Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Stepping Stones

I parked up at Millers Dale Car park (SK135733) the weather was cloudy, dank and drizzly. Today I wanted to walk along the river Wye through Cheedale. I headed off along the line of the old railway towards Tideswell in an easterly direction.  A short way along (250m) a path heads south east for Priestcliffe Ditch it leads steeply up the hill side and around the top of the Millers Dale quarry.

Upon arrival at the road in the hamlet of Priestcliffe ditch, I continued along the quiet village roads towards Blackwell for roughly half a mile. The Pennine bridleway  passes near here and I followed this to a small dale which leading to the river Wye and the Monsal Trail, the effective start of this walk.

A walk along Cheedale has the feeling of wandering into the fictitious Lost World of Conan Doyle. Its the idea that everything is closed in by the steep sides of the dale almost to the point of the rocks hanging over you.

Due to the recent rain the river was rather full, I arrived a the first set of stepping stones which were fully submerged. A couple of other walkers had suggested to me that there had not been enough rain!


This 7 mile walk with an ascent of 530 feet took roughly 2 and 3/4 hours to complete (including a lunch stop). I arrived home some what muddy and my two youngsters said why couldn't we come? They particularly liked the fact that I was somewhat besmirched with mud, they also liked the idea of splishing and splashing through the water.

2 comments:

Les, said...

Hi Michael. You didn't say - did you turn back at the stepping stones then?? I've been there when they are underwater, but managed to JUST get across them! Chee dale is one of my favourites. and you get some awesome icicles forming on the cliffs in the right conditions.

Michael Griffiths said...

I easily made it across the stepping stones the water was a couple of inches over the stones at its deepest. I've never seen the awesome icicles of Cheedale. We've certainly had some good conditions recently. I'm looking forward to good spring weather.