Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Solomon's Temple and Buxton Country Park

We've become familiar with Buxton as a place to pass through on the way to Manchester (up and over Derbyshire's Peak District is a prettier drive than up the M6), but we usually head straight through. Last weekend we decided to have an afternoon out in Buxton itself, or more precisely at the Country Park just outside of town.

It's always better in my opinion to start a walk by heading upwards, leaving the downhill section for later when you're tired. This plan didn't quite work (actually, not at all). The lower car park was full with folk on the Go Ape course or going into Poole's Cavern, so we headed uphill by car and parked not far from Grin Low Hill and its folly, Solomon's Temple.

There was still a steepish bit of walking before getting to the gentler open moor but it was well worth the leg-stretch.

The views are good from ground level, but a twisting staircase leads up inside the 'temple' and from its battlements they're magnificent - you can see for miles in all directions.

Buxton looking hazy in the valley below 
Views for miles from the top of Solomon's Temple

Next came the easy bit - downhill to Poole's Cavern, through flower filled moorland, then following one of several woodland paths that lead across the hillside.

Along the way are carvings of the fossils to be found in the local limestone and of lime-kiln workers once employed here.

The Duke of Devonshire of the time didn't like his view of the quarrying and lime-burning, so planted the hillside with trees to hide it, thus taking the first step towards creating today's country park.

Having walked down, and gathered our energy over a cup of tea, we were faced with 'up'. I thought picking a more circuitous route would mean I'd picked a gentler, more gradual uphill trek - I hadn't!

Steep steps gave way to shallower ones though, open glades filled with flowers gave me an excuse to stop for breath, and occasionally the path even flattened out, which was nice, and soon we were back on the moorland,

The sheep weren't impressed by our adventure though, preferring to continue their eating :)

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Yet another sunset, and too many flies - by the canal at Shardlow

 A few weeks ago we went walking by the canal at Shardlow for the first time - very pleasant and interesting it was too. So when, in the middle of a busy week, we were returning home and passing nearby I suggested we stop for a sunset walk alongside the canal, but walk in the other direction, it seemed like a good idea.
It wasn't, not really.
Parking in the same spot, we walked in the opposite direction, away from the village and towards the junction with the river Derwent.

 The first mistake was following a bridlepath used by horse-riders, with the inevitable droppings - it was absolutely buzzing with flies!
Also, I hadn't realised there was a sewage works nearby - though it didn't smell, it too was home to a lot of flies, who then decided to eat me. Probably earlier, or later, in the year, maybe even in the day, they wouldn't have been such a problem, but they were enough to make me turn round earlier than intended. The next day I counted a dozen bites down one arm, and a slightly lesser number on the other. Argh!

Turning back, and now following the canal path, things improved.

The waters looked serene and tranquil, the sunset over the marina a fiery red, but it's a spot I'll avoid till colder weather

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Another sunset - Allestree Park

It's been too hot to go for a walk (and keep up my Fitbit steps) during the day, so a brief outing in the evening has had to do. There's the advantage with that of catching the sunset. So we found ourselves one evening out at Allestree park, by the golf course, wandering around waiting for the sun to set.

Out previous visits there have always been at the lower end of the park, where there's a lake, but I expected the sunset to be masked from there by the slope and trees. Instead we parked at the higher end and walked through woodland to the golf course from where there's a wonderful view over Derby and beyond.

We still weren't in a good 'sunset' spot, so returned to the car park up a steeper hill than I was expecting and past some interesting fungi - artist's fungus according to my Twitter friends - then crossed the road and followed a public footpath through a harvested field which had good all round views - and a lovely sunset :)

Saturday, 27 July 2019

Locko Sunset

Not much to say about these pics really. A lovely evening walk along the public footpaths through Locko Estate. 

I don't know how I forgot for so long that such a tranquil spot was almost on my doorstep.

Friday, 26 July 2019

A Quick Visit to Chatsworth

We haven't been to Chatsworth so much this year but with our youngest daughter home for the weekend we decided it was time for a visit.

This summer Chatsworth are celebrating all things canine. In the garden we encountered a giant dog sculpture made from scaffolding poles and spotted cleverly planted floral displays of paw prints and silhouettes. There's more to the exhibition inside the house, but as it's on till October we didn't rush to see it this time.

A walk round a garden feels like quite gentle exercise but I find Chatsworth an excellent place to clock up my 10,000 steps without really realising.

We wandered past the rose garden just coming into full bloom, climbed among the rocks to the top of the Stryd to look down over the Round Pond

and on into the more informal setting of the Pinetum

A new feature for this year is a colourful wildflower bed along the side of the Canal Pond. Sadly its riot of colour doesn't show up well on my photos

The day was warm (thankfully not as hot as this last week) but overcast, so there wasn't enough sunshine to spark rainbows on the Emperor Fountain.