Friday, 18 February 2011

Biggin Dale

Occasionally, though you're glad to be free of the working week, you find that you're not quite ready for the weekend. And that was the case last weekend. We'd only decided where to go on Wednesday evening, and not packed with any kind of thought and attention hurriedly stuffing the items we could think of into our packs. Never a good idea.

We found ourselves at the Waterloo Inn camp site trying to find all the bits of the tent and put it up in the dark and the rain in a field where the pegs didn't seem too keen on going into the ground. So despite the tastiest fish in the crispiest batter with the most perfect salty chips that we'd eaten in the car on the way up, frustrations were high and we were thinking maybe we should have waited til Saturday to start the weekend.

We slept well though and were happy to be woken in the morning by the cockerel who sounded like he was being strangled. Saturday was a beautiful day with the sun shining and by 9.30 we'd eaten some porridge and were headed off for our day's walk. Dovedale was our very first trip, and we were back in the area to see how it compared now that we had been further afield.

We set off across the field opposite the pub, then walked along Liff's Road past fields of sheep with newborn lambs. We were using the Back Country Navigator Android app rather than a map testing it out if you like to see how good it was (what I mean to say, dare I admit it on the blog, was we accidentally brought the Dark Peak map with us and left the map we needed at home!).

We turned onto the footpath down towards Coldeaton. We then turned down across a field, just before Dove Top Farm and began dropping downwards to the valley floor. We were all alone, the sun was streaming through the trees and the landscape was glorious, luscious White Peak. As we headed down to the River Dove, it was just as perfect as that first walk, providing a wonderful feeling of happy contentment.

Of course, walking along the Dove we were no longer alone but we were enjoying it so much that we ignored the turning for Biggin Dale and continued on up Wolfscote Dale. I felt like I could have walked for ever, so a scramble up the scree was just what I needed to waste some energy. After lunch we retraced our steps, the view looking satisfyingly different from the opposite direction and turned up Biggin Dale.

Biggin Dale wasn't quite as I expected. It was muddy and rocky underfoot and as we walked the landscape quickly changed from the limestone outcrops behind us to more rolling tree covered hillsides. We headed back to Biggin, checking out the village for some fresh eggs. Our curiosity was peaked by a sign for turkey eggs but sadly no-one was home so I can't tell you how they tasted.

After a very enjoyable day's walk our love for the area surrounding the Dove was definitely rekindled.

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