Group Walking Weekend to the Peak District
Friday the 21st April 2023 saw the beginning of the third Lancaster Walking Group walking weekend away. The Destination, Hartington in the Peak District to be precise. We stayed at the Hartington Hall Youth Hostel where we occupied all their private rooms. There were 17 people booked on the weekend, some arrived late afternoon. Those who arrived in the morning were led on a walk in the Manifold valley by Steve and Barbara and visited Thors Cave. Everyone then got together in the evening for a welcoming Jacobs Join.
Saturday Morning was an earlier start than usual as the car park we were going to gets full quickly. After breakfast in the communal kitchen we set off to Gradbach car park to undertake a 7.5 mile walk from Gradbach (led by Paul) starting with a steep climb to get good views of Shutlingsloe (known as the Matterhorn of the Peaks) before dropping down into Wildboarclough. There we visited the local Church before a steep climb out of the village to cross the moors and down to Three Shires Head, so called because it is the meeting of Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire. In a few short steps you have been in all three counties. That was a good place for lunch. From there it was a short climb out of the valley then field paths and river paths back to the car park. Then it was back to the Youth Hostel. Saturday night saw several of our group go to the local village pub for a meal whilst the rest stayed at the hostel and finished off the leftovers from the Jacobs join. When the pub goers had returned the evening was spent socialising in one of the various lounges, even a game of scrabble was played.
Sunday was a slightly later start as the walk being led by Steve and Barbara started and finished at the hostel. After breakfast in the communal kitchen we all met at the hostel entrance to begin the walk. The walk took us through various fields and a steep climb to reach the old Hartington Railway station (complete with signal box) where we had a coffee stop. From there we joined the Tissington trails which is an old railway line converted to a foot and cycle way. We then followed the Tissington trail until we reached Parsley Hay and the Istrian Stone Shelter. Shortly after that we left the trail to cut across field paths eventually returning to Hartington for the climb back up to the hostel. All 17 of us then had a meal in the hostel’s restaurant before another evening of socialising.
Monday morning came and several of us had a full english breakfast in the hostel restaurant before packing up ready to head home. Some had to head home early due to work committments the rest of the group went to the Manifold Valley visitor centre for a look around and a final coffee together before we all headed home after another extremely enjoyable and successful weekend away with some excellent walking.