The weather has been atrocious over the last few weeks, high winds, lots of rain and generally just a little bit grim. I was dying to get out for a walk in between xmas and new year and it just so happened there was a small weather window. I had mentioned to my friend Adrian @TurboStream that it would great to meet up if we could arrange a day and thankfully we were both free when the window arrived. We made our plans to meet a the Ilam Monument at 9am the following morning and I quickly pulled out an old route I’d done in the past for us to have a go at.
The following morning the weather was exactly as promised, a lovely crisp winter morning with not a cloud in the sky. I arrived at Ilam at around 8.45am so I took that time to record my first ever AudioBoo with my new Zoom H1 that Santa Claus (my girlfriend) had given me for xmas.
Adrian arrived at 9am, we got our boots on, rucksacks out and then headed off over the fields towards the mouth of DoveDale. As usual the fields here were rather muddy which was a good opportunity to christen Adrian’s new hiking boots, thankfully it’s only a short walk over the fields before you’re at the main car park at Dove Dale, then the going is good all the way to Milldale.
We meandered along the side of the river Dove and in no time at all we were at the Stepping Stones, we both recorded another snippet of Audio here, me with my Zoom H1 and Adrian with his Zoom H2N.
After the Stepping Stones we walked and talked our way all the way up to Ilam Rock, we paused for a moment at the bridge there before continuing on towards Milldale past the Dove Holes.
In the busier parts of the year there is a little tuck shop at Milldale where my friend Andy and I have got a coffee and cake refuel on previous occasions. Unsurprisingly it wasn’t open today but keep your eye open for it if you visit in the future.
We then took the road towards Hope Dale for a short while before turning south westward along the path at SK 1380 5475. The route then rises sharply upwards through the trees until you appear out on open farmland where great views of the surrounding White Peak are on offer (If the weather is on your side). We then picked up the track that leads down to Stanshope before heading due south along the road at SK 1277 5419, when we reached SK 1272 5377 we took the path over the fields once more that heads in a south westerly direction. I remember seeing these particular breed of cows on a previous visit, thanks to Louise from Ramblings of a Roachling and also Ian Morton from Stridingahead.co.uk for letting me know they are called Belted Galloways.
The next part of the walk sees you skirt around the western side of a farm marked as Castern on the OS Map, the path has been rerouted here to avoid the buildings and I can imagine the farmer got sick of us walkers traipsing through his yard. Before you head down to the farm road make sure you cast your eyes up Manifold Dale and over to the West, for some reason this particular view over to Throwley Cott reminds me of the Shire from the Lord of the Rings / Hobbit Movies.
Through a gate we went, then it is a sharp, slippery but short slope down to the farm track. We then followed the road all the way down as it meandered to SK 1225 5215 where we picked up the path that goes through the field to the river Manifold. Alternatively you could skip this bit and just continue down the farm track to the road. The next landmark you are looking for as you walk along the road is a footpath leading off the road at SK 1285 5174 which follows the river down to Ilam hall. This particular section of the walk is rather pleasant as you follow the river Manifold down towards the Hall, I remember coming here in Autumn a few years ago and the colours of the forest on the opposite side of the river were stunning.
The Manifold Tea Rooms at the Hall serves a particularly nice slice of cake and good coffee so it would have been rude not to stop. Adrian and I had been pretty lucky and had the hills and dales to ourselves up until now. The Hall is owned by the National Trust and the visitors were all arriving at the time as us, it was just before lunch so everyone seemed to have the same idea and the Tea Rooms were pretty full.
After a nice coffee and a slab of cake I decided that the perfect place to give my new Micro Drone 2.0 a test flight would be on the grass outside the hall itself. It’s a great little gadget and I’m hoping the footage it is capable of capturing will come in handy for my videos in the future, The video above is a quick test from the flight outside the hall.
After I had finished playing with my Christmas presents, Adrain and I headed past the church and the joined the road where our cars were parked. It had been a great walk and it was equally as great to finally get to meet a good friend that I’ve known online for a few years now. I think we had both planned to record more Audio than we did with our Zoom devices but we were too busy talking to mess with the gadgets 🙂
Check out the AudioBoo above that Adrian recorded on the day, he records some fantastic walking Boos so why not visit his page on AudioBoo.fm