I left the Izaak Walton Hotel at 8.20 in bright sunshine, for a day walking in many of the limestone dales.
The route started by going up Dovedale. The scenery was stunning and it seemed churlish to hurry in such a place. Tissington Spires, Ilam Rock, Raven’s Tor and Dove Holes were passed and admired.
I entered the pretty village of Milldale over an old packhorse bridge.
I had not seen a soul to this point which must be highly unusual in such a tourist hot-spot. Unfortunately the small shop was closed, which was a problem as I had very little food with me.
I continued up Dovedale, before turning into Biggin Dale, admiring the dippers which were busy fishing in the river.
Reaching the Waterloo Inn at Biggin at 11.45, I decided to wait for the pub to open and have an early lunch. Walkers are made very welcome there, and I had an excellent beef sandwich with a pot of tea.
An hour later I walked on towards Gratton Dale, another deep limestone valley. The curlews were calling which I always find raises the spirits.
At this point I had to change maps, so when I discovered a kilometre later that I had lost my hat, I was confident that I knew where I had dropped it. Half an hour later I was back, but without the hat.
I soon entered Bradford Dale which was a disappointment after the previous dales. It was very damp and gloomy, and the river has been much changed by man.
By this time it was trying to rain and hail, but luckily Youlgreave and the George Hotel were very near. I arrived at 4.45 after an excellent walk, which made up for the miseries of the previous day.
And finally… two more shots of lovely Dovedale: Raven’s Tor, and the mysterious Dove Holes.