The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Saturday 9 October 2010

On The Limestone Way – Again!

Yesterday evening I did as I usually do when I get home from a walk – I measured the route and added it to my log. Then I looked at my mileage for the year to date and realised that I’d finished the day just 1.5 miles short of my previous highest annual total.

The obvious thing to do would have been to just pop out for a little circuit from home this morning, but the thought that immediately struck me was that I hadn’t had much time with the chaps on the Limestone Way yesterday afternoon, and therefore we should get up early this morning and go an join them again.

With Roger (plus Dalmatian Rollo) also swelling the numbers, there were six of us today as we left The Miners Standard and almost immediately yesterday’s participants were stunned to find clear ‘Limestone Way’ signposts.

The clear waymarking continued, allowing swift progress to be made without time spent poring over the maps.

Soon we started encountering D of E groups, of which there were lots and lots today. Other signs suggested that today’s plethora of D of E groups wasn’t an unusual occurrence:

IMG_0971 Interesting features were passed on our way to Youlgrave, with the big craggy bits above the Hermit’s Cave and the twin boulders of Robin Hood’s Leap.

Some attractive woodland and some more fields (with more of those awkward stiles) took us to Youlgrave, which is where Mick & I were to leave the group to form a circuit back to Winster, but first I had my sights set on a tea room.

The cafe at the YHA served our purposes, and the drinks and sandwiches went down well as we all optimistically thought that the pause in the walking would give the sun the chance to burn through the greyness.

It didn’t, and it was still grey when Mick & I parted company from the group a few minutes later:


Everyone grins at our departure, except for Mick who pouts a little

Off went John, Gill, Viv, Roger and Rollo, following the river to the west, as we followed it east for a short while. Lovely it was too, if a touch busy (two more D of E groups met in the half mile stretch we walked). All went quiet as we turned away from the river.

The bit of the outward route that went past Robin Hood’s Leap and the Hermit’s Cave was followed again on our return, except this time we took a detour up to see the cave.

We weren’t at all sure what it was that we were looking for, with ‘cave’ being used to describe anything from an overhanging rock to a proper big cavernous thing, but after brief consideration we discounted the first opening we came across:

IMG_0976Following our instincts, it wasn’t long before we came across what was indisputably the cave, albeit we couldn’t quite work out why the railings were needed to keep people out of a cave that must only measure something like 4 feet by 15.Perhaps the big crack in the ‘ceiling’ rock has something to do with it?


Just to the right of the cave men were clambering up rocks and we paused to watch:

IMG_0982Leaving our outward route once again off we headed towards Upper Town, albeit on our way there a short distance was covered in the wrong direction before we realised the important difference between ‘up’ and ‘down’ (‘up’ being the direction in which we were meant to be going).

A joint award was given for ‘most unexpected animal encounter’ when we came across a field containing sheep, a tiny horse, two ostriches and two emu (for the avoidance of doubt, it was the latter two species that were unexpected!). This chap came over to us at a trot, making us most appreciative of the tall fence separating us:


The sun was just starting to break through as we headed back towards Winster:

IMG_0986 And by the time that we left The Miners Standard (where we had been sampling the beer that came highly recommended by the chaps who stayed there last night), the blue sky was winning.

The stats for the day were just over 9 miles walked with 1700 feet of ascent and a ‘good day out’ rating of 100%.


  1. Excellent informative post Gayle!

    And well done on your total mileage!

  2. Hi Ron - Didn't mean to ignore your comment. I had to enable comment moderation on posts more than a couple of weeks old so as to stop a bit of annoying spam coming through, but the downside has turned out to be that I don't notice when there are valid comments. Must see if there's another setting I can use.