Eight walkers gathered outside Church on the 4th February with Steve leading the walk once we had made our way to our starting point at Calver.
After parking and eating lunch we started our walk along the bank of the River Derwent. The river is 66 miles long and is a tributary of the River Trent, which it joins south of Derby. This part of the route was muddy after the recent rains but we continued, only one of our party slipping. After a slight detour because of a flooded field we reached firmer ground on a country lane.
Following this lane we walked through the hamlet of Bubnell, admiring the patches of snowdrops by the side of the road and on the bank of the Derwent. Shortly we crossed the river on the 17th century, three arched bridge, with its stone shelter built for the toll collector. Crossing the A623 in Baslow we continued up School Lane. Near the junction of Bar Road and Gorse Bank Lane we passed Hydro Close, this was the site of a large Hydropathic hotel where water was used in various treatments to relieve pain, until it was demolished in 1936.
Continuing, we started our steady climb onto Baslow Edge. As we climbed we started to get terrific views towards the Chatsworth Estate and the hills to the north, covered with a blanket of snow.
As we reached the edge we could see Wellington’s Monument to our right. This is a stone cross, ten feet high, which bears the inscription: ‘Wellington, Born 1769. Died 1852. The cross was erected in 1866 by E.M. Wrench. Also on the right was the Eagle Stone, an isolated 6-metre high block of gritstone. According to tradition the local men had to climb this rock before they were worthy of marriage.
Picking our way through smaller gritstones and heather we continued along the edge for about one mile before reaching the road at Curbar Gap.
Here we started our descent down the road then across fields. Just after crossing a rather muddy section one of our party commented what a lovely walk it had been with great views and good weather. She then slipped in the mud!!
We reached the road again and firmer ground, continuing steeply downhill through the village of Curbar. Soon we came to the Bridge Inn in Calver and returned to our cars. A 4 ¾ mile walk in dry and sunny weather was much enjoyed. We said our goodbyes and returned to Chesterfield.
The next walk on Sunday 4th March will be an easy walk around Clumber Park. Remember to bring your National Trust Membership card as you will need it for parking.
New members are welcome to join us. Please turn up at the church gate for 12 noon with a packed lunch and suitable walking boots. Transport will be available to the destination and back.