Sunday, 26 June 2011

Hartington (Peak District)

Notice anything different?  Shorts!  We actually had a proper summer day after a week with highs in the 50's.  It actually hit 80 and was quite warm for us fair-skinned, thick-blooded UK types.  We were wondering if we could actually get a sun burn here, and, yep, you can.

For the 3rd Sunday in a row we headed to the Peak District.  Our base this week was Hartington which is about 10 miles up river from Dove Dale (from 2 weeks ago).  We hiked Beresford, Wolfscote, and Biggin Dales from our trusty Derbyshire Walks with Children (#2, 6 miles).  It's one of the longer walks and with the higher temps we were dragging by the end.  It was about 4 hours (slightly less, as I tried to cheap out and only pay for 4 hours of pre-pay parking -- it was a little rushed at the end).

The pre-amble for the walk stated:

"This circular walk from the picturesque town of Hartington provides a memorable experience.  The scenery is constantly changing -- pasture gives way to a gorge, which in turn is succeeded by meadow, scree-covered valleys and then limestone upland with its drystone-walled fields.  A visual delight with interest at every turn."

I would agree.  It was great, but did I mention it was hot?  You guys are probably all baking in the 90's somewhere though . . . hard to complain.  It was good to see the sun.  On to the photos!

 And we are off!

 More cows than sheep at the beginning.  Even they thought it was hot!

 Pardon my domestic animal fascination

Perhaps it was the recent rains, but we saw lots of snails, and much to Nicole's chagrin, gargantuan slugs (eww).

We had hiked up (off trail) to a small cave.  This is the view back down (to where we were going).

 resting at said cave

 sheep time (this has yet to get old)

Hey, Ewe! (running corn ball joke)

lots of limestone formation (near Drabber Tor)

This, I learned, is scree (avalanche of small stones).  Looks like driveway gravel.

 Heron/egret type

Cool sign.  This was one of the better marked trails.  Of course, we still got lost at the end where it wasn't so well marked (actually it was marked fine -- our guide book led us astray).  Milldale is half way between Hartington and Dove Dale.  We'll have to visit there some time but not on this hike.  We took the turn to Biggin Dale and then looped back to Hartington.

Neat walk through the dale with the lose stone fence and the hills on either side.

This cave wasn't actually a cave but an old mine shaft.  We didn't get very far in it since it got quite dark (and we didn't bring our "torch").  It was nice and cool though.

This was an artistic attempt to snap the spider and web from inside the cave looking out through a small hole.  Too bad you can barely see the spider.

More cows.  There was actually a fence separating us this time.

 Last snack break and rest.  Happy and tired kiddos.

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