Sunday, May 6, 2018

Finding a Cool Spot in the Peak District on May Day

Amazing, a heatwave had been predicted for the may day bank holiday weekend. We thought we would try and cool down by getting high up onto the moors above the Derwent reservoirs. This route in the north eastern area of the Derwent valley started with a chill out at Slippery stones. This beautiful spot is a magnet for people wanting to paddle and chill out in the cooling water of the river Derwent.

There are some excellent events about to take place in the peak district. The Dambusters anniversary flight celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Royal Air Force and the 75th Anniversary of the 617 Squadron ‘Dambusters’, this takes place on the 16th May. There is also a BMC campaign to conserve our mountains there is an exciting event on the 22nd May in the Peak district. Further details are provided in the references at the end of this post.

Our route started from Fairholmes visitor centre, it's a good idea to get there early. Details for the route are shown in the google map and the route card below, there is also a GPX file for the route.
The route is quite difficult because it accesses a remote area and requires some navigation across the moor to transfer between two different tracks.

The walk along the side of the reservoirs is beautiful, starting from a classic view of the Derwent reservoir dam and ending at the peaceful woods near the bridge at slippery stones.

For most of the walk to slippery stones we didn't rush and for most of the way enjoyed the cool of the shade provided by the trees. We took advantage of this spot sat down ate sandwiches, paddled and had fun.
If you can avoid the odd hard rock and some dry sheep pooh then the grass is quite springy and this area makes a good spot to practice back flips and back hand springs. Keisha came away rather satisfied with a practice.

We followed the cut gate path which leads most of the way to the top of Margery hill, it was pleasantly cool at the top. A couple of people asked for directions and about the best way to return to fairholmes. It was amusing because they were wearing trainers and in typical style we bog trotted our way (it wasn't too bad), Louis slipped slightly and ended up ankle deep in peat...

For the next stage of the route we traversed east across the moor to join up with the path junction between the Cartledge Stones Ridge Path and Abbey Brook Path. Choosing the point at which to start the crossing needs to be done with some care otherwise you can have a fairly tiresome and boggy walk crossing peat groughs and streams. We've had a dry couple of days crossed at the right point taking the correct direction, the crossing was good.
Louis riding is walking pole like a hobby horse on the Cartledge Stones Ridge Path.

Enjoying the summit of Back Tor.

From the top of Back Tor Keisha decided she would like to run  down at first Louis was trailing behind but it wasn't long before Louis joined in the fun and I was the one trailing. I think it was the promise of ice cream that was the propelled him!


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