Sunday 22 November 2015

Longshaw Limber - Derbyshire : 30 miles

Hi there!

This is my log of the Longshaw Limber challenge walk. As promised by the route description I found splendid scenery, haunting moorland, old halls, gritstone edges, a famous village and 4,200ft of ascent! The walk was designed by Paul Pugh to celebrate the Centenary of the National Trust.

Longshaw Limber Route - 30 miles

[Click map or photos to zoom]

Saturday 21st November 2015

6:40 AM
I set off set from home in Leeds around 4:30AM and parked up in the Fox House pub car park.  I chose not to park at the Longshaw car park at this closes early evening in the winter months.

6:45 AM
Just a short walk from the Fox House to the Longshaw estate National Trust car park.  The estate office has a Visitor Centre with a small shop and tea room, open 10AM-4PM in winter - so no lovely cuppa for me today.   It is also too early in the morning to buy a Christmas tree..!

6:47 AM Off we go then leaving the car park.  This is a common starting point for plenty of varied walks in this area.  If the weather is really bad or you are not up for this challenge walk here are some easier walks to check out that start from the Longshaw car park.

At the road junction of the A625 and cross onto White Edge Moor.
Britain's first flurry of winter snow came down last night - I wonder how this will affect my progress.   There are opportunities on route for me to bail out and get the bus back to the Fox House, either from Froggatt, Bamford or Ashopton.

Here I notice I am following in someone's foot steps in the otherwise perfect fresh snow.    I am quite surprised to see anyone else out on a walk so early.  I wonder who this mystery person can be - maybe they are doing the Limber walk too?

7:09 AM
Walking out onto White Edge Moor now and here we have a lovely but remote house White Edge Lodge. The lodge is a National Trust holiday home available to book.  It looks a fab place to stay to me with 360 views all around.

7:16 AM
Some info mentioning the right to roam - but also explaining the heather is home to Grouse and other vulnerable inhabitants such as lizards.  Cyclists are not allowed on this particular track.

7:30 AM
Skies are brightening quickly - but even so I struggle with low light and camera shake.  Some kind of tripod is needed for the my next early morning / late evening challenge walk.     Also today I am trying out my new camera - a Lumix LX100.   I sold my old camera as it was just way too big to carry on super long walks.  Ironically taking loads of pics with the new toy slowed me down allot in the morning - but the weather was fabulous so I couldn't resist taking lots of pics :)

7:27 AM 
Walking along Up on White Edge and beyond, sun is just about to join me..

8:00 AM First person I see today - a late runner ;)

The mystery of the footsteps ahead of me is revealed - a blue jacket can just be seen in this pic below - the chap is just having a breakfast break.  I stopped to chat to him for a while - he was from Sheffield and got up here on the first super early morning bus - nice one.

8:10 AM
A trig marks the highest point trip on White Edge. A welcome sunrise and fabulous views.

I was glad of that woolly hat - with a temperature of minus 3 up here first thing this morning.

Testing out the Panorama camera function of the LX100 :

8:26 AM
Footpath junction taking me onward to Curbar Gap.

Stopped to have breakfast with these guys!

8:50 AM

I have been dreaming of owning a camper-van again (doesn't everyone) but here these people are stealth camping in the car park - sleeping in the back of the van - insulating the van windows with foil quilt type material.

8:55 AM Onward to Curbar Edge

It felt like I was on a holiday with these blue skies

9:03 AM Views from Curbar Edge down to the village of Froggatt

9:17 AM As you can see I was out on stilts today :)

Lifting a totally frozen jumper up off a post reveals the footpath junction marker taking me down to Froggatt village.

About 25 years ago I came climbing here at Froggatt Edge with some pals from the Leeds Met climbing club.    It was fab for me to check out the old climbs again and reminisce for a while.

In the pic below there is an abandoned millstone in the foreground,  from the days when this was a busy working quarry.

9:37 AM
Down to Froggatt village we go..

Froggatt Bridge C17 : unusual with different shaped arches.  It is believed the smaller curved arch formed part of an much earlier structure.

9:48 AM
Leaving Froggatt and onward toward Riley Graves.

10:20 AM
Riley Graves.

Here we find a stone walled family grave where the entire Hancock family from nearby Eyam are buried after being wiped out by the Great Plague in 1666.

Tragic to realise the proximity of the dates.
 The gravestone inscriptions read : 

10:22 AM Back onto the ice road - challenging under foot!

10:32 AM Eyam village pub the Miners Arms 1620 - aptly named to serve the workers of the past.

10:38 AM Looking back to Eyam

10:50 AM Up onto Sir William Hill 429m, not mega high but great views.  The only hill in the UK to have a 'Sir' prefix!  Thought to be named after Sir William Peveril the natural born son of William the Conqueror.

The chimney is all that remains of the Ladywash mine built 1936 to produce flourspar (flux) for the steel industry, closed 1980.

Some descent snow to plough through here :)

I love the way the weather has battered the sign post up here

11:18 AM Views to Abney Low (the hill) and Abneylow Barn (a house!)

11:47 Highlow Brook

11:55 AM Highlow Hall :  well known to be haunted by the White Lady, a local ghost said to haunt the entire estate.  Yikes I am out of here like so fast scooby!!

11:58 AM Hathersage village as seen as I run away from Highlow Hall :)

12:27 PM Back down the valley now at the River Derwent.

The horses stood stock still - not moving an inch as I walked around them.  I wonder if they froze over night.

12:47 The old Derwent Valley Water Board building - set up in 1899 to build the reservoirs so supply Sheffield Rotherham and Nottingham.   Now the Bamford Quaker Community Centre offering retreats for groups and individuals.

12:50 PM Onward and upward towards the highest peak of the challenge 'Winhill'..

1:27 PM Half way up Winhill and I get the first glimpse of Ladybower reservoir

Looking back to Hathersage

1:32 PM This stone trough reminds me I need to eat again!
I brought quite allot of food - mostly high calorie and protein stuff.
You have to keep eating (every hour) on very long challenge walks or you will grow weak and fatigue will grind you to a halt.  You always need emergency food too that you don't plan to eat but take anyway just in case.

1:33 PM Is this the most beautiful sheep? - she has matching earring and marking.  I think she is a Swaledale sheep.

1:46 PM Winhill summit into view ..

1:53 PM Winhill Summit - super duper views

Views to Kinder Scout

Some fold cycle up Winhill!

2:10 PM Descending to toward Ladybower Reservoir

2:30 PM Hagwater Bridge and up to Crooke Hill
Losing light now, less photos, walking fast.

3:55 PM Ladybower Reservoir from Ashopton Viaduct

5:29 PM
I chose to commit to do this walk earlier in the week when a full-ish moon and clear night was forecast as I knew I would be walking several hours after sunset.

The moon illuminates snow covered ground quite well with little need for a torch - although I had three torches with me.

Across the A57 and onto the moonlit Moscar Moor :

5:55 PM High Neb - Stanage Edge

7:30 PM Arrived back at the Fox House - hurray!  I just cracked on without bothering to take any more photos to complete the final 5 miles.

After tucking into some food and coffee I had stashed in the car I then head for the YHA at Castleton - and a very good hot meal and meet up with the Leeds YHA Walking Group and some good company :)

The Longshaw Limber turned out to be a pretty tough walk in the end, mainly because of the ice and snow slowing me down - and of course spending too much time messing with the new camera!

Thank you for reading - please leave a comment or question for me below; I would really love to hear from you.

Paul Pughs's Route Information plus official badge and certificate
LDWA Route information

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