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]

Monday 24 November 2014

The Cloud and Rudyard Reservoir

If this morning’s hard frost wasn’t the first of the winter in the Midlands, then it’s certainly the first that I’ve noticed. Perishing it was (particularly after being spoilt with such mild temperatures thus far) as I left the house and pointed Colin’s nose northwards. On the plus side, there was absolutely no hint of fog, and lots of blue sky. Was I actually going to get a view from a summit?!

At just after 9am (and after a number of multi-point turns that I’m not going to disclose; it wasn’t my finest bit of driving navigation!) I pulled into a car park in Rushton Spencer and, over a cup of tea, promptly changed my plan.

The original intention had been a 11.5-mile circuit, taking in The Cloud (yep, another Marilyn), but as I sat there, tea in hand, looking at the 1:25k map, I noticed that I was very close to Rudyard Reservoir, and that the larger scale of map (in contrast to my newer 1:50k mapping) showed a path going the whole way around it. My circuit therefore became an out-and-back, to be followed by a circumperambulation of the reservoir.


After a bit of muddy farmland and a bit of muddy woodland, a few more muddy paths took me up to my objective, and before I reached the top I could already appreciate what a fine place it was going to be. With a bit of a grit stone outcrop on top, the lump stands proud amongst land which is, predominantly, very flat indeed. I couldn’t resist sending a smug email, complete with photo, to Mick to let him know what he was missing; .

The topograph by the trig point gave me the ability to take a self-timed photo (far better than an arm-outstretched, double-chin-inducing selfie), but I now realise that I completely failed to even glance at what the topograph was telling me.


Cloud-free on The Cloud…

After cake and no small amount of view-admiration in solitude on the summit, I saw that people were approaching from all directions at once, which I took as my cue to leave. The return journey was remarkably similar to the outward one.

Lunch and more tea in Colin set me up nicely for Walk #2. Initial indications were that it was going to be far duller than the map had suggested, as I trogged along first an ex-railway line and then a tarmac track. It all came good after a while, with the main source of interest for me being the variety of dwellings dotted along the water’s edge to the north of the village of Rudyard. Varying from shacks to a stone-built house that sits fully within the water, I’m sure they all boasted fine views, although some of their boat-ramps were clearly currently useless, with the water sitting many feet below their ends.

It didn’t strike me as a lake big enough to be attractive to yachters, but this snap suggests that I know little on the subject. It also, hopefully, conveys what a pretty spot this is:


The railway bed on the east side of the water is not entirely an ex-railway, as part of its width (admittedly a very small part!) has been taken over by a narrow-gauge, an engine on which was just testing out a newly repaired bit of track as I passed by, but it wasn’t interesting enough to cause me to break stride. Only the views (I took lots of photos today!), waylaid me from my route, until, at the end of the reservoir, the views ran out and from there it was only thirteen hops, eight skips and a few jumps until Colin was back within my sight.

The stats for the day were 5.6 miles on the first outing and 6.2 on the second, which I make to be 11.8 miles in total. I believe that Anquet has seriously over-reported the ascent on both walks and that rather than 2400’, there was actually nearer to 900’.

Tomorrow, I shall be visiting the Marilyn with the shortest name. According to the last weather forecast I saw, it’s going to be foggy in the morning and raining in the afternoon, and I’m not fancying my chances of hitting the middle ground, after the fog has lifted and before the rain arrives!

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