If you're a keen walker (which I've been known to be), and you live in Sheffield, then how can you not go walking in the Peak District? Well, in my case, by having no one to walk with, and definitely not being brave enough to set out on my own. But the other week I had an epiphany of the blindingly obvious.
As I got up at 5.30 am in order to get the train to Lapworth for the HNBC AGM, I caught a bit of Ramblings on Radio 4, a bit in which Clare Balding revisited groups of people she'd walked with ten years previously when the programme started. And I stood there open mouthed (and half dressed) and thought: I'll join a walking group!
A quick consultation of the internet revealed that such groups abound in Sheffield. Surfing the wave of enthusiasm, I'd joined the Ramblers before leaving to catch my train.
Thus it was that on Sunday I found myself locating (with far less difficulty than I had anticipated) a car park on the Chatsworth estate for the start of a ten mile walk entitled 'Around the Carlton Pastures'. I'm afraid this didn't mean much to me; I know we took in the village of Edensor and passed Bakewell station (deceased; the railway line is now a walking route) and ended up where we started in Carlton Lees car park, seeing fields, sheep, sparkling water, dry stone walls, and in the distance, Chatsworth House. The walk was graded B1, meaning (B) that it was between 8-12 miles, and (1) that it wasn't difficult; no steep or sustained climbs. I managed it easily in my trusty Boating Boots, which was a relief. The weather of course could not have been better.
En route I chatted with a few new people, all of whom seemed very nice. After we finished, we found our way to the Rutland Arms at Baslow for a well earned drink, soaking up the last of the sun on the terrace overlooking the river Derwent.
Next Sunday I am bestowing my favours on a different group, The Sheffield Wanderers, who are doing the Sheffield Canal and Five Weirs - down the canal to Meadowhall (or Meadowhell, if you're local) and back via the River Don, with a buffet on the way! And I have an outing planned for Saturday as well. Hope we get more than one weekend of nice weather!