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.

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