On Friday I left work at 1pm to meet up with my pal Dave (M0VMC) to head up to the Peak District to do some walking. On our way we’d stopped off to check out a huge hole in the ground that was left as a result of about 3500 tons of stockpiled explosives all going off at one time. It’s known as the Fauld Crater, located next to Hanbury, Staffs.
It was a short walk (check out the GPS log – 2.9km /1.8mi ) across a couple of fields to get to the craters edge. It’s quite the hole, and must have been one hell of a bang back in the day when it up, then apparently came back down, all over Staffordshire.
We’d got a bit of a late start on Saturday so it was pretty long day. We’d started our walk at about 1130am, should really have been about 930am haha but meh it’s Saturday after all.
In the above photos you could see the sun was shining nicely, well that didn’t last too long. Shortly after walking past the old train station we’d got into rain and took shelter under a tree for about 15 or 20 mins not wanting to actually having to dig out our wet weather gear, we’d just wait it out.
We’d stopped at Hobb’s Cafe that has a spectacular view of Monsal Dale and the Viaduct in the valley
Having enjoyed a coffee and a chance to get out of the rain again we’d set off down into the valley below. We’d actually ended up taking the “wrong” way down, it wasn’t the way down we’d planned to take but it was still just as nice. We did get a bit worried when we’d approached a place we thought we should have been using to cross the river and were faced with with this…
This was clearly not going to be our way across the river. We’d figured we might have to head back up the hill and down the other path. But since we’d come this far we consulted the map more closely and it appeared there should be either a small bridge or more likely some stepping stones to get across a bit further down stream. We were relieved to find a small bridge.
The rest of this part of the trail until we crossed the A6. We’d search for another Geocache just on the other side of the A6 and after about 20 mins of chasing the GPS needles we had to admit defeat. I didn’t bother loading up my phone with the details of the cache so we had no clues to work on and no phone signal to be able to look it up. So, it was a good time to stop for lunch here. While looking for the cache we’d found this cave near by.
Having consumed our lunch and had a nice break we set off on what would be the worse part of the route, little did we know it (we should have I suppose, but meh, why bother paying attention to all those brown contour lines on the map). Well, to be honest it wasn’t so much a bunch of brown contour lines, it was more like big wide brown streak haha
There was quite a significant climb up of about 700 or so feet on a 35-45 degree slope, made extra nice going by the rain we’d had that morning. All I can say is I’m glad we were going up and not down, that would have been a hell of a ride down over all those rocks.
The photos don’t really do justice to the actual grade on the hill.
Having finally gotten to the top and totally winded from that we had a pretty uneventful few miles with nothing but just some awesome scenery provided courtesy the Deberyshire countryside.
The rest of the walk back into Bakewell was pleasant except for when we had to pull our out rain gear. With nothing to shelter under and about 300 meters of open fields to cross before getting to anything that might have helped us, the choices were clear haha. Typical too, the rain had only lasted about 5 or 6 mins, we’d have been soaked without the rain gear but what can you do.
The last 2 miles or so were a real slog, everything was starting to ache from the pounding we’d been giving our legs and feet. Interestingly enough though, neither of us were suffering from blisters or anything. The soles of my feet were 100% fine, which for me was a first after a long walk like this.
We’d arrived back in Bakewell around 7pm and stopped for dinner in a pub in town before heading back to the car park and heading back to Cambridge. Our total time from leaving the car and getting back to it was 8h 27m, of that included about 1 hour for dinner at the end and about another 90 mins or so of stops and breaks.
We’d arrived back in Cottenham around 1030pm after a very long day. I had a nice hot bath after getting my pack unloaded and wet gear hung up to dry and dirty clothing into the wash. Then it was to bed for a very nice sound sleep.
All of the photos from day can be seen HERE
I can’t wait for the next walk….