THE WALKING GROUP
We parked at Peak Village on a hot day, booted up and walked towards the traffic lights, crossing the road as seven motorbikes, engines revving, were obliged to wait for us. Only one was a ‘hairy biker’ having a distinctive beard showing way below his helmet strap. We turned right at the Peacock Hotel and our route took us over several fields. We noticed two rooks eating something on the grass and as we passed we saw it was the remains of a crab!
We sought welcome shelter from the heat of the sun, under a spreading tree, to eat our sandwiches then suitably refreshed, and with cooler conditions, as he clouds had covered the sun, we resumed our walk.
It is always a pleasure to walk in the early evening as usually the weather is so calm and still and devoid of other ramblers. Apart from the occasional squawk from a chicken as we approached a farm and the usual bleating between a ewe and her lamb, we enjoyed the silence.
We passed through Calton Lees, a delightful hamlet* of stone dwellings where families were sitting in their gardens and the smell of smoke from a barbecue wafted through the air. We walked past the entrance road to Chatsworth Garden Centre and down a track under trees to the main road, over the bridge and onto a well-trodden, grassy path with numerous sheep grazing hungrily on both sides of us.
Opposite St. Anne’s Church in the village* of Beeley stands the Old Vicarage where a red Porsche was parked in the drive and further on we passed a picturesque, wooden Village Hall. Beeley has been part of the Chatsworth Estate since the 18th century when the Duke of Devonshire bought Beeley Hill Top and then much of the property piecemeal. Beeley Old Hall dates from the 17th century and on School Lane there is an outdoor centre called Dukes Barn. We walked past both of these buildings prior to crossing a stream and arriving at a gate to a field where a notice board told us to ‘beware of a bull, cows and caves’! In the field the cows and their offspring were flipping ears and tails to ward off gnats, hovering in the balmy evening air.
Our walk continued through a wood lined with tall nettles and brambles causing consternation to two of our team who had bare legs! The walk, ably led by Trish Law finished with a trek through a wood with steep sides down to a river below us, then numerous steep steps downhill to the road and eventually our cars.
*Generally, a hamlet is a group of houses in the country that lacks a central building such as a church or an inn.
For a town, the location must have multiple places of worship as well as central meeting points. Traditionally, in England and Wales, a town was a settlement with a charter to hold a market or fair.
A city will be larger than a town, have multiple places of worship and several meeting places. Traditionally, in England and Wales, city status was given to settlements with diocesan cathedrals though that is no longer a requirement. City status is granted by the reigning monarch, usually to commemorate special occasions. Derby was granted official status as a city on 7th June 1977 when the Queen celebrated her Silver Jubilee – the only town to be elevated during these celebrations and only the fourth to become a city since WW2.
The walk on Sunday 4th August will be led by Evelyn Lowe, starting at Great Hucklow, this is a 4 mile flat walk with a few stiles and open to anyone who wants to give it a try. Please meet at 4pm outside the church gates with sandwiches and suitable footwear.