Sunday, 28 April 2013

Derwent Moors and Ladybower Reservoir

Ah, another week and another fine walk.  As you can see, this time we were joined by our friends the Seppanens (blog link).  Jay joked that he likes walking with us because I plan it all out and he doesn't have to do anything.  It's a fair trade because Karl keeps Alex distracted by listening to his endless gaming questions.  [Lori -- we missed you again on this one.  Is it a coincidence that we do these combined walks when you are in the States?  :-) ]

We really enjoyed this one as it had varied scenery (and as it turns out weather), had a nice pub near the end and was a good distance for the crew.   Highly recommended.

The weather forecast wasn't the best but it looked like we had a few windows of opportunity.  We got an early start to give us the best chance.  You really just have to give it a go here because it will rarely be perfect (and rarely consistently miserable).

We cast the net a little further on this one.  The walk was in the Dark Peak near the Ladybower Reservoir.  The Ladybower Reservoir was the third of three reservoirs created by damming the Derwent River in the first half of the 1900s to fulfill the growing water needs of the area (due to the Industrial Revolution).   Collectively, they provide practically all the water needs of Derbyshire and some of South Yorkshire.

Since the starting point was farther north than usual, I opted to take the longer, motorway route (to avoid the A6) which took just over an hour.  This had us go through Sheffield for the first time.  Can't say we've missed much there.

The starting point for the walk was a large lay-by near the Cutthroat Bridge on the A57.  [The name traces back to a murder almost 400 years ago where a man was found with a slashed throat that later became fatal. (link)].  It passes through the Derwent Moors and later has views of the Ladybower Reservoir (we went counter-clockwise (anti-clockwise for my UK friends) around the loop (also recommended)).

Stats for the 7 of us:  5.4 miles in just over 4 hours (2:34 moving; 1:36 not moving, including a pub lunch).  I like the fact that 5 miles qualifies as a short walk for us now!

This route was in 2 different walking books that I had.  One had a shorter route (the pink cut through) and another had a longer version.  Glad we did the longer one as some of the best views were along that ridge.  You can see from the light blue tracking trace that we inadvertently started down the the more obvious shorter route before realizing that we need to backtrack.  I was too busy yakking with Jay.

The first bit of the walk was through some sheep fields.   We had a hard drizzle at this point.  It wasn't too bad and we all were generally prepared for that level.  I've heard that some say there is no bad weather, just bad clothing.  Not sure I fully agree, but we didn't get to that point on this walk fortunately.

 more baby sheep (Nicole requested that I not call them lambs, since, you know, that's what we, um, eat)

 momma coming over to protect the babes -- quintessential stone fence as well

 random horse amongst the sheep -- he/she seemed out of place

after the fields, we reach the moors -- I like the contrast of the browns with the greens.  We saw quite a few birds in this portion of the walk.  I'm fairly certain they were grouse.  Too distant and camouflaged for a photo though.

a nice sample of the scenery

after a decent, steady climb we start to get a hint of the valley on the other side -- the clouds look ominous but they didn't open up (in fact, it had stopped raining at this point)

Ah, the first peak at the reservoir on the other side.  We walked along the ridge for a bit with varying views like this one.

Nice one of the boys taking in the view.  Karl is 3 years older than Alex and shows great patience with him.

Tried to get a little artsy here though not sure I pulled it off.  This is a view to our left/south (i.e. the other direction from the other shots above).

another of the reservoir from a different vantage point -- you can see we are getting some sunny interludes at this point

taking in two parts of the reservoir and the bridge

 closer view of the bridge with the sun shining now

 and another

we walked down off the ridge and into a pine forest (not shown) for yet more varied terrain -- we then entered this gnarly forest

It's tough to see, but at this point it started hailing on us.   That came up really quick.

Fortunately, we were close to our lunch stop.  By going the counter-clockwise direction we took the more gradual ascent and it also put the Ladybower Inn closer to the end.  Nice little pub.

I even splurged for a proper lunch -- lamb chops were the special of the day and I couldn't resist. 

Finally, the homestretch from the pub to the car and this typical moor-ish scenery. 

Great walk and a nice lunch.  Glad the Seppanens could join us.  I've already picked out another walk further up (and on the other side) of the reservoir.  Looking forward to that one as well.

Another Round of Food

a few more items from Jamie's 15-minute meals this week

Chicken Cacciatore--decent, but not in the top 10 

 a repeat, but photo worthy -- salmon and cod with lime, honey and sesame and . . .

a side of crunchy veg on noodles (that you can't see)

Have a good week everyone.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Walking Kedleston and Chatsworth

I am absolutely knackered.  Happy, but knackered.  We had a picture perfect day on Saturday and a half-way decent day today (Sunday) so it was time to get some more walking in.  Counting my normal evening walk Friday, a walk with Alex to Park Farm for haircuts on Saturday and the two walks below, I logged nearly 17 miles for the weekend.  Not bad!

We hadn't planned on doing anything on Saturday as we had lined up dentist and haircut appointments, weekly shopping and a Korean food run.  However, it was one of those rare great weather days so we had to work something in.  The fact that our dentist called in "sick" sped the process along.  [I have a sneaking suspicion that our friendly dentist had a severe case of the "sunny, clear blue skies".  I appreciate the Saturday appointments but this isn't our first cancellation.]

Warning:  lots of animal photos!  This is a great time to get out and see the new lambs.


With my chores/appointments complete (and Kuk's blessing) I took the kids to our "neighborhood" manor home, Kedleston.   (It's about 10 minutes from our house).  We combined the "short walk" behind the house and a chunk of the woodland walk.  Totals:  4.1 miles in 1:47 with only 13 minutes of stationary time.  Nice job kids!

As I mentioned, the weather was about perfect -- sunny, clear skies and about 15C/60F.

I've done this walk a number of times now and I always take this shot looking down the hill to a neighbor's house with sheep in the field.

 the rolling field (of sheep) at Kedleston

another regular shot -- Kedleston from the back hill

 our first view of some of the new lambs



we also saw a few pheasants -- 3 on this walk I believe (I didn't try to count the sheep)

We actually stuck our heads in the church on the grounds (for the first time).  The church was started in Norman times (i.e. 1066+ but probably late 1100's) and largely completed in the 13th and 14th centuries though significantly altered in the 15th, 17th and 18th centuries.  I think this is Lord George Curzon and his wife Mary from the early 1900s.  I liked this tomb with the caretakers (?) looking over them.

 more babies (Nicole insisted that I put in most of the lamb shots)

Kedleston from the front

a few cows and swans for good measure

As we were rounding out the walk and heading back to the house along the entrance road, we briefly walked pass the adjacent golf course.  Our friend (and one of Nicole's teachers) Derek is a member there.  I jokingly thought about saying something to the kids.  As we walked farther I heard someone shouting our names, and it was Derek!  Talk about your coincidences.  There's really only one (or two) holes that are by the road and to pass by just at that time.  Too funny.

Sunday -- Chatsworth

Our planned activity was for Sunday.  Ironically, it was a similar type of walk around the Chatsworth estate.  But like everything at Chatsworth, it was bigger and better.  We essentially did two 4-5 miles walks.  The first was around back in Stand Wood (the bit on the right on the map above).  We then did the loop around Edensor, Calton Pasture and Calton Lees.  Both were nice, but we preferred the second one.

We broke up the two walks with a nice lunch at the Tea Rooms in Edensor.  That enabled us to log the miles without it seeming too hard.  Weather was a tick or two cooler and became cloudy, but not too bad (i.e. not cold or rainy).

Stats:  8.5 miles in 5:13 though 3:30 of moving time.  A chunk of that downtime was lunch.   Surprisingly little moaning/whinging and in fact, the troops all did well.

The Seppanens were going to join us for this one until they found something better to do (JK Jay).  Perhaps they are glad they did!

nice little waterfall as we get on our way to Stand Wood behind Chatsworth

 a peek at some flowering trees inside the Chatsworth grounds (through the forest on the outside)

 Swiss Lake

The Hunting Tower -- your family of 4 can stay here for £1674/week in the summer (lower at other times)

 or walk up here to see the great views for free-- (although I did pay £3 for parking)

 from the front w/ Alex

 another view -- the village of Edensor (our lunch spot) is in the distance

back down the hill to Chatsworth -- Queen Mary's Bower  [legend has it that Mary, Queen of Scots, was able to "take her air" here while a prisoner at Chatsworth]

ah, more sheep and lambs

 walking towards Edensor now, looking back at Chatsworth with the cascade fountain on the right

 Edensor in the background -- nice little village

Check this out from wiki:   

Edensor (pronounced "Ensor") is a village in Derbyshire, England. It is the closest village to Chatsworth House and much of it belongs to the Dukes of Devonshire. Originally the village was close to the River Derwent immediately below Chatsworth, but the Dukes had it moved out of sight over a hill, apart from one cottage whose tenant did not want to move, which still stands in Chatsworth Park. 

You know you have too much money/power when . . . 

 we liked the rolling hills (and the animals) on this part of the walk

 Chatsworth in the distance

a little tough to see, but this was a herd of deer on the grounds

and another in the distance -- I believe they have fallow and red deer on the grounds.  As you can see, both were in the distance and too far for my little camera.  The others got a better look with the binoculars.  Pretty neat.

another shot back to the house--check out the Hunting Tower in the upper left (we get around)

 and here come the lambs

this is England to me and what I will remember most -- rolling fields, sheep, stone fences and hills in the background

quite a few more pheasants on this walk -- I think we counted 10 or more.  One made a noise when we were close and then we realized that many of them do so it was easier to find them after that.

 more lambs -- many of them were quite playful (amongst themselves, we did not try to approach)

 3 more

the River Derwent as we head down the home stretch back to the house (and more importantly, parking lot)

 getting closer

 two more lambs first though

Great day and great weekend.  I was proud of the troops for hanging in there on this long walk.   We've got next weekend open so hopefully the weather cooperates and we can get out again

Food--more home cookin'

After trying some old standbys for the last few weeks I decided to crack open my favorite cookbook, Jamie Oliver's 15-minute meals, and try some new things this week.  More to come, but here are the first two of the week.

baked rainbow trout with smoked pancetta, almonds and thyme -- yummy

 with a side of new potatoes, peas and "broad" (fava) beans -- I thought it was fine but Kuk wasn't a big fan

next night:  shrimp cocktail (salad)--not bad but not a top ten either

 kid's version (no tomatoes, avocado, or dressing)

 Have a good week everyone.  Thanks for reading.