We decided to spend eight days in the area to get some mud on our hiking shoes and try out our new bikes. Our first stop was the town of Bakewell. Sounds familiar we thought. We are certainly aware of its delicious namesake Bakewell Tart for which it is famous After some quick research there seems some dispute over a Bakewell Tart and a Bakewell Pudding. They are both sweet pastry, egg, custardy confections but seemingly different things. One seems to come from Bakewell, one probably doesn't. My wikipedia reserach didn't do much to clear up the murky history. So we gave up and just went for a pot of tea and a Bakewell Pudding instead.
The town of Bakewell is a great base for touring the south eastern corner of the Peak District. We stayed at Greenhills Holiday Park about a mile from the pretty town that has the excellent Monsal Trail running through it. The Monsal Trail is an 8. There are fantastic tunnels to cycle through, viaducts to cycle over and generally gorgeous scenery to be admired all the way along.
A perfect spot to christen our new bikes. Because biking is our only means of transport apart form the motorhome and our legs, we decided to treat ourselves to electric bikes. They turned out to be perfect for the Monsal Trail. Over the flat ground we barely used the assist, for the hills we gave ourselves a little boost. We joined the trail almost at the end, at the old Bakewell station, and travelled most of it's length and back.
It was an awesome ride and the tunnels were super-cool As it was a warm sunny day I had donned sandals for the ride and during the tunnel sections I was sure that I would have to go back and collect one of my frozen-off toes. As well as the Monsal trail, there are tons of pretty walks in the area. We headed for a stroll from the campground to the pretty villages of Ashford in the Water and Sheldon. Yes that really is the pub's name.
Also while in Bakewell we thanked our lucky social media stars that one of my oldest friends who was visiting the area from Massachusetts saw we were in Bakewell and joined us for a cream tea on a sunny afternoon. Basing ourselves at the Castleton Caravan and Motorohome club site between the charming villages of Castleton and Hope, we did some more serious walking. Just like in Bakewell we were blessed with beautiful weather and took the opportunity for a Monday morning walk up the beautiful M am Tor.
SUNDAY, 25th JANUARY 2015
It was stunning day and the lush green scenery had me singing my Sunday School hymns as we walked. Iain is well used to my frequent outbursts of Jerusalem as we stroll over England's green and pleasant land! Our final stop in the Peak District was at the Lime Tree Holiday park which is walking distance the historic spa town of Buxton.
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I wanted to visit Buxton because I had heard good things and many comparisons to Bath and Harrogate. Unfortunately for me it was nowhere near the calibre of these two great locations. The Bankers Think that's Dublin over for pub blogging, but you never know. There may be others not found over the three visits. What a City for pub architecture! Labels: Ireland , Pub Crawl. Location: Dublin, Ireland. My fourth annual Inn Way and I struck lucky. Its the weather that can make or break these trips and I had a full week of blue skies and the only drop of water to land on my head was in the Monsal Tunnel.
I could have saved weight in the Osprey by ditching the waterproofs. The walking on this route is spectacular and provides a great feel for the area - the wild edges of Stanage, Curbar and Froggatt, the gentle Country Houses and then the magnificence of the Hope Valley. Absolutely terrific walking. It also felt a lot less isolated than previous Inn Ways - especially last years North Yorkshire Moors. The nightly locations had multiple entertainment options - including twin chipper Tideswell and the pub crawl that can easily be fashioned from a night in Castleton.
A wonderful experience. As with all undertakings - there needs to be a roll of honour. A Tuesday night and it felt like the entire community had come out. Football was on the TV, the darts team were preparing for a tricky away game and various other tourists were dining in the back room. Proper pub banter. Up untill Castleton, the beer was middling. Castleton addressed this, with every pub offering high quality product. Apart from a lunchtime Pork Pie in Eyam. Once again, few menus offered anything exotic, so I was delighted with the last day Balti at Sangams in Hathersage.
No issues with accommodation. Another year's adventure comes to an end. An end of waking up and only having to concentrate on the next Full English Breakfast, pint and putting one foot in front of another. You may remember from Day 1 that I've started slightly out of sync. This walk is the first in the book but my final day. Its also the longest - 18 miles in store for today. But there is method in my madness. As well as the transport benefits, this leg provides a summary of most of the walk, where you can see the edges and the Hope valley for a final reminder.
Besides, if you did 18 miles on day 1, you may be in danger of never starting day 2. Leaving Hayfield, a couple of signs remind us of the Mass Trespass that opened up the countryside to Ramblers and the house where Captain Mainwaring was born. Is it wise to walk 18 miles on the last day? Mass Trespass Snake Path gently rises out of Hathersage, overlooking Kinder Reservoir and providing access to the first big climb of the day, up along William Clough.
I've been worried about the distance, but paid no attention to the elevation. Best part of ft is climbed. I press on, further north then west to walk through the wilds of Black Ashop Moor. The terrain reminds of something out of Game of Thrones. This blog has taken so long, that I still haven't had time to catch up of S8S1.
The Wilds of Black Ashop Moor Another good point about saving today to the end is that this is the only time I get slightly dirty during the week. Some serious peat bogs and black earth to navigate. I dread to think what its like after inclement weather. A good three mile yomp, where I bump into hopelessly lost Duke of Edinburgh's who should be on the Pennine Way.
I'm able to direct to where this path will intersect with where they need to be and reassure them that their mistake has probably saved them a couple of miles. Saukin Ridge, after the lost DoE My route climbs higher than the famous Snake Pass Inn, which hides itself away in the trees, should I have been tempted to divert. A Roman road takes me to Blackey Hey for the 2nd climb of the day. The views are mainly behind me. Where I have been walking A significant series of Geocaches at the top of Woodlands Valley, overlooking Ladybower, takes my mind of the walking. Fine views over the Hope Valley and the omnipresent Castleton works comes into view yet again.
I'm just about done in when Winpike Crag is reached. The end is near. Go on, have another climb A very steep drop down into Bamford, where only one of the two pubs remain.
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The Anglers is in the Good Beer Guide and has been rescued by the community. Pick the wrong door and you end up in the Post Office. The barman selling me my Chatsword Gold was most interested in how far I had come. Rescued by the community Said Barman assures me its only 2 miles to Hathersage and all downhill.
He's half correct but a couple more agricultural climbs are in required. The village comes into view and somewhere down below is my final bed for the night, the YHA. At 49, I wonder if I will be the youngest resident again. The Inn Way to the Peak District is Complete After checking in, showering and having rescued celebration glad rags from the car, I have just a few more pubs to tick off. And a summary blog to complete. Now, I keep a record of my pub visits on www.
Nothings changed in the last nine years, although they've probably replaced the Boddies.
He was happier with the Little John over the road, where I found yet another new brewery - the Welbeck Abbey. Decent enough locals pubs, with separate pool room and charming locals.
The Night has fallen on Little Johns Having mainly been fruitless in my search for spicy food all week, I can confirm that Hathersage contains two Indian Restaurants. It might have my forced abstinence but Sangams provided one of the best Baltis I have ever had. And I used to work in Sparkhill. A new cocktail bar called the Bank can be added to the list of hostelries but the final one in the guide is the Scotsmans Pack. Walked past 6 whole days ago. Marstons Pedigree becomes the final pint of this years Inn Way. I didn't find Little Johns Chair, as the only space was at the bar.
Dodgy photo but its been a long week I'll be back next year for my final Inn Way. Northumberland awaits. Both have been previously completed but on separate hikes. Tomorrow, it's an 18 mile finale. It's a wonderful start as always. A last look at Castleton, a place I kind of fell in love with, and find the correct path to Cave Dale and get up close to Peveril Castle. How was your Friday Morning?
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The obvious prize in the far distance is Mam Tor. Photo opportunities are endless on a clear day. I have been so lucky with the weather. Hiker's Bar and the official start of the Pennine Way seems more suited to my needs. I could lie and say I'm off to Kirk Yetholm Surprisingly quiet at midday, with a family who had already started lunch.
Stuff to draw
I'll remember it as being cold. The room was freezing, but the judging by the Black Sheep, the cellar must be an ice room. Still, I'm fortified to do the first couple of miles on the Pennine Way and prepare for Jacobs Ladder. All Uphill for a bit It was nothing to worry about. And what goes up, must come down.
A long, gentle descent into Hayfield over Oaken Clough. I check with the local exercising their dog in the stream that it will be open at 4pm, before a potentially fruitless ascent. Adding Thwaites to my list of breweries on the Inn Way Into town proper to find my digs for tonight. Another joy of these Inn Ways is staying at coaching houses with centuries of history. You cannot help but wonder about the lives of other guests that have staying their during a year history. And their mode of transport more aesthetically pleasing than a red trannie This is a Marstons pub and I have a road to Damascus experience.
Pedigree Bitter, if kept well, is an absolute joy of a pint. I was amazed, I always thought it smelled of eggs. Plenty of time for a rest and put on whatever glad rags I can find in the Osprey before investigating the final three.
The Kinder Lodge is the wrong side of A Tracks. The last time I was in here was when Andy Murray won Wimbledon for the first time. They were serving strawberries and cream and it was all so civil. Tonight, there's a handful of colorful locals getting down to Digital Gold, playing 60s music far too loud. The most refreshed announces its time to leave and puts on his rucksack. Inquiries from the others as to what was contained within are met with "my escort". We failed to determine if this was his partner, a car or a magazine before he fessed up and said 6 cans of Stella Artois.
That's breakfast sorted. A change of Modus Operandi since Andy Murrays Success The great thing about the British Pub is how they are open to all walks of life and can be wildly different.