Highlights of days 1 and 3
In October 2019, prior to Covid-19’s arrival, Petersfield Ramblers travelled to Willersley Castle Hotel near Cromford in Derbyshire for a 5-day holiday in the Peak District. Willersley is a very interesting hotel in a stunning location.
On the first day of walking, about 20 of us headed by coach for Hartington in the White Peak (limestone) area of the Peak District for a 9-mile jaunt which took us across fields and through Wolfescote Dale, Milldale and Dovedale.
Along the River Dove we came to some stepping-stones. There had been much speculation about these as the river was in spate and sure enough, the water was raging over the stones. We braved our way across and leapt to the bank on the other side.
Having enjoyed two varied walks in the White Peak, day three saw us leave its limestone cliffs and valleys for the Dark Peak and gritstone scenery to the north. From the village of Hope we were to follow the long ridge dividing the Edale and Hope valleys. Climbing steadily upward across muddy, slippery fields we reached the foot of Lose Hill. From the top of Lose Hill, the whole ridge, stretching to Mam Tor at its end met our gaze, with several ups and downs, some of them needing careful negotiation.
The route we followed was an ancient pack horse trail, and at Hollin’s Cross, a dissecting route crossed the ridge but we continued on and made the last climb up to Mam Tor itself. The route up and down was made easier by steps of local stone set in to maintain the route and protect the landscape.
At 517m (1557ft) it is the highest peak in Derbyshire and from its summit can be seen the famous Kinder Scout, where the first mass trespass took place in April 1932.
The holiday continued with interesting and adventurous walks each day until we returned home, all having had a superb time.