There’s perhaps no better way to spend a weekend than losing yourself in the hills and countryside; catching all the weather, not to mention a one-sided walking tan and the odd blister and finishing the afternoon in the pub.
We got the train out to Edale on Saturday morning, one of the most popular station on the Peak District line and, along with many other people clad in walking gear, descending on the little village. It’s a cute village, with an array of pubs and place to stay or camp, and very English looking. But we were mostly here for the walk. We ascend out of the village on a route that wiggles its way through a few sheep fields. I like to think that if I evder had a farm it would be like this; dry stone walls intersecting mismatched fields, which house sheep and cows, plus the occasional horse, duck or chicken. We walk through a few of these, peppered along the hillside and then eventually face the bottom of the well-known ascent Jacobs Ladder.
It’s steep. There’s no point in glossing over that, it’s a pretty steep path which is ‘paved’ or sometimes just strewn with awkward rocks, and occasionally has water lying over it or running down it. Make your way up as you please and then turn to gaze behind you occasionally, puffing a bit, and see a pretty dizzying valley below.
The weather was pretty much ideal for walking, not too hot and not too cold, a good cloud cover with not too strong a wind and not a drop of rain. When you get to the top, you have a surprisingly flat terrain to work with, and a fantastic view across the Peaks and across Manchester on a clear day. Rocks are scattered across the landscape in clusters, they seem to have been shattered like a meteor on impact, or some that have been weathered by the strong winds to look as though they’ve been balanced by giant hands. Adding to the mars like effect is the peat – much of the Peaks is a giant peat bog – big exposed areas of soft, black mud forming scars across the otherwise green and yellow landscape.
I really enjoyed the walk, and it was so full of walkers I never felt like I’d be lost for long (although we did have a map to follow just in case). Walking to Kinder Downfall was a bit disappointing, as there wasn’t much water falling when we got there; it’s very season, and rainfall, dependant so there was a tiny little waterfall this time, whereas in January it was gushing. But the exposed rocks and the views are still beautiful.
Where’s your favourite Peak District walk?