Group medium walk 30th November 2019

From the bright sunny skies of the Cheshire Plains to a very foggy and frosty Peak District was the order of the day for this medium walk from Hartington.
Our little group set off unaware of the challenges that lay ahead on what should have been a straightforward walk. Led by Kathryn Carty we set out east from the village and soon passed the historic Hartington Hall which is now a Youth Hostel. The building dates from 16th century and is Grade II listed. During the Jacobite rising of 1745 it is claimed that Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed there. Since 1934 the hall has been used as a Youth hostel and even boosts a bridal suite!
Leaving the road running east out of the village we followed Highfield Lane (a track) southeast to the top end of Biggin Dale. This normally dry valley was anything but dry and swamped by all the recent heavy rain insomuch that the path eventually became impassable. Our only option was to climb steeply out of the valley to make across country for the lane known as Liffs Road. With a morning break en route we made it over to the road and later descended via a frosty valley to Coldeaton Bridge. All was going well until we reached the bottom of the valley when our way ahead was barred by flooded ground. The only alternative was to back track and negotiate an awkward wall. Once over Coldeaton Bridge we had a short steep ascent where we stopped for lunch.
With time pressing, we headed into a rather deserted and the very peaceful village of Alstonefield along the track known as Gipsy Lane. In late afternoon sunshine we headed north and soon took a path descending into the shadow of Narrowdale Hill.
The walk through Beresford Dale threw up a few more flooding issues but with a few small deviations we got through dry shod. By now the sun was down almost to the horizon with the foggy conditions silently edging in from the east once more as we reached Hartington after an enjoyable and rather an eventful walk.

It’s Biggin Dale Jim, but not as we know it!

Before we gave up on the path down Biggin Dale. At this point we were pushing our way through the bushes on the right.
Our morning coffee break was taken here with the view over a flooded Biggin Dale.
A frosty walk down to Coldeaton Bridge.
Ascending out of Dove Dale
Late afternoon as we descend between Narrowdale Hill and Gratton Hill.
The sun is low and the first signs of low cloud spreading back in as we near Beresford Dale.