On our drive towards the starting point of our walk, in Ashford – in the – Water, we were astonished to see a car being driven in such a dangerous manner that we were lucky not to be involved in a serious accident, but no matter, we arrived safely and began our walk under a grey, cloud-filled sky.
We passed the 18th century Churchdale Hall, where the 10th Duke of Devonshire lived, apparently never residing in Chatsworth House. We then joined the Monsal Trail heading towards Bakewell. At Toll Bar House we walked the bridle path, descending to Lumford Mill, built by Sir Richard Arkwright in 1778 before crossing the pack horse bridge and feeding the trout with half a loaf of bread that one of our group had thoughtfully brought with him. This bridge is inscribed ‘M Hyde 1664’. A merchant was sitting on his horse astride a bag of meal, the wind blew him over the parapet and he drowned in the river Wye below.
We noticed an abundance of snowdrops lining the river which brightened our day as half way into our walk the rain fell and the wind was bitterly cold on the higher ground. We returned to the cars feeling cold but rejuvenated.
The next 5 mile walk, on Sunday 5th April will be led by Bob Cable in the Great Hucklow area. Everyone is welcome to join our group, just arrive at the church gates for 12 noon with a packed lunch and your boots. As it will be Easter Sunday, perhaps you could also bring your Easter eggs to share!