Sunday, 17 March 2013

Elton and Robin's Hood Stride -- A fun walk in the mud

The calendar, though not the weather, says it time to start walking.  Like birds migrating back north, we set out on a walk on Saturday despite the chilly temps and misting rain when we started.  A contributor on the travel forum I often visit frequently says "There's no bad weather; just bad clothing".  I don't fully agree, but having the right gear can certainly help.

You'll notice we have our waterproof jackets and overtrousers on in the photo above.  Though not the best for walking, we also donned our wellies (rubber boots) which turned out to be a very wise move.  Fortunately, the rain stopped before we actually starting walking and the temps even reached the mid-40's (6-7C).

Our  starting point was the small village of Elton, about 35 minutes away; due west of Matlock.   It's not really close to anything of note except for other little villages like Youlgreave and Birchover from which we've started walks as well.
Stats:  4.1 miles, 2:42 (2:04 walking).  Slower pace than usual and you'll see why in a moment.  This walk came from Collins Short Walks in the Peak District (#13).
We actually started at he highest point and did more down & ups than I realized.  Over 1000' total elevation change.

First, the village of Elton.  It had a church (above) and a small primary school and that's it.  No pub, no tea shop, no convenience store that I could find.  Elton used to be a lead mining village.   More on Wiki.

Typical looking house in Elton (taken after the walk but inserted here).

Off we go for our first down and up.

Bundled up in the beginning (about 3C) but after we got moving and the temps rose slightly we were fine.  Hot even.
Did I mention the mud?  This was definitely our muddiest adventure.  So glad we brought the wellies -- one less thing to worry about.  There's one in our group who has had a few issues with footing (hint:  she wears a blue jacket).  Kuk's taking it extra carefully here.  Not the place the slip.

We had a few sections like this which took some time to get through.

Ascending the first hill (a little tired)

Looking back towards Elton and the mud pit we walked through.  It didn't look that bad/obvious from the other direction.

Still some snow in the north facing shade.

Look out!

Lots of stiles on this walk (which also increase the time).

Hmm.  Can't see how I missed this (we had to backtrack slightly).   There were times when there wasn't a clear path (glad for my GPS) and other times where someone had painted some signs (NO WAY or THIS WAY).


Here we go, Robin Hood's Stride (link):

Robin Hood's Stride is a spectacular tor of gritstone rocks perched on a ridge between Harthill Moor and the Alport-Winster road. Legend has it that Robin strode between the tower-like stones at either end of the tor, but this is unlikely because they are 15 metres apart and the ascent of the towers is difficult - especially the southern one.

An alternative local name is 'Mock Beggar's Hall' and from a distance it is easy to imagine the tumbled rocks and turrets being mistaken for fortifications, especially in semi-darkness or mist.

A closer look at the boulders and the water (and man-made) erosion.  The one prominent date is 1885 but of course, someone could have scrawled that at any time.

I decided to have a clamber up.  The best route around the back went through this arch. 

getting closer

the girls down below
and finally joined by the kids

and another

Alex in the arch on the way back down

Alex liked this little seat.  Note the mud on his over-trousers and wellies.  (He had fun today)

One final shot of a different formation with a hint of blue skies for a few minutes.

I've found I generally like the scenery of the Dark Peak walks better and this (White Peak) walk didn't measure up in that respect.  However, it was a nice family day out and we enjoyed ourselves.  It was fun to slip/slide through the mud without having to worry about losing a shoe (or destroying expensive ones).  I wouldn't want to do it every week, but for this one it fit just fine.

The Ultimate Lego?
I made my way over to the Training Centre at work this week and they had (most) of the Trent 1000 engine Lego on display.  This is half scale and contains more than 150,000 pieces (!).  The spinner on front of the fan (top left) is "undergoing maintenance".   Top right is the IP (Intermediate Pressure) Compressor.  Lower left is the HP (High Pressure) Compressor and Combustor.  And the lower right contains the 3 turbines (though the IPT is hidden).   Pretty cool.  [This is the engine project I work on.  There are times when I wish I just had to worry about Legos.]

Here's a full shot from the web.  A short YouTube video can be found here.

Meal of the Week

Still making a new Jamie Oliver Meal when I can.  This one was very unique and surprisingly tasty.  I would never think to combine these ingredients but I'm glad he's done it for me.  This one is Chicken Tikka (Salad) and had an ingredient list a page long (chicken, naan, spinach, lentils, mango chutney, yogurt, cilantro, tomato, carrot, cucumber, chili pepper, spices, etc. etc.).  Risky, but good.

Have a good week everyone.


  1. Very good Post, well written and very thought out. I am looking forward to reading more of your posts in the future and your blogs is marvelous.

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