Chesil Beach & the Fleet, Dorset

Chesil Beach & the Fleet, Dorset
Chesil Beach & the Fleet, Dorset

Monday, 16 May 2011

Derbyshire (contd.)

Ladybower Reservoir

The Ladybower and Derwentwater reservoirs run into each other. They lie amidst beautiful scenery, and there's a good car park and visitors centre at the junction of the two. Unfortunately (in some respects) there's not been a lot of rain recently, so the water level was quite low.

One of the newest attractions at Ladybower, is a children's nature trail, where all the trees are named, and the woodland is full of charming characters like these:


Funny, but I'd ridden past this point a couple of times, without realising what a treat was in store. Anyhow, I stopped in a layby to rest my wrists after a particularly hard ride, and while I had a cigarette, I idly looked over the stone wall. What I saw took my breath away.
The valley lay below me, bathed in late afternoon sunshine, with a cute row of four cottages nestled at the bottom.


If you go up through Ashford-in-the-Water, and stay on that road, you come to a car park called Monsal Head. There's a bar and a lovely little cafe there, and the views over Monsaldale are spectacular.
There's a walk down from there, through the dale, over a disused railway viaduct, which has been tarmacced over. If you're into walking, it's one of the prettiest walks anywhere.

I can heartily recommend Hobbs Cafe - but be warned - if you think a tuna and cucumber sandwich is a light snack, then think again!

New Mills

The town itself is nothing out of the ordinary, although pretty enough, but the Torrs Riverside park and the Millenium Walkway are something else!

The Torrs Riverside Park, deep below the town was until the opening of the aerial walkway divided by an impasse between the historic Torr Vale Mill and the equally imposing railway retaining wall. Dramatically described by The Guardian as the last inaccessible place in England. The aerial Walkway provided an innovative and futuristic solution to this age old problem of access. Described as ’a steel spiders web,' the walkway clings to the vertical gritstone rock face and spans the enormous railway retaining wall, cantilevered out over the River Goyt.

Completed in 1999, the walkway provides a link in Europe's premier walking route, E2 which passes through New Mills on its way from Stranraer in Scotland, via Dover, to Nice in France.


Another of the little villages that seem to abound in this area. The large church is known as 'the Cathedral of the Peaks' This is the War Memorial, in the centre of the village


(sometimes called Youlgreave) This is the village where I stayed, in the George Hotel, which is a large friendly pub in the centre of the village, next to the church.

The church has some impressive, almost friendly looking gargoyles all around the top of the tower

In the centre of the village, is the Fountain Head, which feeds half a dozen well taps scattered around the village. Youlgrave is one of the villages renowned for their annual well-dressing displays.

Right behind the Fountain Head, is a tiny one-up one-down cottage, called Thimble Hall. Sadly, it is disused and currently in a poor state of repair. Nevertheless, it's an interesting building.

The other building of note, is the former Co-Operative Store. Although now a Youth Hostel, the gold leaf labelling on the window still exists, and the magnificence of the building points to the former wealth of this village, which has 3 pubs, a church and two chapels.

Sunday, 15 May 2011


Well, back from the first trip away of the year, to Derbyshire, and specifically, the High Peaks area. There are many more places I wish I could have stopped and taken pictures, but either the weather or the terrain, or in some cases, both, conspired against me.


Ashford lies just off a main road and you only catch a glimpse of it unless you deliberately tuen into the village and stop to take a look
The prettiest spot is the Sheepwash Bridge.
It was originally a medieval packhorse bridge and it is only until recently, that sheep were washed here prior to shearing. The lambs would be penned within the stone-walled pen on one side of the river, whilst the mothers would be thrown in at the other side. They would naturally swim across to their offspring, thus ensuring a good soaking. The bridge has been closed to traffic for a number of years now.


Buxton is a spa town in Derbyshire, England. It has the highest elevation of any market town in England.Located close to the county boundary with Cheshire to the west and Staffordshire to the south, Buxton is described as "the gateway to the Peak District National Park". There are many pictures on the web of the beautiful buildings, but I spent a sunny couple of hours walking around the beautiful Pavillion Gardens, behind the Opera House


My husband's family originate in the Castleton/Hope/Edale area, so a visit to Castleton held specific interest for me, and sure enough, in the local museum in the Heritage Centre, I found a photogtaph of one of his ancestors.
From the North-East, you can, if you're brave enough, approach the town via the awesome Winnats Pass. This is a mile-long 'hole in the ground' which easily rivals the Cheddar Gorge in its' spectacle. The road is narrow, and drops down a 1 in 5 incline for its entire length. It is so bad, they attempted to bypass it with a new road, but due to its proximity to Mam Tor, the 'shivering mountain', the new road kept slipping and in the 1970s was abandoned to its fate.

The town itself is overlooked by the impressive ruin of Peveril Castle

Shortly after 1066, William The Conqueror started building castles all over the country and the one at Castleton was given to his son, William Peveril in 1086, and so became Peveril Castle. The keep was added later, in 1176. It never saw battle and was occupied as a dwelling until 1480. The village grew up under the protection of the castle.

Derwent Valley Mills Heritage Centre

In December 2001, the Derwent Valley Mills in Derbyshire became inscribed as a World Heritage Site. This international designation confirms the outstanding importance of the area as the birthplace of the factory system where in the 18th Century water power was successfully harnessed for textile production.
Stretching 15 miles down the river valley from Matlock Bath to Derby, the World Heritage Site contains a fascinating series of historic mill complexes, including some of the world's first 'modern' factories.


Eyam is one of the best-preserved villages in the vicinity and is the famous 'plague village', which went into voluntary quarantine when the plague was imported from London in 1665.

Every September, they roast a whole sheep in the centre of the village, to celebrate the survivors of the plague

The village stocks outside the old market hall

The unusual sundial on Eyam church