Today has been one of ups and downs. The weather forecast for the afternoon was very poor, so naturally I could not get breakfast before 8.30 and the shop in the village was closed for repairs.
I left Youlgreave at 9.10 and immediately dropped down into Lathkill Dale, crossing the river via a packhorse bridge. I then climbed over the ridge to walk down into the valley of the River Wye at Haddon Hall. This was the home of William Peverel, the illegitimate son of William the Conquerer.
The route circled around the grounds of Haddon Hall, passing some very impressive cows, before climbing over another ridge and descending into the Derwent Valley near Chatsworth.
The views of Chatsworth were magnificent and I enjoyed the walk through the Deer Park and the extensive grounds.
Leaving Chatsworth the weather started to deteriorate so I stopped to don wet weather gear. Suitably clad I continued to Baslow where I had a coffee and bought some lunch.
At Baslow I reviewed my options. The guidebook route was up over the gritstone edges of Baslow, Curbar and Froggatt. I know these well from climbing trips and a recent visit. Given the poor forecast it seemed wiser to take a low level route and so I choose the Derwent Heritage Way, part of which I knew from a recent MAC trip. This would also be faster.
At 2.00 I stopped near Froggatt village for lunch and it started to rain in earnest. As I watched Froggatt Edge disappear into the gloom I was pleased with my decision.
Walking beside the River Derwent was enjoyable despite the rain, and I think that I saw two mergansers near Curbar. Leaving the Derwent I climbed up to Hathersage arriving around 3.30. As there are plenty of gear shops I was able to replace my lost hat on the way to my accommodation.
I am overjoyed to be back in Derbyshire and especially in the Peak Park. The paths are well-signed and tend to exist on the ground, which is more than can be said for those in Shropshire and Staffordshire.
Tomorrow my friend Carl is joining me for a couple of days, which will be great. I am also taking a semi-rest day and only have around 10k to walk. In the past week I have covered around 190k, about 20% of the total to Dunnet Head. Over the next few days the distances are less but there will be more hills. Thankfully the weather looks better for tomorrow.