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‘The Magnificent Charity Walk’

Their description, not mine (and the sheep don’t seem that impressed) although it does feel rather good to have completed a ‘magnificent walk’; we’ll gloss quickly over the fact it was only 7 miles long. Let’s face it, the 67 year old man who did 21 miles in just over five hours, jogging down all the hills, and the hills were steeply steep, is more impressive.

The Friends of the Peak District had organised a great charity walking event last Sunday to raise funds for their work supporting the Peak District, with apparently over 200 adults and children taking part. There were various possibilities other than the 21 mile walk. Daughter Ruthie was up from London and she and I opted to do the seven miles one, John preferring to potter about with his camera and (too heavy for long distance walking) lens hoping to get some good bird shots, which he didn’t.

The images convey some of the beauty, they don’t convey so well the ‘up, up, up’ height one climbs.

Ruth and I were however quite delighted with our choice. We arrived late but that didn’t seem to matter. The scenery was truly magnificent, and so was the weather and we both felt it would be a walk many of our guests would probably love too so I will write it up and put it in the WALKS file in the barns. It is worth saying, the walk would not be pleasant if the weather was very wet or windy.

I should have an OS Map in front of me as I write, but I haven’t so will have to rely on my very unscientific description. The walk we did started from Thornbridge Hall, but could just as conveniently be started from the Hassop Station Bookshop on the Hassop roundabout just north of Bakewell, or for a slightly shorter version beginning/ending near a very popular eatery, the Monsal Head Hotel. Both these options would mean one could very conveniently park nearby.

Part of the walk is on the Monsal Trail before – after going through one of the tunnels and crossing a viaduct – one veers off left to start on a large loop ‘off-piste’ up (and up and up) to Brushfield and High Dale, and then down again to meet the River Wye and the Trail before a final steep climb to the Monsal Head Hotel. They must do a roaring trade with hungry, thirsty wakers celebrating the end of their hike.

Ruthie and I had to resist this particular lure, and that of the Packhorse at Little Longstone which did look very inviting, to meet up with John and various friends and colleagues who had also been walking but had all been back some time (we did start rather late…). Even the relaxed looking 67 year old who’d run 21 miles in 5 hours was back, almost limbering up for the next run…

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