Peak District Drive Time Journeys - 1st June

Added on by valerie dalling.

At My Feet

I read somewhere once that an artist’s home can seem a bit chaotic at times, with artwork covering every available inch of floor space and the housework taking a back seat, how very true this is.

When I know there’s cleaning to do and an ever growing pile of ironing, it makes it so difficult to tear myself away particularly when the glorious sunshine is streaming through windows which could do with a shammy over them as well. Of course this is said tongue in cheek, and anyway as it could be raining tomorrow I’ll catch up then. Now where’s my shades? Think I’ll take the Wirksworth route today… 

As I reached the bridge heading towards Middleton I caught sight of a sign for Middleton Top to the left which was to be my first stop.

The camera was on the go the moment I pulled up in the car park and stepped out of the car, 

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Time for a quick coffee at the Countryside Centre and a chat to the very helpful staff there, who loaded me up with leaflets and advice on the area. There’s so much to see and do from here with walks, cycle trails and steam heritage, I soon realised that a couple of hours was really not long enough, particularly as I spent most of that time in Redhill Quarry, just across from the car park.

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I’ve already planned to return though and explore further, by organising one of my Walks with the Camera for a group, to coincide with a visit to the Engine House, where we’ll be able to learn more about the winding engine and the Cromford and High Peak Railway.

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It was so lovely here, and all the wildflowers were really pretty and in abundance that I was tempted to stay longer, but this was Drive Time and I needed to move on.

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Heading towards Bakewell, I wasn’t sure at this point where I would be going next, and this is what I love about these days out. When I spend so much time having to be organised it’s so nice to throw caution to the wind for a change, and as I was nearing the roundabout, I saw the sign for Monyash and took a lovely scenic drive until I was stopped in my tracks by a cow near the little hamlet of Crowdecote overlooking the Dove Valley.

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I had to pull the car over pretty quick to get a snap as I loved the way it was perched on the top of the hill, seeming to have quite a commanding presence. I’m not sure on looking at my photograph again though that I held the camera at quite the right angle to emphasise the hill enough, but no matter, hopefully you get the idea!

After driving through the olde worlde charm of Longnor village, I took the turn for Hollinsclough as it was familiar to me from a previous visit to Chrome Hill and Parkhouse Hill. This time though I wanted to take the lower lanes through the village and explore these peaks from the road and more at eye level.

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I wasn’t alone on what I thought would be a particularly quiet stretch of road though, as there seemed to be some kind of Peak Cycling event going on. I imagine it was pretty tough going for the cyclists as they passed me by in very small groups, but ideal cycling country for them, although I did feel slightly guilty for being in the car, particularly when I passed one guy fixing a puncture.

One thing that struck me about this area was the may flower and buttercups, they were everywhere and an absolute picture. Even as I stepped out the car the meadow buttercups at the roadside were just wonderful.

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I also came across a field of Haflinger ponies which I spent some time watching and photographing, before meeting the farmer who told me they originated in Austria and Northern Italy…it’s been interesting to find out a little bit more about these lovely animals, since being introduced to them.

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I realise there are more photographs than words in this blog but I make no apologies as I had a good day with the camera but it was time to head home.

The final image of the day was taken as I was driving back to Bakewell, On a hill near the village of Chelmorton preparations had clearly been underway for the impending World Cup.

See you on my next Drive Time.

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