Outdoor Discoveries

What originally was a news section for the rest of the website soon became a place for me to write about human-powered wanderings in the countryside. Photography inspires me to get out there, mostly on foot these days, though cycling got me started. Musings on the wider context of outdoor activity complete the picture, so I hope that there is something of interest in all that you find here. Thank you for coming!

Littered with little walks

30th September 2012

One thing that I have noticed about the Derbyshire Dales is that many of the walks around there are short affairs. That would explain how I fitted in two on the same day last May. Also, a few weeks ago, I got to take in yet another: a trot from Thorpe to Hartington that followed the course of the River Dove that followed up on last May’s venture.

Since part of the course that I followed was a busy stretch, I have been looking at what else the area has to offer. The sunny day had drawn out families and they seemed to be everywhere, walking much further than I would normally expect. Usually, strollers like these are left after one quickly but the more level terrain and the beautiful day must have encouraged them.

Looking through Cicerone’s White Peak Walks: The Southern Dales by Mark Richards revealed good supply of walks in the area, many of them short. With the hours of daylight now declining, that attribute could be a handy one for hibernation avoidance this winter. Options like Thorpe Cloud and others look promising and may offer less hemmed in savouring of the delights that are to be found around there.

The northern Derbyshire Dales but there seem to be longer walks there than in their southern counterparts if what’s in Cicerone’s White Peak Walks: The Northern Dales (again by Mark Richards). Still, they offer possibilities for shorter days that I feel inclined to investigate, especially those that are near at hand to those using public transport. One’s that catch my notice are possibilities near Tideswell, Castleton and Bradwell since I haven’t been around those parts for a while.

For when longer hours of daylight are restored to us again, there’s Vertebrate Publishing’s Day Walks in the Peak District by Norman Taylor and Barry Pope. These aren’t limited to the White Peak with Dark Peak routes also included. However, they will fill a day nicely and without having to cut out a leisurely midday lunch either. One suggestion in there takes in Longnor and Crowdecote and that involves a deep sided valley that hosts the upper reaches of the River Dove. There are plenty of others that I could use though and an earlier start is a possibility since the Peak District is on my doorstep.

For walks that are even closer by me, there’s Eastern Cheshire Walks: From Peak to Plain by Graham Beech from Sigma Leisure. Having had a trot home from Bollington that took in the Saddle of Kerridge and Tegg’s Nose on a wonderfully sunny afternoon. It left me wondering why I don’t make more of the local area and why it is that some nearby hummocks only get an annual visit when I should do better than that. Maybe I need to peruse this little green book a few times in an effort to address that state of affairs.

Speaking of a certain remiss, the western side of Cheshire always seems to be devoid of my attention. The idea of walking from Frodsham to Delamere train station along the Sandstone Trail has occurred to me but things have got no further than that. That trail has its own guide too in the form of Walking Cheshire’s Sandstone Trail by Tony Bowerman. This is an attractive glossily presented affair from Northern Eye Books and it looks as if needs more than has been the case up to now. As that were not enough, there’s also Walks in West Cheshire and Wirral by Jen Darling from the same publisher. Some of the walks in there are short too, which could be handy for a quick sortie. That’s not all either because Mara Books, an imprint of Northern Eye Books, have produced Circular Walks around the Sandstone Trail by Carl Rogers so I should not be short of walking ideas for a part of Cheshire that I scarcely have frequented up to now.

All in all, there should be plenty from the above to fuel shorter and longer escapades in Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire. With those shorter hours of daylight around the corner, they could have a use. What needs doing is not to make the walks feel longer than they are and to summon the energy needed to get out of doors in the first place. Sometimes life events and weather forestall that but my design of at least one walk per month has been bearing up well since May so here’s hoping.

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