Our annual trip to Derbyshire was again a success - report and pictures below
The sun shone kindly upon us this yeat: as a result we were able to explore some of the more exposed routes in the north of the Peak. The weekend started comfortably, meeting in the Refectory of the imperious Southwell Minster, situated just beyond Newark. After an enjoyable lunch we had a half-hour film show followed by an extensive guided tour of the Minster in the care of the impeccably turned out Barbara, whose ability to walk icomfrtably in stiletto heels left the rather younger ladies gasping in admiration. We learned of the Minster's hugely dignified place in history as an important staging post for monarchs and their cohorts, including Thomas Cromwell.
On Saturday we assembled in Castleton from wher the majority of the party climbed to the summit of Mam Tor (1200ft), to be joined at lunch time by the rest of the party. We ate our packed lunches to the accompaniment of wonderful sweeping views over the Hope valley. The descent through the Winnats pass with the breathtaking limestone cliffs soaring above us brought us back to Castleton, where some of us found the energy to climb up to Peveril Castle, and we then got a birds eye view of the local Morris dancers parancing through the streets.
Sunday morning brought thos of us who moteored across the moors to our meeting point an unexpected experience caused by a temperature inversion. As we approached the edge of the steep hill down towards Chatsworth we found ourselves above the clouds which filled the valley below like cotton-wool - a beautiful moment.
We assembled at Surprise View, just east of Hathersage and picked our way through and over unusual crops of rock, Mother Cap and Owler past the fortress known as Carl Wark, thence along the lower edge of Burbage Rocks to Higgar Tor. Our return took in Carl Wark in more detail, then on tho the Longshore Estate fora welcome cup of tea in the cafe. The day ended with an easy stroll by the lovely Burbage river, leaving it just before it disappeared into Padley Gorge, to make our way back via the sunken path which took us out of the the valley and returned us to Surprise View.
Our traditional last evening get together in the President's chalet before a joint evening supper in the pub, provided another surprise view, as Ken Johnson and his chalet mates 'cocked a snook' at the rest of us by turning out in full evening dress, a fitting finale to a very convivial weekend.