On my last trip I came across a potential route extension to the west of Edale, that would include an elevated ridge-type walk, ultimately dropping down towards Hayfield. This week I thought I might take this route, heading out to Castleton to give myself a different starting point.
I just about caught the 09:00 bus, (272), from Ecclesall Road/Hunters Bar, after leaving 45 minutes to get down there from home. Definitely going to make it an hour next time. The sun was out, though when shaded or in the wind, the temperature dropped considerably. The forecast was given as being changeable, a statement whose manifestation was one of the defining features of the day.
After alighting from the bus, and taking a few minutes to sort myself out, I set off down the main road out of Castleton proper, heading towards Treak Cliff. I took the path up and contoured around to the shop at the Blue John Cavern where the south-west face of Mam Tor shined in the sunlight. A couple of groups of guided climbers were aligned along the bottom of the scree-strewn face, oblivious to the weather system that was quite obviously coming in from the north-west, (the first picture doesn’t quite do it justice).
Clear but cold the forecast promised, a good day to test out my new Buffalo perhaps? What with this potentially being the last of our winter weather I gave it a go anyway.
I arrived just in time at the station and took the usual train out from Sheffield to Edale, (09:14). It wasn’t as busy as I’d have thought it would be, what with the forecast being what it was.
I’d made rudimentary plans to do this route a few weeks ago, but work and other engagements had me put it off. However now there’s an extended version of this route here. From Edale station I would take a path heading to Barber Booth, from out of the back of platform 1. The path crosses the railway line twice, once heading north’ish when reaching Shaw Wood Farm, and once heading south just as you reach Barber Booth. The connecting path and stile/gate between the bridge and the path at Shaw Wood Farm is annoyingly concealed. It exists in a little driveway that otherwise says ‘No Entry’ on a gate at it’s end and should you not notice it, you will have to walk the long way round as I did.
Saturday saw my better half Sarah and I head back to Edale. It’s been a while since she had the opportunity to head out so we thought we’d keep it simple and head for the Downfall via Grindsbrook, whilst perhaps taking a detour from the main path, making our way into the boggy depths of the plateau to traverse the largely unmarked ‘summit’, (I’m not entirely sure if you can call it such). Considering that we spend so much time around Kinder, it’s quite surprising that we’ve never actually bothered with the full 636m before, though considering that it’s mostly just peat-boggy scrubland in there, it’s no real wonder! However, peat bogs can be remarkably fun if you’re in the right company, plus we came across what must be the only tree on the whole plateau, (or at least I don’t remember ever seeing one up there before)!