Walking Group December 2018
Eight walkers gathered outside Church on the 2nd December. Due to the Chatsworth Christmas Market we decided that the route to our original starting point in Baslow would be busy so we drove on quieter country lanes to Curbar Gap then down to Calver Bridge parking by the Curbar Primary School.
After eating lunch we started our walk by the side of the A623. A nine rider cycling peloton passed by, a relief from the other noisy traffic as our conversations started – we try to be a sociable group so why not join us in the future?
We branched off the busy road, walking up a narrow lane and soon reached the outskirts of Baslow, walking along Over Road until we reached School Lane. Turning left we passed a large stone house up on our left ‘The Alma’ – built in 1854 and originally a beer house. Continuing up the lane we reached Overend Cross Roads marking the meeting of four important old routes from Calver, Chesterfield, Sheffield and the old bridge across the Derwent.
We took a left hand turn up Gorse Bank Lane, passing the entrance to Baslow Hydro. Opened in 1881 and demolished in 1936 this was the 19th century equivalent of a luxury spa hotel with gardens and a golf course and was meant to be a local competitor to the spa towns of Matlock and Buxton. It was a successful venture until after World War 1 when it suffered from a lack of investment.
We continued along the lane, passing through a farmyard where two farm dogs barked at us but left us to continue on our way. The weather looked threatening but heavy rain held off as we walked through rock strewn fields below Baslow Edge. After passing a small stone lined pool and then walking alongside a narrow stream we reached the village of Curbar.
We turned left, downhill into the village, meandering through the stone houses, reaching the old well along with its millstones and horse trough at a junction in the centre of the village.
Continuing we walked out of Curbar along narrow lanes, passing properties with views across to Calver and Stoney Middleton. Starting to go downhill again we walked through the buildings of Cliff College. It is a Christian theological college teaching biblical theology at the undergraduate level along with postgraduate mission courses. The original buildings were purchased by the Wesleyan Methodist Church in 1903.
On reaching the A623 at the bottom of the hill we turned right and then retraced our steps back to our cars, helping Julie to pick up lichen covered twigs for future flower arrangements along the way.
We returned to Chesterfield using the same back roads where we were treated to hot soup and mince pies at the home of Bob and Ruth Cable, our thanks go out to our hospitable hosts.
Next month’s walk on Sunday 6th January 2019 will be led by Bob Cable. It will start at Curbar Gap and will be of approximately 4 miles. Please meet at the church gates at 12 noon when transport will be arranged. New members will be made very welcome.