Friday, 13 July 2018

Pennine Bridleway

Middleton Top → Blackwell

middleton-top.jpg Distance: 19.02 miles
Ascent: 164 metres
Duration: 4 hours 55 minutes

« Not walked | Not walked »

pbw-start.jpgYes, I know we've already finished the Pennine Way. This is something different. The Pennine Bridleway is the newest of the fourteen National Trails of England and Wales, and aims to provide a route through the Pennines that can be used not just by walkers, but by horse riders and cyclists too. The route currently stretches 200 miles from Derbyshire to Cumbria, but there are outline plans to eventually extend it to Byrness in Northumbria.

So I'm walking again, hoping to complete the trail over a few weekends this summer.

hopton-tunnel.jpgFrankly, today's walk hasn't been particularly inspiring. Almost the entire length followed the line of a dismantled railway that was originally used to transport stone from nearby quarries. Stone is everywhere here. In the high fields, clusters of exposed rock reveal the geology that lies just below the surface: fuel for the limestone quarries and brickworks not far from the trail. Had I known about it, I'd have allowed time to explore the National Stone Centre close to the start of the walk. Perhaps another time.

endless-track.jpgAnother sight I missed was Arbor Low — a neolithic henge about halfway along the route. (Think Stonehenge but with all the uprights toppled. I had no idea such a place existed, which perhaps says more about my ignorance of the centre of our island than anything else.)

The route strikes away from the line of the old railway just ahead of an active quarrying site and heads north across the folds of the landscape towards the main road into Buxton. Hopefully tomorrow's leg will be more varied than today's.

Notes for future walkers:

  • To reach the start of the walk at Middleton Top, follow the road from Cromford Station to the crossroad in the village, then continue on the pavement straight ahead uphill (A5012, then B5036). Ignoring the B5035 turning for Middleton Top, continue ahead and take a path on the right just before a railway bridge takes you up to the old line. Crossing over the Steeple Grange Light Railway then pick up the High Peak Trail which runs steeply uphill past the National Stone Centre to Middleton Top.

Posted by pab at 15:48 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!