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!

From Hathersage to Sheffield with clag abounding but not obstructing

26th December 2022

In many ways, this hike follows on from the last one that I did in 2017. It was the first of a pair of moorland rambles that finished in Sheffield city centre in darkness. The second one started from Grindleford to make the most of the shorter hours of December daylight, while this one began from Hathersage to fulfil a possibility that was spotted on that 2017 outing and followed part of the Sheffield Country Walk next to some appealing crags.

Cattis-side Moor, Hathersage, Derbyshire, England

Baulk Lane, Hathersage, Derbyshire, England

Ridgeway Side, Hathersage, Derbyshire, England

The way out from Hathersage shadowed the end of the previous hike. Because of declining light, that had made use of Coggers Lane after Denis Knoll for the sake of easier navigation; my memories of this are that it was quiet because motorised traffic went elsewhere from the car park at Denis Knoll. The views were available to a point at the start, but I entered Hathersage in darkness. This time around, I followed the off-road Baulk Lane on a course that took me to Green’s House via Brookfield Manor and Brontë Cottage.

Stanage Edge from near Green's House, Hathersage, Derbyshire, England

My passing Green’s House was reminiscent of a walk that I undertook more than fifteen years before. Then, I was also bound for Stanage Edge, but I believe that I went north that day and returned to Bamford via Ladybower Reservoir. The walk may even have begun from Bamford, though the mists of time somewhat fog up certainty on that matter. There was even a photo in the online gallery of this website for a time that recalled this, and the approach was from the west back then.

On the way to Dennis Knoll, Hathersage, Derbyshire, England

Stanage Edge from near Dennis Knoll, Hathersage, Derbyshire, England

This time around, I came to green’s House from the south and continued past it to the north, and not the west like the previous time. All the while, sunshine was coming and going, as it had been all day. There was a hazy feel to long-distance views too, with things looking a little claggy from time to time. There also was a piercing east wind, so that also ensured that I kept moving.

Beyond Denis Knoll, Hathersage, Derbyshire, England

Near Buck Stone, Hathersage, Derbyshire, England

Looking towards Stanage Plantation, Hathersage, Derbyshire, England

After Denis Knoll, I was retracing some of the steps that I traipsed the year before. The light was stronger because of the earlier time of day, and the views beckoned me forth. Buck Stone was passed, with Stanage Edge coming ever closer. As I approached, I surveyed the views that lay about me.

Final approach to Stanage Edge, Hathersage, Derbyshire, England

Long Causeway, Hathersage, Derbyshire, England

My lure was Long Causeway, a clear track that led through the crags of Stanage Edge. Tracks like this always appeal to me, so long as there is not too much multi-modal usage. This time around, that was not the case, so I could enjoy what surrounded much like I do on such things in Scotland.

High Neb, Hathersage, Derbyshire, England

The track took me past Stanedge Pole before dropping down to Redmires Reservoirs. The day was advancing, and I needed to be determined if I were to get to Sheffield. There would have been a time when I might have reconsidered my plans, but there was always the fallback of using a head torch later if needed. There was quite a way to go yet.

Redmires Reservoirs, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England

Redmires Plantation, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England

To get to Fullwood Lane, I made use of concessionary paths that were more boggy than that on which I had been travelling. There was some added route finding too as I veered around by White Stones. Nevertheless, I returned to tarmac and set to finding the path leading down to Porter Brook. Now, my course to the heart of Sheffield was largely set.

Light was declining noticeably by then, though, and that took away a little from the enjoyment that I might otherwise have gained. The banks of the watercourse felt wilder than I might have expected. The other surprise was how many were making use of the amenity that late in the day. It was not just stragglers like myself who were pottering about in the dusk. The attraction of more natural surroundings must defy any lack of light for them.

The trail does finish up in Endcliffe Park, and the increasing darkness caused me to bail out around Hanging Water. The rest of the way had me shadowing Porter Brook under street lights with by now tiring limbs. Beyond Endcliffe Park, it was a matter of making for the city’s train station. This was not as easy as walking along the banks of a stream, since improvements for motorised traffic add deflections to any sense of a direct course.

It had been a Sunday filled up with a station to station walk and many delights. If I had been more motivated or less occupied by other matters, I might have got out on Saturday instead. That might have meant an earlier start (trains start later from Macclesfield on Sundays) and hence better lighting on the Sheffield section of the amble. Instead, I was pondering another way to do just that. What was filling my mind was the prospect of another station to station walk: Grindleford to Sheffield. With shorter days, that shorter course might mean that I would not have needed to wait too much longer. In the event, it did not, and that is the next trip report that needs doing.

Travel Arrangements

Outbound train journey from Macclesfield to Hathersage with a change at Manchester Piccadilly. Return train journey from Sheffield to Macclesfield, changing either at Stockport (faster train) or Manchester Piccadilly (slower one); the journey is lost to my recollection now, but my sense is that I would have gone via Stockport for sake of speed and convenience.

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