbs steeply on the opposite side emerging into fields of pasture. To our right is Sydnope Hall. The hall is now private apartments but its website explains its history which involved Sir Francis Sacheverel Darwin developing the Tudor farmhouse in the mid 19thcentury to create the existing hall. After he died in 1858 it was purchased by R B Barrow and remained the family home until the death of his son B L Barrow in 1922. Apparently the house then fell into neglect before being purchased in 1939 by Charles Boot who restored the property and then passed it to the City of Sheffield for an old peoples home. In the 1980’s it was converted into smart apartments.
Continuing across the pasture we follow the footpath signs around Sydnope Hall Farm to reach the B5057 where we turn left and carefully walk besides this busy road for a few hundred yards before turning right along a bridleway that follows a farm track. Turning right at the top of the track we look back across the valley and in the distance we can see our caravan at Tax Farm CL.
We soon pass Woodside Farm and continue along the track, Black, Lane, as it skirts the edge of woodland.
The track then continues through forestry plantations to meet a tarmac lane, Flash Lane. After passing Darley Forest Grange we take a footpath on the left traversing a couple of paddocks for horses and then into woodland, Upper Dog Kennel Plantation. We then reach a stone “squeeze stile”. Both our dogs are slim but struggle to get through this gap so need a bit of a hand to get over the wall.
The footpath now heads across moorland on a well-defined footpath through the heather. I am always wary of walking through this type of habitat, it looks a bit too much like snake country for my comfort, I keep a beady eye out but do not spot any. Come to think of it despite all the miles we have walked through areas like this I have never spotted a snake on a moor, perhaps they hear me coming, or choose to live elsewhere!
After passing through another stone squeeze gate, where the dogs again need to be lifted over, we reach a road and turn left along the wide verge. It is lunchtime so we decide to find a suitable rock in the disused Wragg’s Quarry to perch for a sandwich. It is full of wild flowers and Lynnie is soon wandering around looking at Orchids.
Resuming our walk we continue along the side of the road, ignoring a lane on our left and then as we reach the brow of the hill we take a footpath on the left following a track along the edge of moorland.
On reaching a gate we take a diversion across access land to follow the well-trodden path through the bracken to reach the trig point on Little Bumper Piece. Sixty-five trig pillars bagged.
There are stunning views from this trig point, including a view of Tax Farm CL in the distance.
There appears to be a path through the bracken that may join the main footpath, but we decide to take the cautious option and retrace our steps to the main footpath and continue along the track. We reach another interesting double gate system with rods connecting the two gates so they would automatically close if not properly fastened.
The path soon enters trees and heads downhill to Northwood.
On reaching the houses of Northwood we follow the lane along the wall of Stancliffe Hall. At the busy A6 we cross and head down Green Lane to the junction with Church Road turning left and following this road down to the railway crossing.
We turn left just before the railway and follow a footpath running besides the railway line. Heading along this path we ignore the opportunity to walk through a park on the left, instead keeping besides the railway line to reach Darley Dale Station, as we near the station we here the whistle of an approaching steam train and arrive on the platform just in time to watch it pull in.
This station was built in 1873 to replace an earlier station built in 1849 by the Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midlands Junction Railway that was originally located on the other side of the level crossing. The line operated until the 1stJuly 1968. Then in 1991 Peak Rail, a heritage society reopened the line between Darley Dale and Matlock and then later added the service to Rowlsey South.
Wandering around the platform we pop into the old waiting room to view the exhibition. The efforts of those that work tirelessly to retain old railways and canals should not be underestimated. It is easy to take them for granted, but without their unstinting dedication these industrial transport heritage sites would have been lost to future generations.
From the Station the sensible option is to follow the footpath besides the railway line, however, chatting away and not concentrating we walk out of the station and turn left to walk besides the B5057 and at a junction turn right along the pavement of the A6. Whilst it is interesting wandering along looking at the various styles of properties it is not the best walking environment to cover the couple of miles to Matlock.
In Matlock we wander into Hall Leys Park, we have visited this park on previous trips and it is a cracker. Matlock Urban District Council purchased the land in 1898 to create an open space for the local community. How different Britain is 120 years on when councils are all too keen to sell these public assets rather than maintain them. Fortunately, as far as I can tell there are no such plans for this park.
Much to Lynnie’s delight there is an ice cream van selling locally produced Smiths ice cream, the van proudly proclaims they are Gold Medal Award winners. More importantly they get the seal of approval from Lynnie.
Resuming our walk we head out of Matlock on the steep Bank Road turning left along Smedley Street. The folk living in this area of Matlock need to be pretty fit if they are walking into the centre of the town and back!
On reaching Farley Hill we turn left and head uphill again, initially there is a pavement but then we are walking besides the side of a relatively quiet road. This road leads back to Tax Farm where we are more than ready for some refreshment after an 11-mile walk. It is time to settle down with a beer and plan tomorrow’s walking.
To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure Map 24 The Peak District – White Peak Area
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2018)