Mable attempts Froggatt Edge via Curbar
Time taken - 4 hours
Of the walks we tend to do together now, this has probably been the most challenging for Mable as there is an element of uphill walking involved, initially, and whilst she was as fit and flighty as a flea in her youth, she has struggled in the last few years with general health problems that now limit the amount of exercise she can partake in. Apart from the incline at the start, however, the majority of the walk is quite level and easy but it was just a little too long for my girl. Having completed this walk recently, she will not be able to do it again, I am afraid.I am pleased that we managed to do it though and that I got the chance to document it before it became too much for her. It has got to be one with some of the most breathtaking Peak District views of all, taking in the full panorama of the Hope Valley, from on high.
Our walk started in Baslow where we parked up in a car park near the village green and proceeded, after crossing the main road, up Eaton Hill, which is marked with an Italian restaurant on its corner. Following the road up hill, you eventually get into light woodland and continue to climb on naturally worn paths through light tree cover, eventually emerging into fields and moorland above – all very dog friendly stuff, with lots of snuffling potential!
The walk ambles along through heather and heath land on well worn tracks until you get to the Wellington Monument on Baslow Edge - a monument marking the Duke of Wellington’s victory at the Battle of Waterloo. From here you can get closer to the edge and take in the views, when the day is clear, though being a dog walk, it is worth saying that I normally have Mable on a lead at this stage, for reasons that are very evident – the drop is considerable!
It is a popular walk and we did meet some small groups of people along the way, but in the main walked on our own, which gave plenty of time to ponder the meaning of life and once again to thank the heavens that we were lucky enough to have the Peak District’s glory on our doorstep. Although, when we walked into a blustery shower of rain, half way along, the Peak District’s weather brought me down to earth with a little bump – luckily I had brought some light wet weather gear to accommodate!As you can imagine, like Stanage Edge on the outskirts of Sheffield and Hathersage, this edge is popular with climbers and I have in the past spent time watching them below and marvelling at their skill and bravery. It is not something I would ever do, but I do admire their abilities.
The walk across the Edge varies little as Baslow merges with Curbar and the Froggatt Edge – all possess the same grit stone drop but the path gently undulates requiring you to take care on occasions, with foot placement. Eventually, above Grindleford, you return to light woodland, where I am normally happy to release Mable from the confines of her lead to descend to the edge of the village, below. Grindleford marks the halfway point and having come down out of the woods by St. Helen’s Church, it requires that you take a left at the bridge, through a small gate on the left, to take us back along the valley floor.
The return to Baslow has partly been documented in the another walk which is contained in these pages – Grindleford via Froggat – so I will not repeat this section in detail, though would say that in walking back to Froggat, Mable always finds plenty to interest her in the woods and fields that are traversed. Once at Froggat Bridge, we tend to continue following the river path into Calver, coming out at Calver Mill, and then use the road to return to Baslow. There are more interesting paths available into Baslow, if you choose to seek them out – you can continue following the river into Baslow, for one. Our reason for tending to take this route is practicallity – it is the most direct and easiest option, though obviously not the most scenic. At this stage, however, I am normally sugar depleted and have seen enough scenery to fill my boots, and I generally need to get back to civilisation quickly to partake of a little snack or beverage in one of Baslow’s cafe’s.
That is my excuse, anyway and I am sticking to it!