Saturday 28 May 2016

Mike's pub round part one

This was the brainchild of Mike's and I will leave it to him to give a more detailed account of our wanderings.  Indeed, all credit must be given to Mike for his in depth research and meticulous planning.
With a date set for the start, the ninth of May, tickets purchased for the far off town of Buxton. The team met up on board the train somewhere between Newcastle and York. Eventually we arrived in the said town. A wander about, a few last minutes supplies purchased, and bus times checked for the morrow and then a long uphill plod to the campsite.
Unfortunately the Cold Springs campsite does not now really cater for backpackers, proffering large school groups and the such. Also, we were told booking in advance is now required. On top of all that they do not accept dogs. Fortunately Lucky does cute and somehow we managed to obtain a pitch for two nights.
Our first day was to be an easy one? We began with a full breakfast in Buxton and then strolled up to the bus stop to catch the bus to our starting point, The travellers Rest, near the village of Flash. It was closed, as was the pub in the village
It began to rain as we walked through the village and it was on with the waterproofs. They remained on for the rest of the day. By way of bridleways and footpaths we made our way onward to the Cat and Fiddle pub. The views would have been great on a fine day, however, the weather was dreich and we walked with bowed heads in cold, swirling, wet greyness.
. Arriving back in Buxton we agreed that a bus up the hill to the campsite was a viable option. With time to spare it seemed only appropriate to nip in to a pub that was actually open. The first we tried was not dog friendly. However, the Eagle made us welcome. As we settled in for the evening church bells could be heard ringing in the valley below. Quite a harmonious sound they made too.
Wednesday was to be our first full day of backpacking and it was with heavy packs and unfit bodies that we headed out of Buxton. Our intended route began with the Midshires Way. The trail was poorly marked and a close eye had to be kept on the map. Footpaths and bridleways led us through lush, verdant pastures.
 From the Midshires Way we continued on the Monsal trail. The old rail track cuts through towering rocky outcrops and beetling crags.
Deep rocky gorges.

A large group of youngsters from an education centre were preparing to abseil from a high bridge to the river far below. To our delight an ice cream wagon was parked in the car park. Tea and ice creams were much enjoyed.

From the Monsal we switched to the Limestone Way. Some steep uphill bits made weary legs ache all the more. We knew that camping may be difficult due to lack of water. Mike though had received information that there was a good possibility of being able to camp at Peak Forest. The last few miles meant road walking. Oh my, what footsore, weary miles they were too. A warm, friendly pub in the village and then joy of joys, an excellent campsite. Nothing posh or fancy, a loo, a tap and a comfy bit of grass for the tent. Chrissie you came up trumps with the Old Post office, thank you.!

The following morning saw us once more heading uphill. Soon we were back on the Limestone Way. in the distance we could see Mam Tor looming large. As we approached it was noticeable the amount of folk out and about. A long descent down to Edale where we indulged in a pub lunch of bread and soup.

The ascent back out of Edale proved to be long and hard, upwards, ever upwards! Finally though we made the top and then negotiated our way through the peat hags to the crags on the other side.
Finally we began the descent down toward the Snake Pass. A family picnicking by the river, enjoying the countryside, car doors wide open and music blaring forth?
The Snake Pass Inn is dog friendly and was most welcoming. The food served up was excellent, good traditional fare with very generous portions. 
The road is obviously a race track for those so inclined. The scream of motorcycle engines at full throttle, the howl of cars moving at high speed echoed up and down the valley. It was with some trepidation that we left the pub to hurry up the narrow verge. Fortunately we had only a short distance to go before a footpath led us down through the woods to the river and a fine camping spot for the night.
The following day we joined up with the Pennine Way at Dr's Gate and stayed with it for the next couple of days.

There was some hard going and at one point water was a problem. We managed to find a drop that looked potable but was filtered and boiled just in case.

It was interesting to see two young lads come striding purposely past us as we set off one morning, Trekking poles swinging in synchronised movement, light packs on their backs. As we came over the trig point at Robin hood's Bed and dropped down to the pub for lunch, there where these two young lads having just arrived , obvious by the fact they were just shedding packs and ordering lunch.

Something else that piqued our curiosity at the pub was when I noticed a chap dressed from head to toe in red, clambering over a fence, odd! Even stranger was when said figure was observed heading up the hill followed by a group of large African ladies dressed in flowing white robes and billowing headdresses.

We go thataway to the next pub!
As we were running behind schedule, Mike's wife had kindly agreed to pick us up in Todmorden and deliver us to Skipton. That will be in part two.


  1. I'm wondering what happened next... your memory for detail is much better than mine! You seem to have a bag of Yorkshire tea there' though... Sawyer sorts that problem out but mine got bunged up and I had to backwash it to get anything out...

  2. The Closed Pub is a common feature of the British countryside - and it's becoming more common. :-(
    I wonder what the future holds for this fine institution, it doesn't look promising.
    A good theme for a walk and an extremely well written entry Dawn - nice one!

  3. Indeed yes Mike, the water came out fine after filtering.
    Thank you John. It would appear that some of the pubs that do survive go very up market, getting posh and fancified. It does not bode well.

  4. The Black Bull in Moffat is now closed and boarded up. Another bites the dust. Good report Dawn.

  5. Thanks Alan. A great pity to hear of yet another pub closing.

  6. I'm a bit behind with this Dawn with being away, but it's nice to catch up with your blog. Glad the rain didn't stay for too long!
    It often comes as a surprise to people who don't know the Peak District, just how difficult it can be to find water. Many streams marked on maps don't always exist!
    Glad you enjoyed the campsite at Peak Forest though - a real gem that! I've used it several times on various trips... :)

  7. Thanks Chrissie, yes, water was a bit of a problem but we filtered and boiled anything suspicious