I was hiding under the roof of Bicester station, waiting to be picked up in the car, as torrential rain whipped everything around. That was the beginning of my latest walking trip in mid July… not starting that well.
Waiting in Bicester is the usual part of the Friday escape from London, which takes us to the Peak District just before it gets too late to pitch a tent at a camp site. This time we pitched up at Coopers Camp and Caravan site in Edale just as it was getting really dark and as a light drizzle started falling.
The next morning we set off on our mini backpacking trip: Edale to Hope and back. The sun, cloud and rain were fighting it all out with no clear winner.
We started with a nice walk along Grinds Brook and a relatively easy mini scramble up the clough. As soon as we reached the top of the ridge the heavens opened and we were welcomed with a torrential rain shower.
A little bit wet we marched on westwards along the ridge for about 2 hours, had lunch at the top of a small clough and carried on to the end of the ridge at Crookstone Knoll for some great views of the valley around River Ashop.
The view was so great we got carried away and lost the trail. So off we were treading through the fields looking for the Roman Road. First we found a flock of grouse hidden in the grass. A bit of a surprise to both parties, even more so when I added shrieks to the treading, as the birds started flying up from underneath my feet. We had gone past a shooting cabin just minutes before, so I am hoping the whole grouse business wasn’t illegal.
Eventually, we found the Roman Road and descended into Hope. A beer and a dinner in the village was followed by a scramble for a space on a camp site.
In the end the owners of the Hardhurst Farm showed some mercy and very kindly found one last spot for us. We pitched the tent and were fast a sleep by 10.
Loose Hill to Mam Tor
On Sunday it was time to return to Edale. It was after all a short trip. Up Loose Hill we went. After a gradual ascent a bit of a push at the end and some great views into Hope and towards Edale.
With the sun out and a light breeze blowing, the walk along the ridge to Hollins Cross and Mam Tor was just great. From Mam Tor we headed down back to Edale.
An Apfelschorle later we were driving back to London.