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.


  1. Hey There-- You definately got artsy with the 2 bolder scenery pictures. Id love a copy. Is that possible? Again Steve, you are doing England right. You're probably the best in shape US family in the world. Love you et all and thanks for keeping me in the know. Helen

  2. Very nice. It looks like we did a pretty good job capturing different parts with our pics.

  3. Agreed. Glad we could share the experience.