Monday, 14 September 2020

Exploring :: Milldale & The River Dove

Hi there everyone πŸ˜€

It seems like an age ago now that we had another trip up to The Peak District. After our fairly successful meander along the Bradford River at Youlgreave we decided to up the ante just a little for another day out with another walk in another beautiful spot.

Sat at our dining room table with the trusty OS map we planned what looked like a fairly easy walk, a little further than last time, taking in the River Dove at Milldale. We decided we would head out towards Dovedale on the village side of the river, taking in a bit of an incline early on, and finishing with a nice flat walk back to Milldale, along the other side of the river.

Arriving at the village we were lucky enough to grab a parking space in the car park just up from the village and wandered down to the river ...
It was brighter than we had expected and, though it was fairly early on, even the sheep were looking for the shade ...

Down by the river it looked perfect ... warm, plenty of sunshine, open toilets, ice cream shop doing a roaring trade and a few people paddling in the river ...

I guess alarm bells should have started ringing when we saw this sign but we just thought ... oh well, we’ve had no rain it should be fine. We did opt to retrace our steps and take the alternative path though ... as the footpath up the side of the toilets looked pretty much vertical and very overgrown ...
We retraced our steps and soon found the alternative route ...
... and were on our way ...
At the top of the track we headed left to take us back towards the original, more difficult, path ...

The alternative path was a bit overgrown but was manageable and we were both chuffed to meet up with original path so knew we were heading in the right direction ...
The original path took us up away from the meander of the river, through some woods, past an old building and then would take us back down to the river, where we were due to carry on until we came to a bridge, where we would cross and then return on the opposite side ...
Obviously my sense of distance has completely gone to pot as we soon came to a bit of a fork in the path and, as I could see the river down below I decided to head downward, whilst Martin consulted the GPS and said no ... I think it’s the higher path ...

Well ... I soon stopped in my tracks as I found the cattle, of which we had seen signs along the way, all laid in the shade down by the river ... after a previous scary encounter, which has put us both off fields with cows in for life I about turned ... as it happened Martin was right anyway and the path did go upwards ...

Now ... I'm not quite sure what happened here, but it's a bit embarrassing and I am blaming it on the heat but when I got about half way up I started to feel very strange indeed ... quite unwell ... a bit dizzy, a bit shaky and very weak and actually ended up just having to lay down on the hillside ... I felt a bit feeble as we’d only just really started out but I really felt like I couldn’t walk any further.

We did have a debate as to whether we should retrace our steps and not carry on but after a bit of a rest and a drink I felt a bit better and we decided that we didn't want to give up.

Not too far on and we headed into the woods and out of the sun ...

I thought the shade would help but I felt exactly the same again ... so we had another stop and I was starting to get a bit panicky ... I really did not want to be that fool that would have to call out mountain rescue.

Another sit in the shade and we carried on to the top of the incline which just about finished us both off and we have never been so grateful for the sight and comfort of a stile ...
Even though it didn’t seem a good idea we had another drink. We stayed there a good while ... sat on either side of the style, catching our breath ...

... and enjoying the view ... 

... and also knowing that was as high as we went ... it was downhill all the way now to the river ... a good walk alongside the river to the bridge then just over a mile back on the other side.

It was here we encountered the first other walker we’d seen so far ... coming from the opposite direction ... whilst he did confirm it was still a good way to the bridge he did also say it was pretty easy going, though there was plenty of undergrowth by the river.

Having rested a while we were ready for the next leg ...
... and it was that typically beautiful Peak District scenery, which never disappoints ...

Clear blue sky, rolling green hills, dry stone walls, plenty of green ...
... and a few of these locals ... who we do not mind at all ...
We soon passed the old building which we knew was about halfway between our starting point and the river and were definitely on our way back down towards the river ...
Before we knew it we were alongside the Dove ...

It was easy to see that the path would be impassable after heavy rain ... it was still pretty muddy underfoot in places and we’d not had any proper rain for a good while.

Whilst we were both feeling a lot better now we were on the flat the GPS told us it was still a fair way to the bridge and I was absolutely delighted to find some makeshift stepping stones that looked like we may be able to shorten our walk ...

Well I was off like a shot and I have to say if there had been one missing and I’d had to walk ankle deep in water I would have done. It did look like it was a popular short cut as there was a definite well trodden path through the undergrowth on the opposite side ...
So there we were ... heading back to Milldale, along a much more well traveled path, but in the heat of the sun with very little option for shade ...
It was so pretty though and I all but forgot about how awful I'd felt earlier on ...
Coming out into a wide open part of the walk ...

... I couldn’t resist a sit on the bank, boots off and feet cooling in the water ... it was lovely ...

It was but a short walk back from here to the Viators Bridge ...

... which we crossed to take us back to our starting point ...
We were lucky enough to find a bench by the river, where we sat for a while, just taking in the view ...


... before I headed to Polly's Cottage for ice creams which made everything worthwhile ...

It was still roasting hot and there was plenty of paddling going on but not for us.

We headed back up through the tiny village to the car ...


...  and, not feeling hungry enough for our picnic, decided to head for Wetton Mill where I swapped boots for walking sandals and had a proper paddle ...
What a day ... on the whole we both enjoyed it but I did frighten myself a bit early on ... we definitely need to get a bit better on interpreting those pesky OS contour lines when planning our next wander.

Back home and we realised we had actually walked just a little less than we did in Youlgreave, but for us, it was a lot tougher ... we definitely need to try and get a bit fitter 😳😳😳

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Thanks for taking time to comment on my blog. I love to hear what people think about what Martin and I have been up to.