Derbyshire Trip 2014

The club's annual weekend at Derwent Forest in Derbyshire took place from 3rd to 6th October, attended by 20 in all including 4 guests.

The fifth(?) visit to Darwin Forest Holiday Park near Matlock was a great success.  Great thanks are due to John Mansfield and Penny for their meticulous planning of the walks and to Alan Haines for the accommodation arrangements.  The chalets which have always been excellent were even better this year as they had all been refurbished and were as good as new.  As well as the 8 Priory couples it was good to welcome Robert and Val Goddard, old friends of Priory and Patrick Laycock (Dee's brother and a member of Marple and Goyt Valley Rotary Club) and his wife Joan.

Most of us met at Newstead Abbey near Mansfield for lunch and an informative and entertaining guided tour.  Newstead Abbey is in fact not an abbey but an Augustinian Priory until the dissolution of the monasteries following which it became the home of The Byron family and the 6th Lord Byron was the famous poet.  He was labelled "Mad bad and dangerous to know", took his pet bear to Cambridge University because he was not allowed to take a dog, and his four poster bed.  His grandfather, the 5th Lord used the servants as targets for his canon practice by sending them out on boats on the lake and the poet also practiced pistol shooting indoors.

The weather forecast for Saturday was poor and John selected a fairly short sheltered walk in Padley Gorge.  A misunderstanding of team orders meant it took over an hour for all of us to reach our rendezvous so a coffee break was required after the first 200 yards.  After a damp start the weather quickly improved and a gentle descent from a car park at the top led us to a cafe at Grindleford Station.  Many feared that going back up would be strenuous but were pleasantlty surprised by how quickly we got back.  There was time to spare in the afternoon, which was gloriously sunny and the party split into three groups visiting the historic plague village of Eyam, Stanedge Edge and Chatsworth.  

Sunday was also excellent and starting from a carpark which meant not too much climbing was required we walked in open moorland with excellent views to the east of Ladybower Reservoir to White Tor at a height of 1500 ft.  We thien dropped down to the side of the reservour and walked through attractive woodland back to the main road.  The drivers  then had a tough little sting in the tail climbing back up to the cars while others enjoyed a drink at the pub.  This walk confirmed the definition of the Mansfield Mile as a notional 6 miles at the start was agreed to be 8 or 9 miles at the end, what a sense of achievement!

On Sunday night we enjoyed a  good meal in the restaurant at Darwin Forest followed by the traditional drinks at the president's chalet.  During the weekend John Harrison released a series of Dingbat puzzles which frustrated and amused.