28 members enjoyed our weekend away this year at Cromford in Derbyshire. We managed to combine walking, sightseeing and shopping in a weekend blessed with lovely weather. Our walks catered for those who preferred short walks and those who wanted a longer, more challenging experience.
Willersley Castle Hotel
Willersley Castle Hotel (pictured) provided excellent value with lovely food. Cromford gave us a good base from which to walk and an historic place to explore.
The shorter Saturday walk was a six miler planned and led by Brian H. It started off along the Cromford Canal, passed over the river Derwent, through fields and joined the Midshires way to return to Cromford and an excellent buffet lunch. Walkers pedometers and GPS gadgets depicted the route as five and a half miles and eight miles so perhaps that tells us something about technology?
Giddy Edge path on High Tor at Matlock
Chris B planned our challenging twelve mile route for the Saturday which took us through Stark Holmes to Riber Castle then south to Dethick, Lea and Holloway and on towards Crich. On the way we encountered steep slopes and a very challenging narrow cliff edge path high up over Matlock (pictured) which tested both our nerves and our footing.
We managed to arrive at Crich Tramway stop just in time to see the tram (pictured) as it began its decent back to the Crich Tramway Museum. We pressed on to the War Memorial further up the hillside where we stopped for our packed lunch. (pictured)
Crich Tram stop
Our afternoon trek took us to Crich Carr, Whatstandwell and on to the Cromford Canal for our return to the Hotel. Expecting a leisurely stroll along the canal we were somewhat astounded when a tree fell across our path just inches away from Roger’s head! Unperturbed he went into “tough Guy” mode and manhandled the tree over a wall into a ditch below to clear our way through.
Some of our group, with Barbara M at the helm, took the opportunity on Saturday afternoon, to explore Cromford and complete a treasure hunt provided by Chris M. The hunt, with historic information, led folks into parts of the town and its history that would have remained undiscovered by the casual ambler through the main street.
The Sunday walkers
Sunday morning bought most of us out, along with the sunshine, after a bountiful breakfast, to walk up an appetite for our Sunday Lunch. All walkers (pictured) started out together and took the same path from the hotel. Passing into woods east of Cromford we then split into two groups, one to take the high road and one to take the lower route, to the old railway junction back to the hotel. The high routers puffed their way up the hillside on to part of the Derwent Valley Heritage Way, returning to the hotel passed the old pumping station and High Peak Junction back into Cromford.
Willersley Castle from the hillside
After consuming lovely 3 course dinners, our evenings were spent challenging our brains with identifying wild flowers photographed during the year by Cindy West on walks around Leicestershire, using our linguistic skills in a word quiz provided by Glenyss H and attacking a very cryptic set of quiz questions put together by Les P.
Thanks go to all those involved in making the weekend such a lovely experience. The days were full of smiles, memorable walks, interesting and informative moments and shopping bargains. It gave opportunity to meet up with old friends and to make new ones.